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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