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The dignity of human persons and our potential to freely choose moral goods are marred and frustrated by the reality of sin. Our hearts are often divided, tragically working against our own nature, our neighbors and our very God. The reality of sin makes the state necessary to restrain evil. The ubiquity of sin, however, requires that the state be limited in its power and jurisdiction. This persistent reality of sin requires that we be skeptical of all utopian “solutions” to problems that are not grounded in faith in God, moral restraint according to natural law and the necessity of God’s grace in our fallen world.

This is why the Acton Institute has always seen virtue as the essential companion to freedom. To paraphrase Lord Acton, liberty is not merely the power to follow our desires but the right to fulfill our duties. In this issue, you will read about programing geared toward engaging with false solutions, such as Marxism, cronyism and the arbitrary power of judges, which ignore the reality of sin in our world. You will also learn about recent publications by Acton that address the pressing issue of student debt and the wonderful new monograph The American Experiment in Ordered Liberty.

The Acton Institute could not engage the public, academics and leaders in the church and in business on these vital issues without the support of our generous donors. Thank you for your continued support of the Acton Institute. If you are just learning about Acton, we invite you to find additional resources on our website. Please also prayerfully consider supporting us in our mission to present the moral vision for a truly free society. It is only in a society both free and virtuous that human persons can fulfill their God-given nature by acting in accord with it, resisting temptation and serving others.

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Rev. Robert A. Sirico received his Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic University of America following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London.  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.