Uninformed Catholic Bishop Needs to be Quiet About Breast Cancer

If we are ever going to find a cure for the scourge that is breast cancer, we are going to have to have money, lots and lots of it. But if Toledo, Ohio-based Catholic Bishop Leonard Blair has his way, foundations that raise money for research will lose their funding.

And why might this be? Because there is the chance -- however slight and entirely unlikely -- that breast cancer research might just someday involve stem cell research. Therefore, Bishop Batsh*t Blair issued a letter banning all catholic parishes and parochial schools in the area  from raising money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation -- the most prolific organization in the fight against breast cancer.

The Bishop said:

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In order to avoid even the possibility of cooperation in morally unacceptable activities...fundraising activities carried out under Catholic auspices, including our schools, should be channeled elsewhere. In the Diocese of Toledo, Mercy Cancer Centers are a very appropriate local way to channel donations raised under Catholic auspices...

The problem, of course, is that none of the funds ARE going to embryonic cell research. In fact, they have very little implication in the work. Still, not wanting to rule out the possibility in the future, no promises can be made, which means no more funding.

Komen spokeswoman Andrea Rader told Connie Schultz of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

We're not funding any stem-cell research now, but we don't categorically rule it out. We are always looking to move the needle on research that, in the shortest amount of time, will find a cure for breast cancer.

Well, duh. Isn't that what we all want? Apparently Bishop Crazypants feels otherwise. Does this seem totally insane to anyone else?

He is forcing people not to fund important research on the very off chance that maybe someday that embryonic stem cells might be used in the work. It is complete and utter madness and reeks of someone who simply does not understand science or care about women because while men can get the disease, we all know it affects one in six women.

The fact is, the only other organization that supports breast cancer research as heavily as the Komen Foundation is the US government. In just under 30 years, they have raised $610 million for finding a cure and 75 percent of the money raised by the local Komen branches stays local. So this really is directly hurting the women of Northeastern Ohio. As Schultz says:

The Toledo bishop's letter risks bringing harm to the most vulnerable of women with breast cancer: those without the resources for screenings or treatment.

It's true. And as someone whose mother and grandmother both got breast cancer in Northeastern Ohio, it feels especially cruel to me, personally. It is truly disgusting and if I were Catholic, it would make me question my faith.

Do you think this is despicable?

 

Image via diongillard/Flickr

 

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