Ice bucket Challenge: Catholic Church in US blocks donations over 'immoral' embryonic stem cell research
Church asks for Catholic donors to find 'morally licit' charities to donate to
American leaders of the Catholic Church have spoken out against its members taking part in the Ice Bucket Challenge because the money donated to ALS could fund research using embryonic stem cells, a practice that the church deems to be immoral.
The Cincinnati Archdiocese in Ohio has already warned principles at 113 Catholic schools in the area to “immediately cease” donations to the ALS Association for this reason, requesting that any money raised should instead be given to a “morally licit” organisation.
Both ALS, and in the UK, MND, which are sister organisations aiming to raise awareness of the neurodegenerative disease, known as Motor Neurone Disease in the UK, support the legal use of research that uses embryonic stem cells, while recognising the “significant moral, ethical and religious concerns” that the research methods raise.
ALS said that it does fund one research project using embryonic stem cells, stating that donors can request that their money does not go towards this study. Though MND does not currently fund any research using this method, it does support it.
The Catholic Church’s stance on the matter is that it is tantamount to abortion, and claims that embryonic stem cell research violates the sanctity of human life, though it does not show the same condemnation towards the use of adults stem cells in research.
“We appreciate the compassion that has caused so many people to engage in this,” Dan Andriacco, the Cincinnati Archdiocese spokesperson said, “but it’s a well-established moral principle that a good end is not enough.
“The means to that end must be morally elicit.”
David Kurt McClain, who has suffered with ALS for over a decade, takes the Ice Bucket Challenge The advice follows a widely shared blog post from an American Catholic priest, Father Michael Duffy, who was nominated to do the challenge himself but explained that the research meant that he could not donate to ALS.
“I will certainly pray for those that suffer from the disease,” he wrote.
Pope Francis himself was nominated last week by singer Shakira, but the Vatican has not made any response to the challenge.
Despite ALS’s Ice Bucket Challenge turning into a viral success, raising more than $70 million in America, the Archdiocese has instead requested that any schools wanting to take part in the challenge may do so, but that they should donate their money to “pro-life driven” research groups such as the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa, which Father Duffy also pointed to in his blog.
In the UK, Macmillan Cancer Support has faced its own backlash over joining in with the Ice Bucket Challenge, after it was accused of “stealing the spotlight” from the ALS association.
Macmillan has raised over £250,000 so far from ice bucket funds, after encouraging people to take the challenge and to donate to the charity using the #icebucketchallenge hashtag, and creating its own microsite dedicated to the activity, but the charity was condemned by some supporters for diverting awareness from ALS.
Video: Celebrities take on the ice bucket challenge
MND said on Monday it had raised £635,000 in text donations alone over the past two weeks, which appeared to have rocketed in the last few days, as awareness of its cause has risen. The charity said that people have also set up their own Just Giving pages for MND too, but the amount these raise will not be known for a number of weeks.
Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way
The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Chicago voter tells Obama 'don't touch my girlfriend' – Obama stays super smooth
Oscar Pistorius: The brutal prison life that awaits disgraced athlete
Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
Ebola outbreak: Nowhere is safe until virus is contained in Africa, claims the top doctor who beat it in Nigera
Raphael Ravenscroft dead: 'Baker Street' musician who played the most famous saxophone solo for just £27, dies aged 60
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world
£60 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Youth Support Workers Glouceste...
£19000 - £21000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPOR...
£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...
£80 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: **Due to an increase in dema...