The Armenian Church, as all traditional Christian Churches, strongly condemns the practice of proxy baptisms as a means to salvation and receiving the Graces of God. As established by two of the Apostles of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Armenian Apostolic Holy Church has maintained her Orthodox faith for twenty centuries. The first enlighteners of Armenia, Sts. Thaddeus and Bartholomew, brought the True Faith to the people living in Armenia, and by the beginning of the fourth century, the first Catholicos of the Armenians, St. Gregory our Illuminator, was the means through which the nation realized their Great Conversion.
The recent report of the Mormon sect’s baptizing notable Armenians is ludicrous, laughable and truly scandalous behavior. They have no right nor authority to baptize any deceased Armenian Christian. It is an offensive affront to the people of the Armenian Nation dispersed throughout the world, who have repeatedly suffered martyrdom in the defense of Christianity. Regardless of who the individual is, whether saint or sinner, no one has the right to baptize someone who is deceased.
Only Our Lord in Heaven has power over the lives of the deceased. All traditional Christian Churches so believe. In the universally accepted Nicene Creed, we state: We believe in ONE baptism for the remission and forgiveness of sins. Any secondary or re-baptism, conducted by anyone, is anti-canonical and is anathematized by the Armenian Church.
The Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin, on behalf of the worldwide Armenian Church, condemns this practice in the strongest possible terms. In a statement from the Department of Inter-Church Relations of the Armenian Church, it is noted: We call on the Mormon authorities to immediately cease this damaging and outrageous behavior. These actions are a violation against common decency.
As we have just celebrated the Feast of the Glorious Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we remain steadfast in the True Path of service and devotion to the Incarnate Son of God. We call upon all of our faithful, as well as our sister Christian Churches to condemn this paranormal and bizarre occult-like behavior, and make expressions of that condemnation known to the proper authorities of the Mormon sect.