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Sirico Parables book

    A crisis is not a time to develop one’s philosophy. Crises catch us off guard. If we don’t have a firmly grounded worldview prior to their arrival, we will find ourselves desperately grasping for one. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sweep the globe, many are trying to make sense of this new world in which we find ourselves. We find ourselves in a real crisis. In times like these we must turn to our clearly developed principles.

    It has been the business of the Acton Institute for the last thirty years to promote such a set of clearly developed principles. In so doing, we work to advance us toward a free and virtuous society. Such principles give us sure footing to meet the challenges of these troubling times. They do so because they are universal and foundational to the common good. The common good cannot be realized without a recognition of the dignity of the human person, the social nature of the person, the rule of law and the subsidiary role of government. I’ve been laying out principles like these and their application to our current crisis in a series of video messages you can watch at

    In this issue you will read about our decision to continue with our annual Acton University conference, but to transition to an online experience. Also, there is an article that reflects how Acton core principles apply to the present crisis, along with a profile of our new managing director of programs, Stephen Barrows. Lastly, there is an update on the ongoing protests in Venezuela, which have been largely overlooked by the mainstream media.

    The Acton Institute could not advance this vision of a free and virtuous society without the generous support of our donors. In these difficult times, your support is both crucial and appreciated. If you are just learning about Acton, be sure to check out our website for timely articles, videos and podcasts designed to share Acton’s vision of a free and virtuous society. Please also prayerfully consider supporting us in our mission.

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    Rev. Robert A. Sirico is president emeritus and the co-founder of the Acton Institute. Hereceived 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.