Pope appoints Filipino Dominican priest to Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 16) — Pope Francis has appointed a United States-based Filipino Dominican priest and economist as a new member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, the CBCP News reported on Wednesday.

Established in 1994, the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences aims to promote the study and progress of the social sciences like economics to help develop the Catholic Church's doctrine.

The Vatican announced the new role of Fr. Albino Barrera on Tuesday, the CBCP News said.

Barrera, 65, is currently a moral theologian and professor of economics and theology at Providence College in Rhode Island, it said.

He was born in Manila and was ordained a priest for the Dominican Order in 1993, according to the news service.

He studied sacred theology a year later at the Pontifical Faculty of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.

Barrera took up engineering at the De La Salle University in Manila then received his doctorate in economics from Yale University in 1988, it added.

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

In 2013, he received a degree in Master of Sacred Theology from Dominican Province of St. Joseph for his "outstanding contribution to the theological sciences."