Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ohio Catholics Throw Cold Blanket on "Ice Bucket Challenge"

It's hard to go on Facebook or to watch television this week without watching somebody dump icy water on their head in an effort to raise money for ALS (AKA amyotrophic lateral sclerosis AKA Lou Gehrig's disease) research and treatment. I have my own reservations about this effort, especially when I see images of people wasting gallons of water in drought-plagued areas of the country!

That said, it's hard to argue with the results. Over $40 million has been raised for the ALS Assocation directly because of the "Ice Bucket Challenge."

But don't expect too much of it to come from any of Ohio's Catholic schools. That's because ALS research violates church doctrine:
A Catholic diocese in Ohio is discouraging its schools from participating in the ice bucket challenge to benefit the ALS Association, citing its funding of research involving embryonic stem cells. In a letter sent Tuesday to its 113 schools, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's superintendent of Catholic schools says the research being funded is "in direct conflict with Catholic teaching. The superintendent told the schools that students and staff can still do the ice bucket challenge, but any funds raised should be given to organizations that combat ALS without embryonic stem cell research.
The ALS Association admits that one of their studies involves embryonic stem cell research. But they also assert that donors can request that their monetary donation is directed to other forms of research.

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