Archdiocese to parishes: drop support of Komen

Details from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

The Archdiocese of Atlanta has directed its parishes, missions and schools to end support or participation in activities related to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

In a memo dated Monday, the archdiocese acknowledged the beneficial work of Komen to raise awareness about breast cancer and treatment, but it criticized grants given by some Komen affiliates to Planned Parenthood because of that organization’s role as an abortion provider. The memo called any support for Planned Parenthood “an occasion for scandal.”

Critics said the directive, coming during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, appears to be “mean-spirited.”

The archdiocese’s actions put the spotlight once again on an issue that many thought had died down.

Earlier this year, Komen decided — then reversed that decision — to end grants to Planned Parenthood for breast exams. The initial move drew the ire of women’s groups and public health advocates while drawing support from conservative groups.

The archdiocese says Facebook postings by Komen’s affiliate in Atlanta and news reports led the archdiocese to believe it was “working behind the scenes to encourage the national Komen office to resume funding.” The articles and Facebook posting were several months old.

“Until recently, donations to the Greater Atlanta affiliate of the Komen fund did not constitute a direct cooperation with evil, because none of the money they raised went to Planned Parenthood,” the memo stated.

As a result, the archdiocese, which represents about 1 million Catholics in North Georgia, said support for Komen by Catholic institutions should end.

Pat Chivers, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said an individual’s participation in Komen-related events or other kinds of support would be up to that person.

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