News Briefs

The Freedom From Religion Foundation on Sept. 13 challenged the constitutionality of the “parish exemption” tax deductions that clergy are allowed to claim on housing expenses. • Catholic Charities of New Orleans received $15 million, the largest single grant in its history, from the Baton Rouge Area Foundation to oversee an effort to provide direct assistance, counseling and job training to Louisiana fishing families affected by the 2010 B.P. oil spill. • Troy Davis was executed on Sept. 21 in Georgia despite petitions from more than 650,000 people around the world, including Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former President Jimmy Carter. • Urging improved cooperation to end human trafficking, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, Vatican representative to U.N. agencies in Geneva, said on Sept. 14 that more must be done to strengthen a culture in which the relationship between men and women is based on mutual “respect and not on merchandizing the body.” • Discussing the possibility of optional celibacy, Edward Daly, former Bishop of Derry, in Northern Ireland, told the BBC on Sept. 13, “It may create a whole new set of problems, but I think it’s something that should be considered.”

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President Trump’s budget provides a boost to “our common defense” at the price of cutting support for “the general welfare.”
Leon E. PanettaApril 28, 2017
 04.19.2017 Pope Francis greets a young choir member during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican April 19. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
The pope practices a 'very pastorally engaged moral theology.'
Sean Salai, S.J.April 28, 2017
If anyone doubted the damage a shallow, sanitized Marian ideal of womanhood could inflict—on women, on faith and on the church—Margaret Atwood’s 'The Handmaid’s Tale' shows us.
Eloise BlondiauApril 28, 2017
A billboard with a picture of Egyptian Coptic Pope Tawadros II, left, welcomes Pope Francis, at St. Mark's Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, on Thursday, April 27, 2017.  (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)
Pope Francis came to Egypt on Friday for a historic two-day visit aimed at presenting a united Christian-Muslim front to repudiate violence committed in God's name.