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Archdiocese Cautions Catholic Schools About Taking ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The Chicago Catholic archdiocese is throwing a little cold water on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the viral phenomenon that is dominating social media lately.

WBBM Newsradio's Steve Miller reports the ice bucket challenge has so far brought in more than $40 million dollars for the ALS Association, which helps fund research into Lou Gehrig's Disease.

Chicago Archdiocese Schools Superintendent Sister Mary Paul McCaughey has told the principals of the 248 Catholic schools in the Chicago area that the ALS Association is "not a good match" for Catholic schools.

"It uses embryonic stem cells for its research," she said.


McCaughey told principals if their schools do take the ice bucket challenge, they should donate to the John Paul II Medical Research Center, which only uses adult stem cells.

Mary Ilene Blondell, development director for Chicago's ALS Association, said that's a disappointment.

"I think it is - just because of the misinformation and how perhaps it's skewed within the public that we're actively pursuing this as a form of research inquiry," she said.

Blondell said only a very small part of ALS Association funding goes to embryonic stem cell research. In addition, anyone may restrict a donation and earmark it only for research that does not use embryonic stem cells.

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