Pope Francis has already made it clear that he has a heart and mind for the poor. We’ve seen images of him washing the feet of AIDS patients, stopping traffic to bless a severely handicapped man in St. Peter’s Square, and reminding us from the first moments of his papacy to remember the poor.

Beyond that, there is a certain population of the poor that Francis wants us to remember: those caught in human trafficking and slavery. The White House conservatively estimates that 20 million men, women and children are trafficked globally. According to Charled Reid, University of St. Thomas School of Law, Pope Francis’ home is an epicenter for slavery: (more…)

Blog author: jcarter
Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Russian Church pins high hopes on Pope Francis
Pavel Korobov, Kommersant

“We see a big area here where we can work together with the Roman Catholic Church,” said Metropolitan Hilarion. “I hope this alliance between us will develop under the new pontiff.”

The Weight of Totalitarian Ideology
Peter Mentzel, Law and Liberty Blog

Twenty years have passed since the downfall of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and its satellites in Eastern and Central Europe.

Michigan Unions vs. Teachers
Jillian Kay Melchior, National Review Online

They’re obstructing a new right-to-work law.

Domino’s Pizza Founder Gets Contraceptive Mandate Blocked
Melissa Steffan, Christianity Today

Michigan judge decides Tom Monaghan likely to succeed on his religious freedom claim.

Blog author: sstanley
Monday, March 18, 2013

Last week, Acton president and co-founder, Rev. Robert Sirico, and operations manager of Istituto Acton, Michael Severance, were featured on Reuters TV discussing Pope Francis’ humility and frugality.

The Blaze TV will be featuring the Rev. Robert Sirico and Rabbi Daniel Lapin on Wednesday, March 20. The hour-long program will focus on the election of Pope Francis, formerly Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina.

Pope Francis has already made several statements regarding the Church’s relationship with the Jewish people, and the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Riccardo di Segni, plans to attend the papal inauguration. Carol Glatz, of The CatholicHerald UK, writes:

Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called Pope Francis’s election “a significant moment in the history of the Church” that will foster positive relations in the wake of “the transformational papacies of Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI – pontiffs who launched historic reconciliation between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people,” he said.

“There is much in his record that reassures us about the future,” Mr Foxman said, including “the new Pope’s sensitivity to the Jews”.

Visit The Blaze TV to learn more about program viewing opportunities.

In the United States we have approximately 314 million citizens. In the United States Senate, the upper house of our country’s bicameral legislature, there are exactly 100 senators. That means only 1 senator is selected for every 3.14 million people in the nation. Because two senators come from each state and the population is spread unevenly, the ratio of citizens to senators isn’t exact. Still, you’d think out of a pool of millions the chances are high that people selected for the Senate would have an above-average understanding of basic economics.

Sadly, that is not the case.

A prime example is Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren asking why the minimum wage is not $22 an hour.


In today’s American Spectator, Acton’s Michael Matheson Miller focuses on Pope Francis’ “street smarts“: a man who knows poverty and economics at the most important and basic level.

It’s a counter-intuitive tale of one of Latin America’s most significant bishops living in modest lodgings, cooking his own meals, and riding the crowded public transportation system in Buenos Aires. Even the small but telling gesture of paying his own hotel bill after the Vatican conclave drew media attention.

As a priest and archbishop he went into the poorest parts of Argentina to minister to the people. He said this in a 2008 homily: “Today the place for Christ is in the street… The Lord wants us like Him; with an open heart, roaming the streets of Buenos Aires and carrying his message!”

His vision of engagement with the poor runs deep. Pope Francis has spoken eloquently about the need to treat poor people as “subjects” and not mere “objects” of the state or the economy.

Miller goes on to say that Pope Francis understands and highlights the social aspects of the market, and rejects notions that the poor are somehow “objects” of action, rather than active participants in the economy.

Read “Street Smarts” in American Spectator magazine.

Rev. Robert A. Sirico, President of the Acton Institute, spoke from Rome with WJR’s Warren Pierce on Sunday morning about the new pontificate of Pope Francis. Sirico takes some time to discuss the character and style of Francis, and notes the following:

This pontificate offers a real deep potential corrective to the misunderstanding of social justice… He has emphasized the poor but he has also been a fierce opponent of liberation theology. So what he’s introducing is a different way of thinking about service to the poor.

Listen to the full interview here: