Seminaries & Institutes of Religion Circular
(used by permission)
Rome, Italy Temple Story
14 December 2009 (updated 13 Jan 2010 with Seminaries & Institutes Circular on in left column)
Individuals have been passing
the following item around, regarding what may be regarded as remarkable events surrounding the negotiations of Rome Temple. As with all faith promoting stories, we encourage you to NOT pass them around. We strongly refer you to the letter from the First Presidency regarding stories such as this.
According to information obtained from the Church's Public Affairs department, parts of the story are true and parts are not. Therefore, it is irresponsible to pass the item on. See the item being circulated and the response below.
The story follows:
Subject: Rome, Italy
Many reasons why we follow a prophet....
This just came from Julie Platt Gardner. Thought you would be interested.
Jane Parker, who is the late Elder Wirthlin's daughter, told us the following story today in Relief Society. She went to a talk by a lawyer for the European Area (each area of the Church has a legal department). The talk was about the ability to have a temple built in Rome,Italy which was announced as a done deal in conference recently. He stated that they knew they needed to have contact with the cardinals of the Catholic Church to see if they would approve or go along with our desire to have a temple built there. He heard of a reception at which the cardinals would be present, and the legal department for the church was also invited. He approached one cardinal and talked to him about the issue. The cardinal said, "We will support you in any effort you want because of your support of Proposition 8 in California."
Jane's comment was that she doesn't think the Church people in California who worked so long and so hard on getting that proposition passed and many even suffered persecution probably know that they were the instruments in getting a temple built in Rome, Italy.
From: Joseph Bentley <email address removed>
To: Joseph Bentley <email address removed>
Sent: Wed, December 2, 2009 12:17:07 PM
Subject: Rome Temple; John Zackrison's statements
Friends and Colleagues --
Please note the latest, official word from the attorney who had been charged with obtaining permits to build the Rome temple in Italy and who was referred to in the original email version.
Especially note John's admonition in his last paragraph --
"keep in mind that our efforts to obtain the necessary building permissions within the Rome City Administration have not come to full fruition and remain at a delicate stage. Consequently, we need to be cautious and
judicious when we discuss what is happening there and take care not to spread incorrect information."
The flurry of emails on this issue had gone viral and global long before I
added my two cents earlier this week. I now urge all recipients of this
email -- and any who may have received your own emails -- to calm things
down now so that the normal permitting process can proceed as smoothly as possible.
Joseph I. Bentley, Director
Orange County Public Affairs
From: John A. Zackrison [mailto:email address removed]
Sent: Tuesday, December 01, 2009 5:57 PM
Friends: Many of you have received various e-mails describing
inspirational events relating to the establishment of the temple in Rome.
While the basic spirit of those e-mails is correct (i.e., that the hand of
the Lord is guiding every aspect of the project), there are several
inaccuracies that I should correct.
Specifically, none of the Catholic leaders we met said "We will support you in any effort you want because of your support of Proposition 8 in
California." Not only does the Catholic Church have no official decisional
role with regard to the Rome temple, it has not made any commitment of
support, whether because of Proposition 8 or otherwise.
What is true is that at the reception in Rome in January 2009 (where we
fortuitously met Catholic leaders), there were several Catholic officials
who were aware of the Church's work in California on Proposition 8 and who thanked me as a representative of the Church for that good work. They were grateful that the Church and its members had acted so vigorously and well in defense of our common principles. Indeed, since then it has become clear that the Church has obtained greater credibility and respect worldwide because of what our members did in California. That valiant work has opened doors of cooperation with other faith groups and like-minded organizations that has already benefited the Church.
There is no question that the Lord's hand has been evident at many stages of the temple project in Rome, from the initial purchase of the property many years ago, to the necessary rezoning that occurred last year, to our smooth dealings with the city of Rome this year in seeking building permissions, to our encounters with Cardinals and others within the Catholic Church who have been respectful and interested. It has been a faith-building privilege to participate in and to share some of the details of that process.
But please keep in mind that our efforts to obtain the necessary building
permissions within the Rome City Administration have not come to full
fruition and remain at a delicate stage. Consequently, we need to be
cautious and judicious when we discuss what is happening there and should take care not to spread incorrect information.
I wish you all the Lord's continued blessings as we participate together in
this great work.
Respectfully, John Zackrison
John A. Zackrison
Area Legal Counsel - Europe (2005-2009)
Of Counsel, Kirton & McConkie
Office: (801) 321-4837
Cell: (801) 319-9474
Fax: (801) 212-2049
E-mail: <mailto:email address removed>