Being Responsible: The Church, Human Energies, and Global Poverty
Christian social thought, and specifically the doctrine of subsidiarity, was able to solve problems of material poverty, making the Christian West the first civilization in history to bring economic freedom and prosperity to the common person. This religious tradition, Rev. Robert A. Sirico will argue, remains essential for addressing the modern issues of poverty and human dignity, and offers a preferable alternative to, on the one hand, contemporary emphases on the “common good” and “social justice” (usually defined with collectivist and socialist ideas) and, on the other, the radical individualism of Ayn Rand. A Christian notion of freedom, which understands the human person as both social and individual, is a safer protector and promoter of authentic ‘fraternity’ and sociality than these alternatives, and offers important guideposts for how society and the Christian community is best structured to take account of this reality.
Rev. Robert A. Sirico received his Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic University of America. During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training religious studies students receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today’s social problems. As a result of these concerns, Fr. Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990. As president of the Acton Institute, Fr. Sirico lectures at colleges, universities, and business organizations throughout the U.S. and abroad. His writings on religious, political, economic, and social matters are published in a variety of journals, including: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the London Financial Times, the Washington Times, the Detroit News, and National Review.