New York, May 6 (ANI): The posthumous "baptism" of President Barack Obama's mother Stanley Ann Dunham is being probed by a Mormon Church as a "serious breach" of religious code.
Records available with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints show that Dunham, who died in 1995, was baptized last June 4 in Provo, Utah, and received endowment, another sacrament, a week later.
"The offering of baptism to our deceased ancestors is a sacred practice to us and it is counter to Church policy for a Church member to submit names for baptism for persons to whom they are not related," the politico quoted church's spokeswoman Kim Farah in an emailed statement.
"The Church is looking into the circumstances of how this happened and does not yet have all the facts. However, this is a serious matter and we are treating it as such," she added.
Mormons believe that souls cannot enter heaven without undergoing baptism and other sacraments, and that those sacraments can be given by proxy after death.
In the past, the practice of posthumous baptism caused controversy when Jewish groups raised objections to the baptism of victims of the Holocaust.
According to "doctrinal background" of the church, "well-meaning Church members sometimes bypass this instruction and submit the names of non-relatives for temple baptism."
Others have submitted the names of unrelated famous or infamous people, or even wholly fictitious names. These rare acts are contrary to Church policy. (ANI)