Bishop – Medical Research is Bound by Faith and Reason

Dear Friends in Christ,


Bishop Leonard P. Blair

Bishop Leonard P. Blair writes a letter to his flock.

Few of us remain untouched by the scourge of breast cancer. Whether among our families, friends or neighbors, there are a great many women in our country who confront this disease every day with tremendous faith and courage.
Researchers, physicians and medical personnel, using their God-given intelligence and skill, work very hard not only to provide healing of those who are afflicted, but also to find a cure. We are all familiar with the mobilization of effort in our country on behalf of this worthy goal.
One of the most widely known initiatives is that of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Many people participate in efforts to raise funds for this cause, including some of our Catholic institutions and schools.
While we want to do everything possible to support the search for a cure, sadly the landscape of medical research today is sometimes marred by the erroneous belief that research is not bound by moral norms rooted in faith and reason, as reflected in the teaching of the Church. That teaching holds, for example, that it is not morally acceptable to destroy one human life, even in its embryonic stage, in order to save another human life.
For some time, moral questions have been raised from various quarters about the research funded by the Komen Foundation. The Bishops of Ohio have discussed this and have looked into the matter. As best we can determine, at present the Komen Foundation does not fund cancer research that employs embryonic stem cells. However, their policy does not exclude that possibility. They are open to embryonic stem cell research, and may very well fund such research in the future. They are also contributors to Planned Parenthood, which, though it may claim to provide needed medical services to poor women, is also the largest provider of abortions in our country.
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.
For that reason, I am directing that in the fight against breast cancer, fundraising carried out under Catholic auspices, including our schools, should be channeled to our locally known Mercy Cancer Centers instead of Komen.
Through Mercy, we can help local women who are without financial means to receive specialized care which includes treatment, detection and support in their fight against breast cancer. We can be assured that at Mercy, these women will receive a high level of compassionate care that respects their human dignity.
More information will be coming to you from Mercy regarding this opportunity. I thank you for your cooperation and support. Together let us pray for all cancer sufferers, especially those in the greatest physical, spiritual and emotional need.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair
Bishop of Toledo

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7 comments to Bishop – Medical Research is Bound by Faith and Reason

  • gloria

    CONGRATULATIONS” Bishop do keep the good work up. Thank you and God Bless

  • terrig

    Thank you for your courage Bishop Blair to stand against Susan B. Komen. I’ve wondered about how millions and millions of dollars have been donated to the Susan B. Komen foundation for many years and yet no cure. Thee’s seems to be a hidden agenda why they want to give funds to Planned Parenthoold since state health departments normally give free mammograms, pelvic exams to poor women. Many hospitals also do health fairs where mammograms are done free. Planned Parenthood has a bad reputation not just for abortions (if you’re pro-life) but other practices such as not reporting child molesters that have impregnated young girls. There was a young woman that recorded all this yet not much was said by mainstream media. I’m glad this Catholic Bishop is taking a stand and doing his duty as a shepherd of souls.

  • Christina

    Most Reverend Leonard P. Blair

    You have taken a courageous stand. We in the Catholic Church cannot and should not fund in any possible way any organisation that has any connection to Planned Parenthood. We know that they promote abortions and this is murder of our innocent unborn. If the Church does not stand up against this evil that has invaded our country, who will? I totally agree with you. It’s about time that the line be drawn.

  • Terri Bell

    Susan G Komen donates to Planned Parenthood to fund specific causes like free mammograms and scans for other types of cancers like, cervical or ovarian cancer to women who cannot afford. SGK states that their donations are specifically earmarked for such things. I am not Catholic so please forgive me if I address the Bishop improperly but Your Excellency, Mercy is a wonderful cause for women who cannot afford treatment. But, as a cancer patient, who also lost her devoted Catholic niece to breast cancer at age 31, leaving behind 3 and 5 year old girls who will never be the same, a loving husband and devastated family, I believe Jesus would want us to help women and families affected by breast and other cancers. SGK has stated they do not fund stem cell research and my feeling here is that the Church feels SGK just might change their minds in the future and therefore should not be supported makes me incredibly sad. If Mercy wants to take the baton to fund research and find a cure, as opposed to just treating it, they”ve got my vote and what little money I have. Jesus healed many, even those who weren’t on his team. Mercy means more than helping people pay for their death certificate. With all due respect. And in Jesus name I pray for balance here. Amen

  • Ana Morales

    Thank you for a couageous piece of information for there is much ignorance even among us catholics. May I suggest the inclusion of the Mercy Centers contact information in your page. Thank you!

  • Does anyone know why they donate to Plan Parenthood? How can this be a part of their mission to cure cancer? Amazingly disturbing.

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