Pope Francis has appointed Father Albino Barrera, a Filipino Dominican theologian and economist, as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
The 65-year-old priest, who is based in the United States, is a moral theologian and professor of economics and theology at Providence College of Providence, Rhode Island.
The priest, who has a doctorate in economics from Yale University, has been teaching and pursuing research in the fields of moral theology, economic ethics, economic development, international trade and the connection between economics and theology.
Father Barrera was born in Manila in 1956 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1993.
He studied engineering at De La Salle University in the Philippines, received a degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., in 1994, and completed his Ph.D. in economics from Yale in 1988.
In 2013, the Dominican order conferred on him a degree of master of sacred theology in recognition of his work promoting sacred sciences and for excellence in stimulating and leading doctrinal reflection and research “of outstanding value and by significant status.”
He has authored numerous publications, such as: The work of Catholic missionaries in mitigating market-government failures for the poor; what sacred Scripture teaches about economic life; the evil of scarcity; and economic ethics and globalization and “market complicity.”
The Vatican announced his appointment to the Academy on Tuesday, September 14.
Pope John Paul II established the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in 1994 to study and discuss the progress of the social sciences, primarily economics, sociology, law and political science.