Acton Institute Conference Celebrates Pope John Paul II's Intellectual Legacy


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 12, 2006) -To mark the 15 th anniversary of the publication of the landmark encyclical, Centesimus Annus, the Acton Institute is hosting a conference inLublin, Poland, to celebrate the monumental achievements of Pope John Paul IIin the field of Catholic social teaching.

Some of John Paul's closest collaborators and friends willjoin the May 18 conference at the Catholic University of Lublin, the same schoolwhere the young Karol Wojtyla (the future Pope) once held the Chair of Ethics. Lublinis widely considered to be the place where the intellectual ferment that led tothe fall of communism in Poland was first observed.

The conference will fall on John Paul II's birthday, andprecede by one week the first trip to Poland by Pope Benedict XVI.

Centesimus Annus - published on May 1, 1991 - came on the heels of the dramaticevents of 1989 and looked at the economic, political, cultural and moralaftermath of the fall of Communist regimes in Central and Eastern Europe. In a timeof great uncertainty for the future of Poland, Europe and liberal democracy ingeneral, the insights of Centesimus Annus are just as relevant today as they were 15 years ago.

The theme of the event is “For Our Freedom and Yours:Centesimus Annus and the Legacy of John Paul II.” Speakers include: Archbishop Józef Życiński, Archbishopof Lublin and the Grand Chancellor of the John Paul II Catholic University ofLublin; Fr. Robert A. Sirico, presidentand co-founder of the Acton Institute; Fr. Tadeusz Styczeń, aSalvatorian priest, philosopher, ethicist and former student of KarolWojtyła who succeeded him in Chair of Ethics at the Catholic University ofLublin; Fr. Andrzej Szostek, professorat the Catholic University of Lublin, and Fr. Maciej Zięba, theProvincial of the Dominicans of Poland, and one of Poland's foremostinterpreters of the thought of John Paul II.

Separately in Lublin on May 18, the Acton Institute willpresent the Novak Award and its $10,000 prize to Jan Klos, an assistant Socialand Political ethics professor with the Catholic University of Lublin'sDepartment of Philosophy. Dr. Klos will deliver the Calihan Lecture on thesubject of faith and economics.

The CentesimusAnnus conference and theCalihan lecture are free and open to the public. Scholarships are available forqualified students and seminarians who wish to attend the Centesimus Annus conference.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tanklocated in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to“promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual libertyand sustained by religious principles.” For more on the Acton Institute,please visit www.acton.org

About the Acton Institute
With its commitment to pursue a society that is free and virtuous, the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty is a leading voice in the national environmental and social policy debate. The Acton Institute is uniquely positioned to comment on the sound economic and moral foundations necessary to sustain humane environmental and social policies.

The Acton Institute is a nonprofit, ecumenical think tank located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Institute works internationally to "promote a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles." For more on the Acton Institute, please visit www.acton.org.

Interviews with Institute staff may be arranged by contacting John Couretas at (616) 454-3080 or at jcouretas@acton.org.