This essay analyses the complex relationship between politics and religion in Italy after the Second World War, between the phase of post-war reconstruction and the transformation of the country into a modern welfare-state democracy. The perspective of Luigi Gedda, a protagonist of the first twenty years of Republican Italy, has been chosen here to analyse this relationship. This essay focuses on the years of Gedda’s presidency of the Azione Cattolica and those at the head of the Civic Committee, in the phase when he contrasted the birth of the Centre-Left. The essay also takes into consideration the complex relationship with the "sole party of the Catholics", as well as the internal evolution of the so-called "apostolate of the laymen", and the multifarious world of the Holy See and the nascent Episcopal Conference. The figure of Gedda and his particular way of declining first the so-called "political sojourn" of the ecclesiastic hierarchies, then collateralism, to reach over the years the process of the achievement of autonomy by the Christian Democrat leadership, constitute the litmus test for a complex political, economic, social and moral evolution of the country, its governing classes (mostly Christian Democrat) and then its citizens, overwhelmed by a powerful as well as sudden transformation in the uses and the customs that would lead to the inevitable decline of Catholic Italy and a certain approach to the relationship between politics and religion.
Keywords: Luigi Gedda, Civic Committees, Christian Democracy, Centre-Left, cardinal Giuseppe Siri, Azione Cattolica Italiana