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Vatican says Mormon baptism is not valid

The baptism conferred by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cannot be considered a valid Christian baptism, said the Vatican's doctrinal congregation.

The ruling by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was published in this week's edition of the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, after being approved by Pope John Paul II.

While the Mormon baptismal rite refers to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Mormon belief about the identity of the three persons is so different from Catholic and mainline Christian belief that "one cannot even consider this doctrine to be a heresy arising from a false understanding of Christian doctrine," said a Vatican explanation of the ruling.