Robert A. Sirico (born 23 June 1951) is an American Roman Catholic priest and co-founder of the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. He is also the younger brother of actor Tony Sirico from the Sopranos.


After earning an A.A. in Humanities and Speech Communications from Los Angeles City College in 1978, Sirico studied English and Speech Communications at the University of Southern California. He traveled to England to study literature in Twickenham at St. Mary's College of the University of London for a year before returning to California in 1980. He completed his B.A. at USC in 1981. He then enrolled in The Catholic University of America, earning his Master of Divinity degree in 1987. He was ordained as a priest in 1989.

Public policy work:

In 1990, Sirico founded the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting "a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles." That same year, Sirico was inducted into the Mont Pelerin Society. He served on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission from 1994 to 1998. The Franciscan University of Steubenville awarded Sirico an honorary doctoral degree in Christian Ethics in 1999. The Universidad Francisco Marroquín in 2001 granted him an honorary doctorate in social sciences. He is a member of the American Academy of Religion and of the board of advisers for the Civic Institute in Prague.

Sirico's writings have appeared in:
  • First Things
  • Crisis, Journal of Markets and Morality
  • New York Times
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Forbes
  • Financial Times
  • Washington Times
  • National Catholic Reporter
  • National Review
In his writing, he addresses such topics as the ethics of political/social freedom, business ethics, the history of the civil rights movement, and bio-ethics.

According to Joseph Bast, president of the Heartland Institute,

'One often hears priests, preachers, and rabbis endorse an activist government able to solve social, economic, and perhaps even moral problems. Fr. Sirico offers a powerful challenge to this conventional wisdom. Religious principles, he says, require that men and women be free to practice virtue or vice, and freedom in turn requires a limited government and vibrant free-market economy.'

In an interview with FrontPageMag's Bill Steigerwald, Sirico was asked whether capitalism and Christianity were natural enemies. Sirico responded that,

"I don’t think capitalism is a natural enemy of Christianity. Capitalism is really an inadequate word; it only describes one dimension of what is really human freedom and choice in the economic sphere. Choice is morally neutral. It’s the chooser who can be moral or immoral, not the ability to make the choice."

He also serves on the Board of Advisers for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow.

Sirico signed a November 2009 ecumenical statement known as the Manhattan Declaration calling on evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox not to comply with rules and laws forcing them to accept abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their religious consciences.
Clerical efforts:

He is the pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He founded the St. Philip Neri House in 1998 which also now includes the Catholic Information Center. He has also acted as a chaplain to AIDS patients at the National Institute's of Health.

Books written by Fr. Sirico:
  • Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy (Regnery, 2012; ISBN 1596983256)
  • The Soul of Liberty (Acton Institute, 2002)
  •  The Entrepreneurial Vocation (Acton Institute, 2001)
  • Capitalism, Morality and Markets (Institute of Economic Affairs, 2001; ISBN 0255364962)
  • Il personalismo economico e la società libera (Italian language edition; Rubbettino, 2001; ISBN 8849801041)
  • Moral Basis for Liberty (Foundation for Economic Education, 1996; ISBN 1572460598)
  • Catholicism's Developing Social Teaching (Acton Institute, 1993; ISBN 188059501X)
Books co-authored by Fr. Sirico: 
  • A Field Guide for the Hero's Journey (Acton Institute, 2012; ISBN 1938948319) 
  • Skepticism, Faith, and Freedom (Acton Institute, 2007; ISBN 0978695941)

Books edited by Fr. Sirico:
  •  The Social Agenda: A Collection of Magisterial Texts (Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 2000; ISBN 8820929201)