The paper investigates the reactions of the Christian Democracy Party to the challenges raised by the Second Vatican Council. It focuses on the time period from the beginning of the Council to the campaign of 1968 and analyses the perception of the Council’s documents and spirit within the party (in particular Aldo Moro’s and the doroteo group’s perception) at the national conferences of San Pellegrino, Sorrento and Lucca. The latter was particularly relevant as it marked the breach between the "Catholic Party" and the "post-conciliar" grounding groups who aimed at the end of political unity among the Catholics. The roots of the 1968 Catholic protest can be found in this political context, which was also influenced by the Episcopal Conference’s anti-communism and its opposition to divorce, as well as by the rise of Left-wing Catholic movements.
Keywords: Christian Democracy, Second Vatican Council, Aldo Moro, political unity of Catholics, Lucca conference, Catholic dissent