Dear Acton Community,
Over 25 years ago, early in my priesthood, I had an important conversation with my good friend, the renowned economist and writer, Alejandro Chafuen.
I told Alejandro that my time in seminary had convinced me that faith leaders were largely ignorant of the important role they played in sustaining a free society. Many of my colleagues were committed to fostering virtue, but were largely unconcerned about liberty. It seemed clear to me that true virtue could only be demonstrated in the context of free choice - and the attacks on our most basic freedoms imperiled the very virtue that my fellow priests were working so hard to promote. I said that I would like to publish some articles about this problem in order to bring attention to it.
Alejandro said I was thinking much too small.
In addition to writing, Alejandro suggested I should also consider founding an institution dedicated to addressing this important problem.
That conversation led Kris Mauren and me to found the Acton Institute in 1990 with the mission of "promoting a free and virtuous society, characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles."
Over 25 years later Acton Institute continues to thrive, focusing on the complex debate over the moral aspects of the free society. I invite you to join us in this important work by becoming a member of the President's Giving Circle.
Father Robert Sirico