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[quote:f332cb1842=“NYTimes”]December 8, 2006
[b:f332cb1842]Catholic Clergy Attack French Telethon Over Stem Cell Aid[/b:f332cb1842]
By ELAINE SCIOLINO
PARIS, Dec. 7 █ For the secular French state, the attack by the country╠s Roman Catholic hierarchy comes close to a declaration of war.
For two decades, the country╠s Muscular Dystrophy Association has run a wildly popular annual telethon to raise money for medical research.
Indeed, the 34-hour fund-raiser, which begins Friday night at the Trocad╗ro esplanade in Paris and will be shown on national television, is expected to surpass last year╠s record of more than $138 million in donations.
But this year, the Roman Catholic Church here has sullied the reputation of the telethon, with some church officials calling its financing of research on embryonic stem cells immoral.
But the separation of church and state is an unshakable pillar of the French Republic, and these attacks have been met with sharp resistance.
Government officials and the leaders of the French medical establishment have made clear that the church has no business interfering in matters of state, especially when they involve a practice that is legal. ... [/quote:f332cb1842]
Looks like we in the US aren’t the only ones with this issue. However, the French government is clearly pursuing a more enlightened, secularist policy than is the US.