Photo: Bishop in Pittsburgh Accepts Ice Bucket Challenge

The money from this was donated to an organization which does research on adult stem cells. A picture of this is printed right on the front page of the current edition of the Pittsburgh diocesan newspaper. See for this,

Good for His Excellency! He took the ice water and donated money to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute for ALS research.

May God Bless him.

What an incredible example he has set! By going along with this hot trend to show he has his finger on the pulse of the culture, but by making sure the money goes somewhere worthy that doesn’t support abortion. Kudos to Father Colamarino and Bishop David Zubik!

I’d heard that Hall of Fame ballplayer George Brett called out radio host Rush Limbaugh to do this. Limbaugh hesitated long enough to investigate the proposition. He said on air that what was proposed was (I paraphrase) donate OR volunteer to be bucketed.

On further investigation, Limbaugh learned that some of the monies go to EMBRYONIC stem cell research (which kills living embryos in the process). Did the Bishop know that?

The ALS Association explains that in its quest to “leave no stone unturned” to find effective treatments and a cure for Lou Gehrig’s Disease, that an embryotic stem cell study was its current primary fund recipient. According to, that study involves stem cells taken from a fetus aborted at eight weeks. The ALS Association, emphasizing the need for “appropriate scientific review and ethical guidelines” in stem cell research, says that it allows donors to request that their donations not be used to fund embryonic stem cell research, or any projects involving human stem cells.

Re: Post #2.

The ALS Association, emphasizing the need for “appropriate scientific review and ethical guidelines” in stem cell research, says that it allows donors to request that their donations not be used to fund embryonic stem cell research, or any projects involving human stem cells.

Yeah suuuuure. Money - fungible. Planned Parenthood uses the same line. Charities often use this kind of talk to make donors feel warm and fuzzy.

Anyway, CaptFun, as has been pointed out already, the good Bishop donated to the JPII institute, not ALSA.

The money from the bishop’s ice bucket challenge will not be used to fund embryonic stem cell research, but to the John Paul II Medical Research Institute, where it will be used towards research on adult stem cells. Unlike embryonic stem cell research, this research in no way involves abortions.

The Catholic Church has taken some public hits during the past weeks, after several bishops spoke against the Ice Bucket Challenge. Their opposition was based upon where donations were typically sent: the ALS Association. As the bishops (and now Limbaugh) have noted, that organization sometimes funds research using embryonic stem cells. Here at CAF we have had a few discussion threads regarding this.

The various bishops have recommended donating to a research organization which does not use ESC. The John Paul II Medical Research Institute has been often suggested. I am gladdened that Bishop Zubik has personally demonstrated that participation in the Ice Bucket Challenge is acceptable to Catholics. We are opposed to ESC, but we are also opposed to ALS.

Here is a news article which mentions the bishop’s perspective.

Bishop Zubik pointed to the witness of Pope Francis, who has noted the importance of taking the faith to the marketplace. In this case, to something that has been a fad to this point.

“I think it is a privilege to be able to connect the dots,” he said. “To connect Jesus to what we’re doing here, and to see so many people receptive to all that as well, too.”

Prior to the challenge, the bishop celebrated a Mass with a standing-room congregation.

He said the challenge was more than a ritual of a bucket and ice, but as disciples of Christ the water represented Jesus coming into our hearts. And just as the symbolism does not end at baptism, the same held true for them that day.

The symbolism of water tells us that we are not alone and that Jesus is with us, Bishop Zubik noted, and that we are called to share Jesus with others. We are called to share our love for those in need through our words and deeds. “If we’re seeking to make sure the world revolves around us, we better change and change fast,” he said.

Most people are not comfortable with having ice water thrown on them, the bishop said, and he noted that he is careful about his own appearance. But he said that we have to muster the courage to reach out of our comfort zone and help others.

“We need to step outside ourselves and be uncomfortable,” he said.

In addition to Bishop Zubik, Father Colamarino, who serves as pastor of St. Joseph in Duquesne, was also doused. Fr. Colamarino has been battling ALS for more than a year.

I think this whole phenomenon has gotten a bit confused in some stories because of the similarity of acronyms. First. there is ALS – the disease. Second, there is ALSA – one organization (and probably the biggest) that does research on ALS in order to find a cure.

It is the ALSA that has one study being conducted that utilizes Embryonic Stem Cell Research. Not all ALS research organizations do such studies. The whole Ice Bucket Challenge arose not from the ALSA themselves but simply from those wanting to increase awareness for ALS. ALSA has simply been the largest beneficiary of this viral internet sensation.

As the second posts says, Bishop Zubik’s money went not to the ALSA but to a Catholic organization that does ALS research. Nothing wrong with that. :thumbsup:

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