Catholic Church At Odds With Ice Bucket Challenge

Richmond, VA - The Catholic Diocese of Richmond is joining a growing number of Catholic church authorities that are warning members about religious conflicts related to the recent ice bucket challenge phenomenon.

Last week 29 Catholic Schools that fall under Richmond's umbrella were notified.

On Tuesday 146 parishes were also informed by letter.

A spokeswoman said the diocese supports all the work being done to take on ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, but they want members to research where it is they send their money to benefit the cause.

Leaders point out that the ALS Association does some testing using embryonic stem cells - which the Catholic church considers immoral.

The suggestion is to donate to groups that use adult stem cells in their research and not embryonic stem cells.

"Embryonic stem cell research... as part of that research an embryo is destroyed. So, of course, we cannot support any research that destroys a human embryo because all life is sacred at all stages of human development," said Diana Snider who is the diocese's communications manager.

The Catholic church endorses groups like the John Paul II Medical Research Institute, based in Iowa, which does not use embryonic stem cells in their research.