He declined to say how much the bishop was contributing.
On its website, the National Catholic Bioethics Center cautioned that the ALS Association "advocates for human embryonic stem cell research, including through funding for specific research projects."
"As indicated in the Advocacy Archive section of their website, they were active in encouraging expanded funding for embryonic stem cell research as soon as President Obama took office," the NCBC said, quoting from the ALS Assocation: “Earlier this month, the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, of which The ALS Association is an active member, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to quickly to lift the restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.”
In the midst of the controversy, the ALS Association has said that it primarily funds adult stem cell research.
“Currently, The Association is funding one study using embryonic stem cells (ESC), and the stem cell line was established many years ago under ethical guidelines set by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)," Carrie Munk, a spokeswoman for the ALS Association, said in an email to Religion News Service. "This research is funded by one specific donor, who is committed to this area of research. The project is in its final phase and will come to an end very soon.”
Commented the National Catholic Bioethics Center: "When foundations have a generally sound list of activities but promote an intrinsically immoral activity as well (such as abortion, human embryonic stem cell research, or contraception), donors must consider the serious matter of the fungibility of donated funds. Whenever we participate in fundraising for such organizations, even if they assure us that specified funds will only be used for activities with an ethical profile, it can end up being little more than a shell game. In this sense, there is a real danger that our fundraising activities may not only engender scandal, but may even contribute to the perpetuation of grave evils like abortion and human embryonic stem cell research. The duty to affirm the dignity of human life, and associated questions of scandal resulting from a lack of clarity, can become more significant—with a corresponding need for caution about where the funding is going—when Catholic authorities or institutions such as dioceses and schools are involved."
The organization suggests that people inform organizations like the ALS Association of their decision to donate to an alternative and to explain why they are doing so.
The NCBC also lists a number of other groups who support morally licit forms of research.