US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Ohio bishop discourages support for Komen Foundation

By Elizabeth Lefebvre | Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare

Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo, Ohio issued a statement last month discouraging parishes and parochial schools from raising money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, expressing concern that the foundation could one day fund embryonic stem cell research.

The Komen foundation has never funded stem cell research, nor is it currently doing so (which the bishop recognizes), and it does not even have specific plans in place to support this research. However, Bishop Blair fears that because the foundation’s policy does not explicitly exclude the potential of stem cell research, its work could become “morally unacceptable” in light of the Catholic church’s position on the issue. Therefore, the bishop believes that the foundation should not be supported by fundraising “carried out under Catholic auspices.”

“In order to avoid even the possibility of cooperation in morally unacceptable activities, the other Bishops and I believe that it would be wise to find alternatives to Komen for Catholic fundraising efforts,” the statement reads.

In its nearly 30 year history, the Komen foundation and its Race for the Cure events have raised nearly $2 billion toward breast cancer screening and research efforts…all conducted within the acceptable realm of Catholic teachings. Shouldn’t Bishop Blair wait until the Foundation is actually “guilty” of doing (or even planning) something contrary to Catholic moral teaching before advising against its support?

Read the Komen foundation’s response here.