Arkansas Catholics Asked to Stop Donations to Komen Foundation

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Catholics throughout Arkansas have been asked to stop giving money to a nationally known breast cancer charity over concerns some donations could go to Planned Parenthood.

Monsignor J. Gaston Hebert of Little Rock sent a letter to parishes and Catholic schools this month about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a Dallas-based foundation.  Hebert's letter says many of the foundation's state affiliates contribute some of the money they raise to Planned Parenthood.  The letter also says the foundation supports embryonic stem-cell research and refuses to ackknowledge that there is a link between abortions and breast cancer.

Sherrye McBride, executive director of Komen for the Cure in Arkansas, says the group's Ozark affiliate has given about $350,000 to Catholic hospitals in northwest Arkansas.  She says the Little Rock-based affiliate has given $1.4 million to Catholic hospitals since its first Race for the Cure event in 1992.

McBryde says the group is saddened by Hebert's letter and that the foundation has a long history of working with Catholic organizations to fight breast cancer.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)