Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese today asked it's 128-thousand parishoners to not support a movement to bring legalizing "embryonic stem cell research" to a public vote next year.
Tonight, we talk to Diocese Chancellor Jerry Klein and to the man behind the public vote effort, David Volk.
The statement from Sioux Falls Catholic Bishop Paul Swain was released this afternoon, urging Catholics in the diocese not to support a proposal to legalize embryonic stem cell research, saying in part "Catholics should not circulate or sign a petition to place it on the ballot".
Jerry Klein is the Chancellor of the Sioux Falls Catholic Diocese. "The church encourages research and particularly research that can help bring cures..." But the research the church supports involves adult stem cells, which can be harvested from people with minimal harm.
Klein says embryonic stem cells require the destruction of a human life. "The distinction needs to be made though that when that involves research that destroys life then there would be a concern about that."
The effort to legalize embryonic stem cell research is backed by former South Dakota State Treasurer David Volk. "I quite frankly respectfully disagree with the Bishop."
Volk tells Action News, embryonic stem cell research respects human life by easing the suffering of those with debilitating, fatal illnesses and believes it to be more effective than adult stem cell research. "The embryonic stem cells are much more flexible, much more capable of helping us find cures."
David Volk says tonight, the process of collecting signatures to bring embryonic stem cell research to a public vote will begin sometime next week. KSFY