Apparently not everyone is happy about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and the more than 30 million dollars it raised for the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Apparently, a Catholic diocese in Ohio disagrees with the fact that ALSA funds research involving embryonic stem cells.
A Roman Catholic diocese in Ohio is discouraging its 113 schools from participating in the ice bucket challenge to benefit the ALS Association, saying the group’s funding of embryonic stem cell research is “in direct conflict with Catholic teaching.”
Jim Rigg, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, told the schools in a letter Tuesday to “immediately cease” any plans to raise funds for the association or to instead direct donations to another organization that combats ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig‘s disease that causes paralysis and almost certain death.
This is despite the fact that ALSA only funds a single embryonic stem cell study (which the church is against), and funds many many studies using adult stem cells (approved by the Catholic church). The money for funding the embryonic study is also specified from a single donor.
Carrie Munk, a spokeswoman for the ALS Association, said her group largely funds adult stem-cell research but does fund one study involving embryonic stem cells using money from one specific donor.
She said all donors to the ALS Association can stipulate where their money goes and can ask that it not pay for embryonic stem cell research.
I guess it is good that the diocese is encouraging donations to other ALS charities, but still not impressed.