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Wis. diocese bans school trips to research center

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Children who attend Catholic schools within the Madison diocese won't be taking any more field trips to the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery because the facility conducts research using embryonic stem cells.

A Wisconsin State Journal report says the diocese announced its decision Thursday. The diocese says the research runs counter to Catholic teachings on the sanctity of human life.

Michael Lancaster is the superintendent of Catholic schools. He says the decision affects about 7,400 children at 44 schools. However, only a handful of those schools had been taking students to the facility.

Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery is a public-private research center on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Catholic theologian Peter Hess criticized the move. He says educators should use controversial issues as teachable moments, not shrink away from them.

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