Catholic Leaders Chilly On Ice Bucket Challenge

Several Catholic archioceses have taken issue with the Ice Bucket Challenge because the ALS Association supports embryonic stem cell research.
Posted at 1:48 PM, Aug 25, 2014

​It seems like just about everyone has taken part in the Ice Bucket Challenge. The viral social media craze has seen a former president, A-list celebrities, and even Kermit the Frog take up the cause.

But it’s probably a safe assumption Pope Francis — master of the viral  selfie — won’t soon be joining them. (Video via ODN

A growing number of Catholic leaders say they’re morally opposed to the Ice Bucket Challenge and are encouraging participants not to donate. (Via Archdiocese of St. Louis, Archdiocese of Newark

That's because the ALS Association supports embryonic stem cell research. The Church equates using stem cells derived from human embryos with abortion. (Video via Catholic News Service) ​

The spokesperson for The Archdiocese of Cincinnati told The Cincinnati Enquirer: "We appreciate the compassion that has caused so many people to engage in this … But it's a well established moral principle that a good end is not enough. The means to that ends must be morally licit."

The ALS Association has come out and said most of the research it funds involves adult stem cells. And when donating, you have the option of asking for your money not go to the one study that does use embryonic research. 

But a staff ethicist at the National Catholic Bioethics Center told the Boston Herald, even then, it’s “a cooperation with evil.”

Instead, Catholic leaders have suggested donations go instead to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute, which conducts stem cell research but only on adult cells.  

Now, to be fair, they're aren’t the only ones objecting to the viral challenge — which has, so far, raised over $53 million.

The Pentagon has banned U.S. troops and the State Department has banned its diplomats from taking the plunge.

“Federal government ethics rules prevent us from using our public offices ... for private gain, no matter how worthy the cause is.”

Same rules apparently apply to the president, who received challenges from Ethel Kennedy and Justin Bieber, among others. The White House says Obama has donated an undisclosed sum instead.