In its “Houses of Worship” column today, the Wall Street Journal examined how the Acton Institute continues to work for economic liberty, even though that project looks “unfashionable” these days. Writer Mene Ukueberuwa interviewed Acton co-founder and President Rev. Robert A. Sirico, and Kishore Jayabalan, director of Istituto Acton in Rome. The writer noted that opinion polls show declining support for free markets among Christians but said that Acton was continuing its work, without polemics:
Far from the Christian capitalist caricature—ignoring the Gospels while clamoring for top-bracket tax cuts out of sheer self-interest—the Acton Institute is engaging the skeptics on economic and philosophical grounds. Recent issues of its journal, Religion & Liberty, have included essays about income inequality and millennials’ growing fondness for socialism. In June Father Sirico took on a pair of critics in a debate about the best way to serve the poor at the annual Acton University conference.
Despite these efforts to dispel the mounting Christian critiques of capitalism, the organization has carefully avoided taking an openly polemical stance. “We’re not here to lobby the Vatican,” explains Kishore Jayabalan, director of the institute’s outpost in Rome. Acton’s values have lost ground in the Francis era, but Mr. Jayabalan demurs at the thought of “turning back the tide.” Instead the group remains focused on its own activities. For Mr. Jayabalan, this means organizing economics seminars for priests studying in Rome—a program Acton hopes will improve the clergy’s grasp of the financial and political issues that shape parishioners’ lives.
Read “The Acton Institute’s Moral Capital” at The Wall Street Journal.