Pope Francis has appointed Filipino Dominican priest, Fr. Albino Barrera, as a member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in the Vatican.
The 65-year old US-based priest was appointed to the post on Sept. 14, according to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines news website said.
Barrera is a moral theologian and professor of economics and theology at Providence College in Rhode Island.
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 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.
In 1994, the priest obtained a degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
Barrera also authored numerous publications in the field of moral theology, economic ethics, development and international trade.
In 2013, he received a degree of Master of Sacred Theology from Dominican Province of St. Joseph for his “outstanding contribution to the theological sciences.”