US Church leaders have urged Catholics not to join in the Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising stunt because the charity profiting from it funds embryonic stem cell research, reports The Tablet.
Since the challenge went viral in June, ice-cold water has been poured over the heads of celebrities, world leaders, former presidents, and even leading US Catholic TV personality, Stephen Colbert (here), and Sisters such as the Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (here), to raise money for the ALS Association, which funds research into motor neurone disease.
Victims and their supporters donate to the charity before challenging three other people. So far the campaign has raised over a$43 million.
But a number of Archdioceses including Ohio and Cincinnati have banned schools from donating to the Association, citing the Church’s ban on research that uses stem cells harvested from embryos.
The Archbishop of New Orleans, Gregory Aymond, emailed priests asking them to ensure their parishioners only donated to “morally acceptable” research and the Archdiocese of Newark, in New Jersey, has also asked parishioners to donate to charities that only use adult stem cells.
The Bishop of Evansville, Indiana, Charles Thompson praised participants’ “humbling generosity” but said that the Association’s research went against Church teaching.