Catholic diocese discourages ice challenge

Ice Bucket Challenge. (WDTN Photo/Jordan Burgess)
Ice Bucket Challenge. (WDTN Photo/Jordan Burgess)

CINCINNATI (AP) – A Roman Catholic diocese in southwest Ohio is urging its school leaders not to encourage the ice-bucket challenge for the ALS Association because donations could fund research involving embryonic stem cells.

Archdiocese of Cincinnati spokesman Dan Andriacco says the challenge itself is fine, but money sent to the ALS Association funds at least one study using embryonic stem cells. An embryo must be destroyed to harvest its stem cells, and many Catholics relate that to abortion.

Andriacco tells The Cincinnati Enquirer the diocese is urging money be sent instead to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute in Iowa, where the research is conducted using only adult stem cells.

The altruistic ice-bucket stunt to fund amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research has become an Internet sensation. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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