Make an informed decision about research


Croatian bridge brings back memories
To the editor:
The photo of the old stone bridge at Mostar that accompanied Dan Ebener’s article in the Aug. 14 Catholic Messenger brought back memories for me. In 1989 my husband Francis and I were in Mostar as part of a trip to Medjugorje, and we walked across the bridge.
I am wondering what year Ebener’s photo was taken, and here’s why. That stone bridge was built in the 13th century, and we learned that the man who designed it was so afraid that it might not hold up and if so, the ruler would have him beheaded; so he hid for a length of time. He need not have worried. It was still there 600 years later when we walked over it. But just a few years later there was war there, and the bridge was destroyed by bombs. We saw it on TV.
It was replaced by a utilitarian flat steel bridge, because people had to have a way to cross the river. But the old bridge was a work of art and was even featured in National Geo­graphic the year before we walked on it. There were (are?) plans to replace the old bridge with a stone replica, and I am wondering if that has been done, or is Ebener’s photo one that was taken before 1989? Just wondering.
Teresa Mottet
Fairfield, IA
Make an informed
decision about research
To the Editor:
My sincerest prayers go out to all families who have had members stricken with ALS or any other chronic or terminal disease. My mother and two of her siblings suffered for many years with a similar progressive degenerative neuromuscular disease which ultimately took their lives.
Although we hope and pray for cures to be developed or found for these and many other diseases and injuries, we as Catholics should inform ourselves about the charitable and research organizations to which we donate our time and money and make sure that they are in accord with Catholic teaching.
Nowhere in the article “Thanks God for ice buckets and ALS awareness” (which appeared in the Aug. 21, 2014, edition of The Catholic Messenger) did it mention that the ALS Association, which is conducting the internet fundraising campaign known as The Ice Bucket Challenge, endorses the use of embryonic stem cells and is apparently currently conducting a study using embryonic stem cells. It also does not mention the fact that the human beings from which the embryonic stem cells are harvested die in the process. These vital pieces of information are necessary for those who might be considering taking the challenge and donating money to this organization.
The failure on the part of The Catholic Messenger to do its own research and make these facts available to all of its readers in advance of printing the article about the challenge is most disappointing and discouraging. We cannot have informed consciences without having the facts first. Please take the time to find out about any charitable or medical research organization that you feature in The Catholic Messenger and make sure that these organizations’ views are in accordance with Church teaching before you feature them.
Debbie Hellwig
Iowa City

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