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Archdiocese Asks St. Louis to Stop Ice Bucket Challenge Donations to ALS Association

icebucketchallenge.jpg
theglobalpanorama on Flickr
The ice bucket challenge raises money for an organization the Archdiocese of St. Louis says it can't support.
Are you one of the countless philanthropists taking on the ice-bucket challenge and donating to the ALS Association? The Catholic Church says you're doing it wrong.

The St. Louis Archdiocese has released a statement urging Catholics to donate to a research organization that doesn't support embryonic stem cell research.

"Not one to pour cold water on a fun fundraising idea, the Respect Life Office of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is asking people who are taking a popular 'ice-bucket challenge' to direct donations to an alternative source that funds morally acceptable research for a cure," says Joseph Kenny, a writer for the archdiocese, in the statement.

See also: St. Louis Archdiocese: No More Beer at Catholic Youth Events

The ALS Association primarily uses adult stem cells in its research, but it is funding one study using embryonic stem cells use cells left over from in-vitro fertilization. The Catholic Church has long objected to using embryonic stem cells because, as the archdiocese puts it, "a human person -- an aborted baby -- must be destroyed to harvest his or her stem cells."

The archdiocese isn't asking followers to refuse the ice-bucket challenge. Several Catholic school principals, the director of the archdiocesan vocation office, the superintendent of Catholic education and others in the church have subjected themselves to an icy dousing to raise money to fight ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

But instead of donating to the ALS Association, Catholic officials would rather you donate to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City, Iowa, which does not participate in embryonic stem cell research.

As of August 27, the ALS Association has raked in $94.3 million in donations from existing donors and 2.1 million new donors. Compare that to $2.7 million in donations in the same time period in 2013.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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135 comments
Elena Claiborne
Elena Claiborne

Reading these posts I am grateful to be a U.S. citizen. I get to witness and participate in free speech and exercise my right to do so. To my fellow citizens keep debating, but learn from one another. For when you stop you limit yourself and others.

Laura Coppinger
Laura Coppinger

Womp womp. The archdiocese is officially a Debbie downer

Peggy Lesch
Peggy Lesch

What's because they did not get the money

Dana K. Hols
Dana K. Hols

I have a better idea. Donate to provide fresh water for the 3 million plus people who die due to lack of fresh water every year (compared to slightly over 5,00 from ALS) and just let the entire unborn "children" thing go...take care of the born children

Mike Copeland
Mike Copeland

Only thing they want money raised for is lawyers for there phedofiles

Mary Mahurin
Mary Mahurin

The Archdiocese needs to apologize and start praying for forgiveness.

Jay Brandt
Jay Brandt

So THAT'S what they mean by Heartless B@stards!

Ed Reggi
Ed Reggi

I bet you the Archdiocese would love to pour a giant ice bucket on St Stanislav and all their Polish congregants.

Jim House
Jim House

I decide where to make my charitable contributions. I don't need the Archdiocese to advise me especially when they are just trying to horn in on the money. They should come up with their own fundraiser.

John Krispin
John Krispin

Y'all need to understand the difference between "to", "too", and "two".

Yvonne Knight
Yvonne Knight

Y'all keep your priests from molesting little boys and maybe just maybe some of us might change who we give our donations too

Donna Krispin
Donna Krispin

They use stem cells in their research that's why. Would you expect them to endorse their teachings?

John Krispin
John Krispin

Paul...read the statement from the archdiocese. They never said dont participate in the ALS ice bucket challenge. What is relevant is people getting the facts straight.

Tony Wuertz
Tony Wuertz

Yeah stop donations because it only tries to find a cure for a terrible disease.

Paul Peanick
Paul Peanick

So that gives them the right to tell people not to participate in the ALS ice bucket challenge? Or is all of that completely irrelevant?

Ellie L E Hutcheson
Ellie L E Hutcheson

Can it be over now, so much wasted water ughhhhh ps how much actually goes to research?

Chrissi Otte Evans
Chrissi Otte Evans

Another example of why I don't agree with organized religion....

Camille Marolf
Camille Marolf

I donated to ALS.net instead for this very reason. They don't do embryonic stem cell research either.

Bryan Wucher
Bryan Wucher

atleast we know where the money is going to and it wont be used to protect child molesters

Matt Simpson
Matt Simpson

They have a valid reason not to be happy. And they have the freedom as well.

Joshua Lewis
Joshua Lewis

There's a reason most stl Catholics and churches don't give a shit what their archdiocese thinks. This is one example of a long list of grievances. Please don't judge your Catholic brothers and sisters based on what this dinosaur says in their behalf.

John Krispin
John Krispin

The Archdiocese of St. Louis greedy? Hypocritical? All about money? How about some perspective, people? Catholic Charities (Archdiocese of St. Louis) is the largest provider of social services in the state of Missouri. Catholic Charities offers more than 100 programs to benefit, on average, 140,000 poor and impoverished people annually. Is that greedy and hypocritical? St. Patrick Center is just one example of more charity by the archdiocese. St. Patrick Center is one of Missouri's largest providers of housing, employment and health outreach for people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. St. Patrick Center assists more than 8,000 of your fellow St.Louis neighbors a year. Is that greedy??? SPC also offers "Project Hero", a program that provides housing, employment assistance, and recovery opportunities for veterans struggling with homelessness. We can agree those are good things, right? SPC is just one example of countless charitable endeavors by the St.Louis Archdiocese. You can disagree about the merits of where to send a donation, but try to be fair about the charitable works of the Archdiocese. Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of St. Louis help Catholics and non-Catholics, so chances are you have a friend, neighbor, or family member who has been assisted by the "greedy" Archdiocese.

Mimi Ikard Swoboda
Mimi Ikard Swoboda

You can specify with your donation that you would like it to not be used on embryonic stem cell research and they have apparently vowed to honor that. Sounds good to me!

John Marco
John Marco

Come on Archdiocese....do you really have to have an opinion on everything?

jefferi79
jefferi79

Hey Catholicism! FU. Crawl back under the no longer relevant rock you came from with all the kiddie fiddling priests. Absolutely shameful.

Jenna Lea Henderson
Jenna Lea Henderson

They need as much catholic donations as they can get to defend their priests.... So understandable\U0001f61c wth!

Nick Siebert
Nick Siebert

Catholics should stop as soon as the Catholic Church takes child molestation serious.

Amy Norton Nash
Amy Norton Nash

Pretty sure ALS allows you to designate where your donation goes so you can choose to not have your donation go to that particular type of research.

Matt Lively
Matt Lively

Once again the church convoluting and distorting under the pretense of salvation. But DECADES of handsy molesters. Ahh let's just sweep that under the rug...

Brandon Gehrig
Brandon Gehrig

They are worried about that? Are you serious? The Catholic Church has PLENTY of other issues to worry about! The Church needs to clean their own house FIRST before they attempt to clean up others!

Tom Baker
Tom Baker

It would be nice if folks could react without swearing or being insulting. Educated people should behave with more gentility. Just because you disagree, you don't have make your point so vehemently. It keeps others from trying to understand your point of view. Also, Catholicism has beliefs that many people don't understand because they aren't in alignment with today's post-modern principles since they are trying to remain connected to foundational Judeo-Christian teachings. Just something to consider. Take care!

Anne Klein
Anne Klein

Um, no. They need to butt out of this.

Lindsay Marentette
Lindsay Marentette

Sounds like the Catholic Church is getting a little jealous of how many people want to donate to a GOOD cause.

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