MANILA, Philippines–The Ice Bucket Challenge could be sinful.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Archbishop Socrates Villegas said Thursday that donations raised from the popular Ice Bucket Challenge may be funding “unethical” research.
Villegas said that those taking the challenge should ensure that the donations will be coursed to ethical researches and will not fund embryonic stem cell research centers, which is against the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.
“As a pastoral guideline, we therefore urge those participating in the ice-bucket challenge and making donations to ALS research to make a clear and unequivocal declaration that their donation is made on condition that none of it is to be applied to research that involves the use of embryonic stem cells, in vivo or in vitro,” Villegas said.
The Archbishop of Lingayen and Dagupan clarified that the he is not discouraging people to do the challenge or to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research.
“As long as research on ALS as well as other debilitating conditions such as Parkinson’s Diseases and Alzheimer’s keep within the confines of the ethical demands of human dignity, they will be encouraged by the Church, and our Catholic faithful will be urged to support them with generosity and with charity for all who suffer,” said Villegas.
Embryonic stem cell research is unethical according to Roman Catholic teachings because it is an affront to the sanctity of human life and is being equated to committing abortion.
Various dioceses in the United States also issued similar warnings regarding the Ice Bucket Challenge.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $94.3 million according to ALS Association since July 29 and has been done by various international and local celebrities, businessmen, and ordinary citizens.