Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The Catholic Church has played a key role in post-war Italian politics. In a radio broadcast at Christmas 1944 the Pope authorized Catholic parties’ participation in the future state. There was constant dialogue with members of the Christian Democracy (DC) drafting the constitution, and later the Vatican maintained influence on candidatures to political roles and on government composition. However, clerical influence on the evolution of the DC’s political line is unclear: despite widespread opposition, the clergy only managed to delay the DC’s “opening to the left” after De Gasperi’s death. In the 1960s and 1970s the Church became increasingly divided: many Catholics supported Socialists or Communists, while the 1974 referendum on divorce revealed disconnect with a rapidly changing society. But the Church remained politically active: in the 1990s, the CEI took on a very activist role, supporting conservatives led by Silvio Berlusconi while actively undermining forces of the left.

Keywords: Vatican, Christian Democracy, Alcide de Gasperi, Catholic Church, Socialism, Silvio Berlusconi, Communism, Clergy

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.