Bishop of Toledo bars assistance to Breast cancer group

Bishop Leonard Blair

Toledo Catholic Bishop Leonard Blair has banned parishes and parochial schools from raising funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, citing concerns that the global anti-cancer giant may someday fund embryonic stem-cell research.

Mary Westphal, executive director of the Northwest Ohio Affiliate Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and board chairman Angie Ash said they were “extremely disappointed” in Bishop Blair’s decision.

Neither Bishop Blair nor other diocesan leaders called or met with local Komen officials before the decision was announced, Ms. Westphal and Ms. Ash said, giving them no opportunity to discuss his concerns.

Ms. Westphal and Miss Ash said they will request a meeting with Bishop Blair, who was out of the country Monday and not available for comment.

A similar ban on fund-raising for Komen was announced this year by Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati, but not by the state’s four other Roman Catholic bishops.

Carolyn Jurkowitz, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Ohio, said the bishops have discussed among themselves Komen’s policy on embryonic stem-cell research, but have not issued a statement or set policy as a group. [more]


Toledo Blade