A Message from the Desk of Fr. Larry …


Instead of the “Ice Bucket” Challenge …

… consider a donation to The John Paul II Medical Research Institute


     In recent weeks, a popular charitable trend called the “Ice Bucket Challenge” has spread quickly around the country via social media websites. The phenomenon is meant to raise awareness and funds for the ALS Association, which researches the debilitating disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.


     Combating such a disease is essential and admirable. However, the ALS Association is a supporter of embryonic stem-cell research. While the Catholic Church supports research using stem cells from adults, it opposes embryonic stem-cell research, which requires the destruction of human embryos. The Catechism of the Catholic Church details the Catholic teaching on the dignity of all human life, from the moment of conception onward:


“Since it must be treated from conception as a person, the embryo must be defended in its integrity,

cared for, and healed, as far as possible, like any other human being.” (CCC No. 2274)


     On its website, the ALS Association writes, “Adult stem cell research is important and should be done alongside embryonic stem cell research as both will provide valuable insights. Only through exploration of all types of stem cell research will scientists find the most efficient and effective ways to treat diseases.”


     Further, in an email to the American Life League (www.all.org), a representative from the ALS Association wrote, “Currently, the Association is funding one study using embryonic stem cells (ESC) …”


     We are all encouraged to pray for those who suffer from ALS and their loved ones. If you would like to financially support an alternative medical research organization that upholds the dignity of all human life, consider the John Paul II Medical Research Institute, which is online at www.jp2mri.org. The Institute “seeks to find cures and therapies exclusively using a variety of adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells, and does not engage in embryonic stem cell research of any kind.” 

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