CINCINNATI — A Roman Catholic diocese in Ohio is discouraging its 113 schools from participating in the ice bucket challenge to benefit the ALS Association, saying the group's funding of embryonic stem cell research is "in direct conflict with Catholic teaching."
Jim Rigg, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, told the schools in a letter Tuesday to "immediately cease" any plans to raise funds for the association and to instead direct donations to another organization that combats ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease that causes paralysis and almost certain death.
The Catholic Church relates the use of embryonic stem cells in research to abortion and says it violates the sanctity of human life. The use of adult stem cells in research is not forbidden.
In other ice bucket challenge news, police in Kentucky say two firefighters were injured when the fire truck's ladder got too close to a power line as they helped students at Campbellsville University take part. Campbellsville police Chief Tim Hazlette said Thursday that one of the firefighters is in critical condition and the other is stable. No students were hurt.