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On Thursday, 5 December 2019 (14:00-17:00 CET), Acton Institute will hold an afternoon conference in Rome on Newman and Controversies in Catholicism at the Pontifical Urbaniana University. All are welcome to attend this event, which is free and includes lunch (advance registration required for lunch).

Join the Conversation: #NewmanControversy

Download the Event Poster: English - Italiano

This conference will be broadcast live in English

There is no century in which some controversy has not preoccupied the Church. The thought of Cardinal John Henry Newman has proved crucial for helping Catholics to navigate these disputes and understand how the Church’s approach to different questions can change over time without contradicting itself.

This conference will examine some past and present controversies within the Church from the standpoint of Newman’s idea of doctrinal development. Bringing together scholars from around the world to examine questions such as usury, religious liberty, and the nation-state, they will show how Church teaching has reacted to major political, social, and economic changes and the implications of this for the Church’s engagement with modernity today.


Conference Speakers

Prof. Luca Tuninetti
Pontifical Urbaniana University

Professor of Epistemology

Dr. Luca Tuninetti is full professor of epistemology at the Pontifical Urbaniana University in Rome. Born in Lovere, near Bergamo, Dr. Tuninetti earned his undergraduate degree in philosophy from the University of Genoa and his doctorate in philosophy at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich. His former teaching positions include posts as a philosophy lecturer at Passau University in Germany, the Pontifical Gregorian University and Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome, and at the University of Genoa in northern Italy. Dr. Tuninetti has also worked at the Pontifical Council for the Laity and is currently a member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. While his academic research and teaching concentrates primarily on the history of Christian thought and on questions of epistemology and logic, Dr. Tuninetti is the editor of the volume John Henry Newman: un cristiano che interroga la modernità (2009) and has published a number of scholarly articles on Newman’s thought, such as “Il contributo di Newman all’epistemologia” (2010) and “La epistemología de Newman entre internismo y externismo” (2014).

Rev. Robert A. Sirico
Rev. Robert A. Sirico
Acton Institute


Father Robert A. Sirico is the president and co-founder of the Acton Institute. Fr. Sirico serves as the pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Grand Rapids. His writings on religious, political, economic, and social matters are published in a variety of journals, including: the New York Times, the Wall Street JournalForbes, the London Financial Times, the Washington Times, the Detroit News, and National Review. Fr. Sirico is often called upon by members of the broadcast media for statements regarding economics, civil rights, and issues of religious concern, and has provided commentary for CNNABC, the BBCNPR, and CBS' 60 Minutes, among others. In his recent book, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, Fr. Sirico shows how a free economy is the best way to meet society’s material needs. Father Sirico holds dual Italian and American citizenship. (more)

Dr. Samuel Gregg
Dr. Samuel Gregg
Acton Institute

Research Director

Dr. Samuel Gregg is director of research at the Acton Institute. He has written and spoken extensively on questions of political economy, economic history, ethics in finance, and natural law theory. He has an MA in political philosophy from the University of Melbourne, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in moral philosophy and political economy from the University of Oxford. He is the author of several books, including Morality, Law, and Public Policy (2000), Economic Thinking for the Theologically Minded (2001), On Ordered Liberty (2003), his prize-winning The Commercial Society (2007), 

Dr. Sergio Belardinelli
Dr. Sergio Belardinelli
University of Bologna

Professor of Sociology of Cultural Processes

Dr. Sergio Belardinelli is a tenured professor of sociology of cultural processes in the department of political and social sciences at the University of Bologna. He was a member of Italy’s National Committee for Bioethics From 2002-06, and he served as an executive board member of the Italian Institute for Germanic Studies from 2011-15. Dr. Belardinelli’s is a widely published and acclaimed author. Among his  latest works are, L’altro Illuminismo. Politica, religione e funzione pubblica della verità (Rubbettino 2010); Sillabario per la tarda modernità (Cantagalli 2012); L’ordine di Babele. Le culture tra pluralismo e identità (Rubbettino 2018); and L’alba di un nuovo mondo (Il Mulino 2019), co-authored with Angelo Panebianco.

Conference Live Broadcast (English only)

Event Details

Start Date


Pontifical Urbaniana University
Via Urbano VIII, 16
00165 Rome RM

Length of Event

12:00-13:45 CET  Registration & Lunch

14:00-17:00 CET  Conference Program

This conference - including the lunch - is free. Advance registration is required for lunch and encouraged for the entire program.

Because this is a free program, travel assistance or scholarships are not provided.

Download the Event Poster: English - Italiano


Language & Broadcast

Simultaneous interpretation in English and Italian will be provided.

This event will be video recorded and broadcast live in English.


Join the Conversation: #NewmanControversy


There is no parking inside the Urbaniana campus. There is paid public parking inside the Garage del Gianicolo just to the right of the university entrance (map).