Pope names Filipino Dominican priest to Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

Dominican Fr. Albino Barrera.

Pope Francis has appointed Filipino Dominican Fr. Albino Barrera, a 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 in Rhode Island.

The Vatican announced his appointment on September 14.

Established by Pope John Paul II in 1994, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences aims to study and discuss the progress of the social sciences, primarily economics, sociology, law and political science.

“The Academy helps offer to the Church those elements which she can use in the development of her social doctrine, and reflects on the application of that doctrine in contemporary society,” according to Vatican News.

Born in Manila, Barrera was ordained a priest for the Dominican Order in 1993.

He studied engineering at the De La Salle University in Manila and earned his doctorate in economics from Yale University in 1988.

The priest later obtained a degree in sacred theology from Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., in 1994.

Barrera has also authored numerous publications in the field of moral theology, economic ethics, development and international trade.

In 2013, the Dominican Province of St. Joseph conferred upon him the degree of Master of Sacred Theology for his “outstanding contribution to the theological sciences.”

Filipino Augustinian is Order’s 1st Asian rep to UN

Meanwhile, the head of the Augustinians has appointed Fr. Alladin Luzon as the Order’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Luzon’s appointment by Fr. Alejandro Moral Anton, Prior General of the Order of Saint Augustine (OSA), made him the first Asian Augustinian to hold the office.

The missionary officially assumed his new role on September 1 by reporting first to the OSA’s General Curia in Rome.

He will also assist the works of the Order’s Commission on Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development in the Roman Curia.

Prior to his new assignment, Luzon was assigned in the Provincialate Community and the Basilica Minore del Santo Niño de Cebu since 2008.

He also served as chairman of the Commission on JPIC of the Province of Santo Niño de Cebu for a number of years.

The Order of Saint Augustine started its presence in the UN in 2002.

It was in 1997 when the Order registered to participate in the UN as a non-governmental organization in affiliation with the Department of Public Information.

Fr. Jesus Guzman from the Province of Michoacan in Mexico was the first full time friar to work at the UN from 2002 to 2007.

For the past few years, the Augustinians International, name of the NGO in the UN, has been involved in advocacies to address human trafficking and poverty.

It also worked on promoting respect for every human being’s life and dignity, under the Culture of Peace Movement sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, Cultural Organization.

Image courtesy of ARCIC Website
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