Catholic Bishop Bars Support For Susan G. Komen For The Cure

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -A Roman Catholic bishop told parishes and schools in his diocese to stop raising money for a national breast cancer charity out of concern it might one day decide to fund embryonic stem cell research.

Toledo Bishop Leonard Blair’s sent a letter barring the diocese’s Catholic institutions from fundraising for Susan G. Komen for the Cure to priests and parishes in the 19-county diocese last week. Cincinnati’s archbishop earlier this year decided that schools and parishes in the 19-county Cincinnati Archdiocese cannot raise funds for Komen for the same reason.

Scientists say research on embryonic stem cells, which are usually taken from discarded embryos at fertility clinics, may lead to cures for diseases. The Catholic Church maintains that destruction of embryos amounts to the killing of human life.

A spokeswoman for the national Komen group says it has never funded stem cell research, though its policies don’t prohibit that, The Blade of Toledo reported Tuesday.

If the group received a request to fund such research, it “would weigh it very carefully, as we do all research proposals,” Andrea Rader, spokeswoman for the Dallas-based organization, told the Toledo newspaper in an email. Research proposals are considered for their likelihood to have a positive impact on breast cancer research and treatment, Rader wrote.

In an email to CBS 11, Rader gave the full statement, saying:

“We’re the largest non-profit funder of breast cancer research outside of the federal government, with $610 million invested in our 30 years and touching every major advance in breast cancer research. We do not fund embryonic stem cell research and have not funded it in the past, although our policies do not preclude doing so.  If we received a request to fund such research, we would weigh it very carefully (as we do all of our research proposals) for its likelihood to have a positive impact on breast cancer research and treatment.”

Blair’s letter said that Catholics need to find alternatives to Komen for fundraising efforts “in order to avoid even the possibility of cooperation in morally unacceptable activities.”

In a written response to the letter, Bishop Kevin Farrell of the Diocese of Dallas issued the following statement to CBS 11:

“This is an important issue that calls for more detailed research of how funds are currently used.  Catholic teaching calls for the protection of life from conception to natural death.  The Catholic Church also    recognizes the importance of access to health care for all people which includes preventative health care.  Bishops cannot encourage Catholics to fundraise for any organization until there are assurances that the organization is not engaged in anything that violates Catholic teaching. Certainly the efforts of Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the battle against breast cancer are admirable and I welcome a discussion of this issue with Komen leadership in Dallas.”

Blair’s letter directed fundraising by Catholic institutions to organizations other than Komen “to avoid even the possibility of cooperation in morally unacceptable activities.” A statement from the diocese Tuesday stressed that Blair did not ban individual Catholics from contributing locally to Komen with the charity’s “assurance that no local funds go to Planned Parenthood or to embryonic stem cell research.”

Leaders with Komen’s northwest Ohio affiliate say no local dollars have gone to either one. They are disappointed and will ask to meet with Blair, executive director Mary Westphal said Tuesday. She said diocesan leaders did not call or meet with them before the decision.

Westphal said she is optimistic that individual Catholics will continue contributing.

Blair was out of town, but spokeswoman Sally Oberski told The Associated Press that she was not aware of previous Komen requests to meet with Blair or other diocesan officials on fundraising.

Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr and other officials in the archdiocese met with Komen representatives from Cincinnati before telling them in a Feb. 1 letter that its parishes and schools wouldn’t be allowed to raise money for Komen, given the possibility that the charity could fund such research.

Schools in the Toledo diocese and the Cincinnati Archdiocese have raised money for Komen, but Oberski and Cincinnati Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco didn’t know how much, saying schools handle their own fundraising and channeling of donations.

Westphal also didn’t have totals. Messages left Tuesday for the Cincinnati chapter weren’t immediately returned.

Bishop Richard Lennon of the Cleveland Diocese released a joint statement with Komen last year, saying he was “satisfied that the monies raised here in our diocese are going to help prevent and cure breast cancer without violation of Catholic teaching.”

Bishops in the Catholic Conference of Ohio have discussed Komen’s policy concerning the research but haven’t issued a group statement or policy, executive director Carolyn Jurkowitz said.

A message seeking comment was left Tuesday at the Toledo diocese.  The diocese issued a “clarification” on its website. You can read it here.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • YRofTexas

    I agree with the Bishop. They have technology now to use Our Own stem cells to do the same work as taking from an aborted fetus. The ability to use stem cells from living persons is there; why not utilize it? In some people’s minds, the abortions may appear as ‘justified’ if performed for the stem cells retrieval. That would be morally wrong.
    I used the “no” word; unpopular, I realize it, but that is my perspective and opinion.
    Since the fact remains that there is an alternative way of procuring the stem cells, use that FIRST, and lets support Cancer research from the moral point-of-view.

    • Trey

      I think they should use republicans stem cells so we would have a win win and no republicans.

    • 2sister

      You’re right they do have technology to use our own stem cells. I know some one who had this done for cancer.

  • Martin Luther

    …but sodomy on little boys by untold amounts of “men of the cloth” is acceptable? Why should anyone listen to these charlatans? The Catholic Church is the Wh-re of Babylon.

    • Turtle

      You go Martin Luther. What a bunch of hypocrites.

    • Gumby Rules

      Martin Luther, spoken like a complete idiot.

      No sodomyu is not acceptable by the church.

      • Martin Luther

        Really? Who’s the idiot here? Molestation sure as hell has been covered up for decades. Someone IN THE CHURCH is making it acceptable. You’re the idiot – and a gullible sap as well.

    • 2sister

      No, of course it’s not right. That, however, doesn’t make abortion right. The fact that someone, who might have limited credibility says that something is wrong, doesn’t make that particular action right.

      • Trey

        who the f said anything about abortion scanky?

      • 2sister

        Trey, I don’t see much difference. A fetus is a fetus.

  • Yep

    Biggest cult on the face of the earth, even more than Mormonism or Scientology combined.

    • Gumby Rules

      Also has been around longer than eithr combined. So what, doesn’t make it wrong.

  • Ted

    The catholic church should stay away from science. They just cherry pick it to support the fund raising effort of the day. They’d much rather have money going to the church than cancer victims. Priests used to be able to get married until the church didn’t like that priests gave their property to their wives and not the church when they died. So much for priests being able to be married. Same thing will happen to anything that loses money or property for the church.

    • Beverly

      FYI, Priests in the Catholic Church were never allowed to marry. If he was ordained, he took a vow of celibacy. The only way he could marry was to leave the priesthood.

      • Turtle

        Guess again Beverly. Priest were allowed to marry up until somewhere in about the 1300’s. Look it up. I have and know for a fact that what Ted says is true.

      • Beverly

        This is for Turtle: Please read –
        Within a century of the Great Schism of 1054, the Churches of the East and West arrived at different disciplines as to abstaining from sexual contact during marriage. In the East, candidates for the Priesthood could be married with permission to have regular sexual relations with their wives, but were required to abstain before celebrating the Eucharist. An unmarried person, once ordained, could not marry. Additionally, the Christian East required that, before becoming a bishop, a priest separate from his wife (she was permitted to object), with her typically becoming a nun. In the East, more normally, bishops are chosen from those priests who are monks and are thus unmarried.

        In the West, the law of celibacy was universally required by the 11th century. This law mandated that, in order to become a candidate for ordination, a man could not be married. The law remains in effect in the West, although not for those who are Eastern Rite Catholic clergy, who remain under the ancient Eastern discipline of sexual abstinence before celebration of the Liturgy, as do Eastern Orthodox priests. The issue of mandatory celibacy continues to be debated, though successive popes have declared that the discipline will not change.[citation needed]

    • Turtle

      Finally somebody who knows the real history of the church. Look at the pope people. Look at all the rings and apparel. Did you ever stop to think how much that stuff cost? Yet that same person is telling its members to give to the poor. Why don’t they sell that stuff and give it to the poor? It would go much further than anything I could give.

  • Catholic Bishop Bars Support For Susan G. Komen For The Cure « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Catholic Bishop Bars Support For Susan G. Komen For The Cure A Roman Catholic bishop told parishes and schools of his diocese to stop raising money for a national breast cancer charity out of concern it might one day decide to fund embryonic stem cell research. Go to News Source […]

  • Beverly

    How much more interferance do we have to take from the church??? This is STUPID !!!

    • Gumby Rules

      Actually, it only “interferes” with devout Catholics. All the Baptists, Lutherans, Methodists etc. it has no bearing on.

      • Beverly

        Every time something goes against what the Catholic Church thinks or teaches, they denounce it. That is wrong. They need to stay out of who can and can’t contribute to ANY organization. PERIOD.
        Do they object to the Government funding stem cell research?? I don’t think so.
        And in case you are wondering, I am Catholic.

  • AlwaysRealistic

    What does breast cancer research have to do with abortion? How did the bishop make the leap? Those dots don’t connect. Sheesh!

    • Beverly

      I totally agree with you. This is still NOT the business of the church !!!!!! How many other organizations are they going to say don’t contribute to???? NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS!!!

    • Jeff D Johnson

      There is the possibility of using the stem cells from aborted fetuses to do research for a cure for breast cancer. There are your dots.

  • te

    Hey, if you do not agree with the Catholic Church, that’s their business. Go on about with your own!! The Church does not have to meet with any organization if they choose not to. If you are not Catholic, look out after your own Church. If you are, maybe you should look elsewhere. I would, if I was not happy with it. By the way name me a perfect religious practice. Once man gets involved….look out!!

  • D Gaston

    We stopped giving to Susan G. Kmen several years ago when we found out that Nancy Brinker(sister of Susan G. Komen) allows the money that is raised
    to go to Planned Parenthood.

    • Turtle

      and your point would be? What she does with the money is her business, not yours. Oh by the way, I’ve also heard Proctor and Gamble is ran by a bunch of devil worshipers. Don’t believe everything you hear.

  • Jim

    I think-and have for a long time-that the Catholic Church. among others, should keep their nose out of medicine and politics. God gave us intelligence, which has produced Doctors, who in turn have produced productive research.
    Churches should keep theology and faith within the souls of their parish and not in the ballot boxes.

    • Beverly

      I agree with you, too, Jim. They should stick to what they know and stay out of things they don’t.
      Thank you, Jim.

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  • Texas Catholic

    “Scientists say research on embryonic stem cells, which are usually taken from discarded embryos at fertility clinics, may lead to cures for diseases”

    AKA killing babies at abortion clinics for the sake of a possibility for cures of diseases down the road. There is very little proof that embryotic cells are even as effective as adult stem cells which can be gathered without taking any lives. If you don’t believe me, do your own research and you should come to the same conclusion.

    The catholic church is still obviously on the side of finding a cure for diseases, just not through sacrificing human life.

  • John

    This is about more than stem cell research. SGK has given money to Planned Parenthood, which is a big funder of abortions. Christians are against killing babies, simply. No one is defending the reprehensible acts of any priest. We do not put our faith in people, but in a forgiving God. We are all flawed and all need forgiveness from Christ, who died for our sins and gave us the FREE gift of salvation.

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  • Turtle

    They don’t want to give money because of something they might do? Doesn’t a person need to commit a sin before it can be forgiven? How idiotic, but that is the Catholic church for you.

  • Former Catholic

    “Catholic teaching calls for the protection of life from conception to natural death.” REALLY? Talk to domestic violence victims who have gone to the church and asked for help and gotten NONE. I had my own relative, a priest refuse to perform my marriage ceremony because I would not swear not to use birth control, which I needed for medical reasons. I had a history of tumors and without the pill would have to get a hysterectomy. MY health didn’t matter ONE BIT. After many generations of Catholics in my family, there are NONE left. ABUSE, ABUSE, ABUSE, and rigid attitudes are why.

    • Beverly

      They don’t want you to use birth control but don’t go to them for help. They tell you if you are in an abusive marriage that you need to stay married because the church does not believe in divorce. How many more things are they gonna tell us we can’t do because they don’t agree with it?? I was born and raised Catholic. I had 2 kids and no money and asked them to give my kids some milk with their lunch and I would pay them by the end of the week. I lived in that parish about a block from the church and my kids, ages 6 & 7 had milk as long as I paid for it. They DID NOT let them have milk those few days because I had no money. My brother was married to a girl who was Baptist, Both were young and it didn’t work out and they got a divorce. About 3 yrs later, he was going to marry a girl who was devout Catholic. In order to get married in the church, he had to pay 500.00 because he had been married before. The Catholic Church does not recoginze marriages from other religions. Why was he asked to pay that money?? Because they could do it and he paid it because of his fiance/ Hypocrits is what the CC is.
      They want you to not use birth control of any form but yet when you have children, are a good Catholic and need help, they tell ya sorry can’t help.
      These people talk about things they know nothing about and should mind their own business.

    • Janet

      Both Former Catholic and Beverly need to do a little research. The RCC does allow BC for medical reasons. Clearly you needed to seek out the archdioses in that case. There are a number of domestic violence shelters the church runs all over the US. Beverly you are wrong. Abuse is grounds for an anulment and will easily be granted. No, divorce and anulment are not the same. God doesn’t believe in divorce. Have you not read scripture? What God binds, let no man seperate? The catholic church doesn’t change its stance because God doesn’t change the rules with evolution, political agendas, etc. If you choose another church that follows what your own personal opinion decides, great, but don’t bash the church for holding strong. Learn the actual stance the church has taken before you believe one priest or another former catholic.

  • Janet

    For all you Catholic bashers, you may want to look at when science and education became available to the general public. Before the Church made it easily available, only the royals and rich had access to any type of education. Catholic hospitals make up 25% of hospitals in the nation, a huge portion of education (elem-university) in the country, and the big bang theory was discovered by a catholic priest. No other denomination touches the catholic church in donations, missionary work, educating the poor in 3rd world countries, etc. But good doesn’t sell and you read only what you choose to see. The priests who hurt children are awful and reflect such a small, small number of the population of clergy. How many teachers are good teachers but we only hear of ones sleeping with their students? The RCC doens’t support Susan B. for the simple fact that roughly 13% of their donations, they give to planned parenthood (the largest abortion provider.) Also, abortion has been directly related to increasing the risk for breast cancer. Ironic, huh? Is susan b really out to help women? Planned parenthood doesn’t even provide mamograms. Google it if you need facts. The influence of the church is widely unknown and based on the comments I just read, that fact remains clear.

  • les

    donations must be down for the catholic church. who does this guy think he is ???

  • Beverly

    This article might let some of you know how petty the CC is being on not raising funds for SBK:

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