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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



  1. Martha Slocum says:

    What is wrong with this man? Does he hate women so much that he wants to stop any research to combat this terrible disease? How would any research that has helped mankind (e.g. immunizations) have occurred if there was a fear that something bad might happen?

  2. Andy says:

    I am mystified by the fact that some people would actually discontinue support of an organization that has done so much good and blindly follow the order of an ignoramus who is a unelected leader of an organization that has systematically hidden child abuse and sexual deviance of its inner circle.

  3. Eileen Kovatch says:

    Is there a factual basis for anticipating Komen’s donating funds for embryonic research or is this paranoia over what they could do? Maybe they just want to divert attention from the vatican investigation of bishops in Ohio!

  4. KS says:

    There are indeed many criticisms that could be justly leveled against many bishops, but Blair, etc., are right on this one. Komen endorses embryonic stem cell research and many local affiliates contribute to Planned Parenthood. Considering that embryonic stem cell research is morally off-limits–not to mention thus far a therapeutic dead-end–and there is a well-established link between abortion and breast cancer, one may question both the judgment and the moral character of the Komen organization. That’s not to say that they don’t do a lot of good, but they have thus far refused to budge on these important flaws, despite the objections raised by Catholics and others.

  5. Siena says:

    Not too subtle a misogynist, is he? Not too arrogant a rationale… “may someday fund embryonic stem cell research”. What great prophetic insight and arrogance.
    The Komen Foundation’s work has done more for the health and well being of Catholic women than all of the bishops combined. Leadership in this church just gets more and more embarrassing and ignorant.

    • Peggy says:

      Right on Siena! I’m embarrased by the short-sightedness and misplaced priorities of some bishops. I wish the UCCB had the authority to silence such off-the-wall applications of doctrine

  6. L Newington says:

    That sounds right:
    Raising funds for legal fees and retiring clergy, yes (not bishops, as they’re well taken care of).
    No wonder the executive director was disappointed, why can’t the bishops be in union with each other. It seems to be a world wide phenomenon on many issues.


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