Jesuit Biblical scholar Carlo M. Martini, 52, who has headed both the Gregorian University and the Pontifical Biblical Institute, has been named Archbishop of Milan, one of the most prestigious posts in the Roman Catholic Church. Although there are about 60 Jesuit missionary bishops in the third world countries, there are very few in Europe and North America.
The Rev. Dr. Charles Edward Berger, 67, has retired after 24 years as rector at All Saints Episcopal Church in Chevy Chase. Active in the affairs of both the Washington and Maryland Episcopal dioceses, Berger has declined repeated offers to teach because of his commitment to parish work. The priest plans to write and travel during his retirement.
Ralph Stoody, a pioneer in church communications who founded the news department of the United Methodist Church, died in Pompano Beach, Fla., Dec. 30 at the age of 83.
Deprogrammer Ted Patrick was indicted in San Diego on charges of kidnaping a young woman member of the Church of Scientology in an unsuccessful deprogramming effort backed by the woman's father. In a separate case, two of Patrick's associates were ordered by a federal judge in Los Angeles to pay $10,000 to a Hare Krishna follower whom they attempted to deprogram.
Dr. Jimmy Allen, immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, has been named president of that body's Radio and Television Commission.
The Rev. Wilfrid H. Paradis, who shepherded the development of the National Catechetical Directory for the U.S. Catholic Conference, has resigned as the Conference's secretary of education. He will return to his home diocese of Manchester, N.H., to write a scholarly history of the diocese.
David Virtue, who left the Virginia Churchman last year following a dispute over the publication's editorial policy on homosexuality, has been named media director of the American Bible Society.
Shelia D. Collins, director of the United Methodist Office of Voluntary Service, has stirred a controversy in that church because of a speech in which she described an abortion she underwent as a "holy experience." Collins, who had the abortion when she became pregnant during an extra-marital relationship, told a conference on women and religion that "next to my childbirths" the abortion was "the holiest experience of my life." She later explained that in the experience she "understood God to be present, bringing healing and forgiveness. And I understand that to be the meaning of Incarnation."