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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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 A photo panel shows Pennsylvania Bishops Ronald W. Gainer of Harrisburg, David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh, Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Alfred A. Schlert of Allentown, Edward C. Malesic of Greensburg and Lawrence T. Persico of Erie. The Pennsylvania attorney general released a grand jury report Aug. 14 on a months-long investigation into abuse claims spanning a 70-year period in the six dioceses. (CNS photo/courtesy of the dioceses)
The state’s attorney general said that his office’s two-year investigation identified 301 priests who abused children and more than 1,000 victims.
One of the leading novelists of our age on faith, fiction and his distrust of religious institutions.
James T. KeaneAugust 14, 2018
Panel members Ivor Frank and Alexis Jay at a public hearing of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse (courtesy of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse)
The new report finds evidence of appalling sexual and physical mistreatment of students as young as 7, as well as a culture of secrecy, at two abbey schools.
David StewartAugust 14, 2018
The Gospel calls on all of us to get past “analysis paralysis,” where direct action is always put off in favor of more research and discernment.
Mary M. McConnahaAugust 14, 2018