Eduardo Moisés Peñalver

Eduardo Moisés Peñalver is the Allan R. Tessler Dean of the Cornell Law School. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the subjects of property and land use law.

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Free Exorcise

Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune, the latest insanity from the Bishop of Springfield:

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield said he will offer prayers for "exorcism in reparation for the sin of same-sex marriage" at the same time Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign the same-sex marriage bill into law next week.

Gustavo Gutierrez in Chicago, Friday, Nov. 15

For Chicago area readers:  (For more details and reservations, follow the link.) 

More on Conservative Reactions to Pope Francis

Lots of interesting content in this inaccurately headlined article from the Washington Post.  Some is insightful and heartening, some less so.  Here's a taste of some of the former (HT Balloon Juice):


I'm trying to reconcile these statements, one about and one by U of Chicago's recent Nobel prize winner.

First, from the Chicago Tribune:

Perhaps Better Than We Can Hope For?

Although my first take on the Pope's interview was to see it as not really offering much hope for changes in doctrine, reflecting on it a bit more I see a couple of rays of hope in the section under the heading "Human Self-Understanding" towards the end of the interview.  Quite a few commentators have talked about the Pope's statement in that section about the acceptance of slavery and the death penalty in earlier times.  These are certainly interesting examples, since they are errors that were shared by those in authority in the Church at the time.

Cardinal George's Unenthusiastic Take on the Pope's Interview

Last week, I suggested that conservatives were adopting a fairly blase stance towards the Pope's interview, emphasizing the Pope's affirmation of existing doctrine.  In today's Chicago Tribune, Cardinal George offers a clinic in how to water down the significance of the Pope's remarks:

The Best We Can Hope For

The contrast in reactions to the Pope's recent comments on sexuality and abortion is interesting.  On the left -- especially the secular left -- there is this feeling that Francis is the second coming of John XXIII:  a pope that non-Catholics can feel good about.  On the right, however, there seems to be widespread quiescence.  I have not observed a kind of freak-out that some have expected from Catholic conservatives.  

How can we explain this aymmetry?  I think one thing we are seeing here are the fruits of the Pope's experience during the Argentine dirty war.  This is a man who managed, somehow, to come through an extremely polarized situation with the respect of many on both the right and the left, including several prominent liberation theologians.  This strikes me as only possible for someone who is a true master at quietly building consensus.   

It seems to me that the move he is making -- saying that the Church has become too preoccupied with abortion and gay marriage and contraception without saying that those teachings are in any need of revision -- is quite literally the only thing he could do without angering one or the other side of the debates on those issues.  

Cuban Bishops Call for Reform

This is an important development in light of the very cautious stance the Cuban church has long taken towards the government there:

Cuba's Roman Catholic church leadership in a letter to parishioners called on the communist-run country's leaders to "update" the political system to allow more freedom similar to liberalization undertaken in the economy.

Sit-in Planned for Fired Gay Teacher

Former students of St. Lucy's Priory High School in Glendora, California are planning to sit-in at a school board meeting tonight in their ongoing protest against the firing of Ken Bencomo.  Bencomo -- who had been teaching at St. Lucy's for 17 years -- was terminated after a local newspaper featured a story about his marraige to his long-time partner, Christopher Persky.  An on-line petition organized on by St.

Catholic and Evangelical Law Professors Together

A group of Catholic and evangelical law profs have published a joint statement inspired by a similar statement spearheaded several years ago by Chuck Colson and Richard John Neuhaus.  Here's a link to the statement, which will be published in both the Journal of Catholic Social Thought and the Journal of Christian Thought.  Its digital format (and content, for that matter) makes it hard to excerpt.  So you'll have to read it for yourself.