by Max Brantley
Through the office of Msgr. Gaston Hebert, who leads the Catholic Diocese of Arkansas until a new bishop is named, the diocese has told Catholics not to participate in the Race for the Cure, which raises money to fight breast cancer.
Reason: Some affiliates of Race for the Cure (though apparently not in Arkansas), support Planned Parenthood. In some places, not Arkansas, Planned Parenthood is an abortion provider. In some places, it merely serves as an important source of birth control advice. But, most important in the context, Planned Parenthood uses Race for the Cure contributions (solely, a spokesman said) for breast cancer screening.
Facts? The monsignor doesn't need facts. The diocese says the organization supports stem cell research; a spokesman says it doesn't. The diocese also wants the organization to acknowledge the not-medically-accepted view that abortion causes breast cancer.
Schools and parishes have been ordered not to support the effort. Perhaps the monsignor will order Catholic hospitals to return the millions they've received from Race for the Cure in the past and to refuse future contributions.