ROME, February 7, 2012 ( – In an interview this week with Vatican Radio, the Catholic bishop of Toledo, Ohio, said that until the Susan G. Komen Foundation had clarified its position with regards to funding Planned Parenthood, Catholics should consider donating instead to local Catholic charities. Komen’s apparent decision on Friday to reverse their initial decision to discontinue funding the abortion giant “came as a great disappointment,” Bishop Leonard Blair said.

“We were very happy recently with the welcome news that Komen for the Cure was disassociating itself from Planned Parenthood, it would no longer provide funds to them; only to find out within a few days afterward that they had reversed that decision.” Bishop Blair said that the events of last week demonstrate that Komen was clearly making “an attempt to separate themselves from Planned Parenthood.”

Bishop Leonard Blair is in Rome on his traditional “ad limina” visit, meeting with Vatican officials and Pope Benedict. He spoke to Vatican Radio after last week’s uproar over Komen’s initial announcement. Following the media frenzy, a confusing follow-up statement from Komen in which they appeared to leave the door open to future funding of Planned Parenthood left pro-life people in a quandary.


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Bishop Blair said that the bishops’ concerns about Komen started years ago when local Catholics alerted them that Komen was funding the world’s largest abortionist organization, and because of Komen’s possible support of embryonic stem cell research. After studying the question, the Ohio bishops decided to stop funding of Komen by Catholic institutions such as parishes and schools. Although the bishops did not at the time prohibit Catholics from donating to Komen, Blair said they had “misgivings” about the issue.

“Obviously we all want to support research to find a cure for breast cancer. That is the goal… But not with these entanglements with Planned Parenthood and the possibility of embryonic stem cell research.”

While the status of Komen funding for Planned Parenthood remains unclear, it was also made public last week that Komen has a new policy not to fund embryonic stem cell research.

Bishop Blair admitted that with the Catholic Church heavily involved with healthcare, it can be difficult to navigate around such moral problems. “We’re living in a world today in the United States and elsewhere where it is difficult sometimes to make the proper distinctions.”

“Many times, many worthy goals and pursuits have entanglements with things from the moral point of view, from our Catholic faith, that we cannot support.” He called the Ohio bishops’ decision not to make institutional gifts to Komen one of “prudential judgment” that some other U.S. bishops had not chosen to follow.

“It is a matter of prudence” to decide how to respond to such situations. “But we’re always trying to be vigilant about these things.”