Religion Briefs

Rabbinical intern to work at Har Shalom

Eli Herb, a student at Hebrew College in Boston, will spend a second summer as a rabbinical intern at Congregation Har Shalom, 2537 County Road 203. He is returning to the area that his family calls home, to serve the community that inspired him to attend rabbinical school.

Herb will conduct eight shabbatonim, including: Friday evening Kabbalat Shabbat services with a sermon at 6:30 p.m., followed by a meal and program at 7:30 p.m.; and Saturday morning Torah services, beginning at 10 a.m., followed by a potluck lunch.

He also will conduct Family Shabbat services and one-day retreats for youths and families. Herb is available for one-on-one study, tutoring, chaplaincy and private counseling, principally for congregation members, but also for other interested people.

For more information, call 799-1324 or email

Vatican commission clears John Paul II for sainthood

VATICAN CITY – Pope John Paul II has cleared the final obstacle before being made a saint, awaiting just the final approval from Pope Francis and a date for the ceremony that could come as soon as Dec. 8, a Vatican official and news reports said this week.

The ANSA news agency reported that a commission of cardinals and bishops met Tuesday to consider John Paul’s case and signed off on it. A Vatican official confirmed that the decision had been made some time ago and that Tuesday’s meeting was essentially a formality.

One possible canonization date is Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a major feast day for the Catholic Church. This year the feast coincidentally falls on a Sunday, which is when canonizations usually occur.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized by the church to discuss saint-making cases on the record, confirmed reports in La Stampa newspaper that John Paul could be canonized together with Pope John XXIII, who called the Second Vatican Council but died in 1963 before it was finished.

Man, 51, arrested after fight over church pew space

PLAIN CITY, Utah – Utah authorities say a dispute over pew space during a Mormon church baby blessing led to a bloody nose.

Weber County Sheriff’s Lt. Mark Lowther says officers were called Sunday morning to a Plain City meetinghouse of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Lowther says a family had saved some seats so family members could have a better view of the baby blessing.

Witnesses say the argument began when 51-year-old Wayne Dodge sat in the section.

The dispute continued after the service, with Dodge allegedly punching a man in the face. Officials say the victim also was struck by Dodge’s vehicle in the parking lot and ended up on the hood.

Dodge was booked into the Weber County jail on suspicion of aggravated assault and disorderly conduct.

In Ireland, Catholic leaders decry abortion bill

DUBLIN – Ireland appeared on course to legalize abortion in extremely restricted circumstances as lawmakers voted Tuesday to support a bill that would permit pregnancies to be terminated when deemed necessary to save the woman’s life.

Catholic leaders warned that the proposed law, which faces a final vote next week, would become a “Trojan horse” leading eventually to widespread abortion access in Ireland. But Prime Minister Enda Kenny insisted Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion would remain unaffected, and his government’s Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill won overwhelming backing in a 138-24 vote.

Ireland’s 1986 constitutional ban on abortion commits the government to defend the life of the unborn and the mother equally. Ireland’s abortion law has been muddled since 1992, when the Supreme Court ruled that this “ban” actually meant that terminations should be legal if doctors deem one essential to safeguard the life of the woman – including, most controversially, from her own suicide threats.

Herald Staff and Associated Press

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