People

July 28, 2009

Sister Elizabeth Liebert took over as dean of San Francisco Theological Semi nary on June 30, becoming the first Catholic nun in that post at a Presby terian Church (U.S.A.) seminary. Liebert has taught at SFTS for 22 years and was the first Catholic to receive tenure at the 138-year-old school. “We are particularly pleased to be attaining a historic ecumenical milestone,” said SFTS president Phil Butin. “Behind me is my whole religious community,” said Liebert, a member of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary. “We’re always talking and praying.” The PCUSA has ten seminaries in the U.S.

The former Catholic archbishop of Milwaukee, who resigned amid a sex scandal in 2002, reveals his struggles with homo sexuality and the church in a memoir, A Pilgrim in a Pilgrim Church: Memoirs of a Catholic Archbishop (Eerdmans). Rembert Weakland headed the archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1977 until 2002, when a former Marquette University theology student disclosed that he was paid $450,000 to settle a sexual-assault claim against the archbishop. Weakland denied the assault but took “responsibility for the inappropriate nature of my relationship. I apologize for any harm done to him.” Said Publishers Weekly: “Weakland is up front about his homosexuality in a church that preferred to ignore gays.”

Thomas J. Mullen, 74, a longtime professor of applied theology at the Earlham School of Religion, Richmond, Indiana, and author of 14 books, died June 19 of a massive stroke in Indianapolis. The Friends pastor was also known as a humorist. His books include Birthdays, Holidays and Other Disasters; Living Longer and Other Sobering Possibilities; and Laughing Out Loud and Other Religious Experiences. Mullen joined the Earlham faculty in 1972.