The essay concerns the nature of the Catholic movement in Messina. The A. charts out the high ranks of its Liberal Catholic and Intransigent components, noting in particular the continued presence of clerical-moderate personalities, as in the rest of Sicily and throughout the South of Italy. The author dismantles the misrepresentations proposed in a recent essay on Sturzo and Messina by Angelo Sindoni, whose intent is to bear out a pretended full harmony between the ‘intransigent’ Sturzo and Giuseppe Fortino, a local leader of the Catholic movement who happened to head a clerical-moderate municipal government. Despite political differences, Sturzo was actually in good terms with the Catholic leaders in Messina and particularly in tune with Attilio Salvatore, a leader of the youth movement. Salvatore, however, due to his young age, had no significant influence on the township’s political balance. The clerical-moderate hegemony was yet confirmed in the administrative elections from 1914 to 1919 and would condition the internal life of the Partito Popolare Italiano (PPI) well up to its dissolution. All this resulted in the defeat of the democratic-Sturzian wing led by Attilio Salvatore and in the success of the pro-fascist line, actively backed by Archbishop Angelo Paino.
Keywords: Catholic movement, Luigi Sturzo, Clerical-moderates, Messina, Attilio Salvatore, Giuseppe Fortino