With increased unemployment and poverty in the United States, caring for the poor has become a greater concern than in recent history.  How best can this country assuage the pains of poverty? Can a Free Market such as ours adequately care for the poor or does it lead to more poverty and a greater polarization between economic classes? Join Fr. Robert Sirico and Mr. Michael Sean Winters as they go head-to-head debating on the Free Market's capacity to care for the marginalized. The Aquinas Institute for Catholic Thought is proud to announce that our Sixth Annual Great Debate will be held on Monday, January 28th at 7:00pm on the University of Colorado Boulder campus in Chemistry 140. All college students will have free admittance but must obtain a ticket from one of our ticket distribution venues (see below for more information on how to obtain a ticket). All other's will be able to obtain a ticket with a suggested donation of $5 per ticket (please see below for instructions on how to purchase a ticket).

About Rev. Robert Sirico (Answering in the Affirmative): Rev. Robert A. Sirico received his Master of Divinity degree from the Catholic University of America, following undergraduate study at the University of Southern California and the University of London. During his studies and early ministry, he experienced a growing concern over the lack of training religious studies students receive in fundamental economic principles, leaving them poorly equipped to understand and address today's social problems. As a result of these concerns, Fr. Sirico co-founded the Acton Institute with Kris Alan Mauren in 1990. As president of the Acton Institute, Fr. Sirico lectures at colleges, universities, and business organizations throughout the U.S. and abroad. His writings on religious, political, economic, and social matters are published in a variety of journals, including: the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the London Financial Times, the Washington Times, the Detroit News, and National Review. Fr. Sirico is often called upon by members of the broadcast media for statements regarding economics, civil rights, and issues of religious concern, and has provided commentary for CNN, ABC, the BBC, NPR, and CBS' 60 Minutes, among others. In April of 1999, Fr. Sirico was awarded an honorary doctorate in Christian Ethics from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, and in May of 2001, Universidad Francisco Marroquin awarded him an honorary doctorate in Social Sciences. He is a member of the prestigious Mont Pèlerin Society, the American Academy of Religion, and the Philadelphia Society, and is on the Board of Advisors of the Civic Institute in Prague. Father Sirico also served on the Michigan Civil Rights Commission from 1994 to 1998. He is also currently serving on the pastoral staff of Sacred Heart of Jesus parish in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

His latest book entitled Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, was released in May 2012.

About Mr. Michael Sean Winters (Answering in the Negative): Michael Sean Winters writes for the National Catholic Reporter. His blog at NCR, "Distinctly Catholic," was awarded first prize as the best individual blog by the National Catholic Press Association this year, the first time that category had been awarded. He is the author of two books, "Left at the Altar; How the Democrats Lost the Catholics and How the Catholics Can Save the Democrats" (2008) and "God's Right Hand: How Jerry Falwell Made God a Republican and Baptized the American Right" (2012). He is the U.S. correspondent for the Tablet, the London-based international Catholic weekly and his essay have appeared in The New Republic, the New York Times Magazine, Slate.com., Religion & Politics, and other publications. Winters is a frequent guest on several public radio shows including "Tell Me More," "The Colin McEnroe Show," and "Radio Times." He is a Visiting Fellow at Catholic University's Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies. In addition to the University of Colorado, Winters has spoken at Boston College, Franciscan University (Loreto, PA), New York University and Catholic University. He is a communicant at the Cathedral of St. Matthew, the Apostle in Washington, D.C.