If you’ve already gotten in on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge or are planning to, congratulations on your generosity of spirit.
Before you donate, consider the concerns being expressed that the ALS Foundation supports research that uses fetal embryonic tissue from abortions.
Father John Floeder, who teaches bioethics at the St. Paul Seminary and who chairs the Archbishop’s Commission on Bio/Medical Ethics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, offered the following statement to help people gain a better understanding of the moral and ethical issues involved:
Many human sufferings call out to us for help, and Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) is certainly among them. Jesus Christ and the demands of love must lead us, as Catholics, to give our time, energy, and resources to those who suffer. The awareness and contributions that have been raised because of the “bucket challenge” are a testament to that love in so many. That said, authentic Christ-like love never can accept the deliberate taking of one life for the sake of another, which the use of embryonic stem cells does. To really help the suffering of ALS in a loving way, Catholics should not only support only those organizations that do not use embryonic stem cells, but also express to organizations the need to cease support and funding of practices that use embryonic stem cells that destroys human life.
The U.S. Catholic Conference suggests donating to ALS research at several alternative organizations, including the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa City, Iowa, which is doing research in several areas including ALS, and does not support embryonic stem cell research. To donate, use the button for “Donate Now” on the institute’s main web page.