Pope names U.S. professor to Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

Dominican Father Albino Barrera — a moral theologian and professor of economics and theology at Providence College in Providence, R.I. — is seen in this 2016 photo. Pope Francis has named Father Barrera to the Pontifical Academy of the Social Sciences. (CNS photo/Kevin Trimmer, courtesy Providence College)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has named Dominican Father Albino Barrera, an economist and theologian, as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.

Father Barrera, 65, is a professor of economics and theology at Providence College of Providence, Rhode Island, and he has a joint appointment with the theology department, where he teaches Christian social ethics.

The priest, who has a doctorate in economics from Yale University, has been teaching and pursuing research in the fields of moral theology, economic ethics, economic development, international trade and the connection between economics and theology.

The Vatican announced his appointment to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences Sept. 14.

Born in Manila, Philippines, in 1956, Father Barrera joined the Dominican order and was later ordained to the priesthood in 1993. He studied at De La Salle University in the Philippines, received a degree in sacred theology from Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., in 1994, and completed his Ph.D. in economics from Yale in 1988.

He was honored by his provincial order in 2013 when it conferred upon him a degree of master of sacred theology in recognition of his work promoting sacred sciences and for excellence in stimulating and leading doctrinal reflection and research “of outstanding value and by significant status,” according to the website of the Dominican Friars Province of St. Joseph.

He has authored numerous publications, such as: the work of Catholic missionaries in mitigating market-government failures for the poor; what sacred Scripture teaches about economic life; the evil of scarcity; and economic ethics and globalization and “market complicity.”