Ohio Catholic Diocese Discourages Ice Challenge

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It's a movement sweeping across the country. People are challenging each other to donate to ALS research by dumping buckets of ice water over their heads.

"I actually was nominated," said Bradley Petrella.

As a practicing Catholic, he says he won’t be donating money to the national chapter of ALS. He's siding with the Catholic Church’s stance on embryonic stem cell research.

“I agree with the church on that. I may donate to a group that doesn't do that,” he says.

While ALS supporters have found the Bucket Challenge a godsend - raising millions of dollars for their cause - the Catholic Church is telling its followers that while it's o.k. to participate, just don't donate buckets of money to ALS chapters.

The Roman Catholic Church equates embryonic research to abortion, which it says is "in direct conflict with Catholic teaching and violates the sanctity of human life."

The Cincinnati diocese is encouraging its followers to donate to those organizations with "pro-life driven" research.

“We're certainly respectful where donors want their money put if they are giving money to our organization and they don't want to support that, we will make sure their money doesn't go to support that,” says Marlin Seymour the Executive Director of ALS Columbus and Southern Ohio.

VIEW: ALS Central & Southern Ohio Chapters 

She says despite the church's stance, donations continue to pour in.

“I don't think this impacts this humungous effort that is going on through social media,” she says.

As for Bradley Petrella, he says, “I do plan on donating."

He says he will take the bucket challenge but his donations will follow where the church believes it's better spent.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is not getting involved in this issue.

READ:  Cincinnati Catholic Diocese Statement On Ice Bucket Challenge

It says it has not issued any directives to its bishops discouraging donations to the ALS Association.

The local ALS chapter says those who donate can specify where they want their money to go, just include that with your donation.