The Catholic University of America

Catholic University Experts

Ken Pennington

Ken Pennington, Ph.D.

Kelly-Quinn Professor of Ecclesiastical and Legal History

Phone: 202-319-5150

> Web Page


• German
• Italian


• History of Papacy
• Church History
• Legal History
• Church and State
• Poltical Theory and Constitutional Thought

School: Columbus School of Law

Media Appearances

  • February 19, 2016

    New York Times

    Pennington comments on access to Vatican City in relation to Pope's comments on Donald Trump and building walls.

  • March 9, 2015

    CBS This Morning

    On ransom being demanded for stolen letters by Michelangelo: "The people who stole them can't have any idea how much a letter from Michelangelo is worth. One hundred thousand Euros is almost a ridiculously small sum even for one letter," Catholic University of America professor Ken Pennington said. "And if, in fact, as it's been reported that it's two letters, that is an extraordinarily cheap ransom." The items were taken in 1997, but their disappearance was not made public until Sunday.

  • February 24, 2013

    Scandal Surrounds Two Cardinals

    New scandals have surfaced involving two cardinals who both have a say in choosing the next pope.

  • February 17, 2013

    The New York Times

    When a Pope Retires, Is He Still Infallible?

    Pennington is quoted regarding the status of an ex-pope. “We have no rules about that at all. What is his title? What are his powers? Does he lose infallibility?”

  • February 12, 2013 | ABC News 5

    Two-Thirds Majority Needed to Elect New Pope

    Pennington is quoted in summary of articles regarding the fact that there is no modern precedent for a retired pope

  • February 12, 2013

    Boston Globe

    Pope Benedict stuns Catholic world with resignation

    Citing frailty, Benedict XVI announces his departure after 8 years marred by controversy; cardinals are expected to elect a successor next month

Pennington serves as editor of the Bulletin of Medieval Canon Law. Visit Professor Pennington's homepage for a complete list of his scholarly publications, including books and book reviews, editorial projects and series, journal articles, and encyclopedia and dictionary articles.

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