Italian catholic organizations in the first post-war years 1945-1953. Success of anti-communism, lack of hegemony

Author/s Andrea Mariuzzo
Publishing Year 2010 Issue 2010/258 Language Italian
Pages 19 P. 7-25 File size 319 KB
DOI 10.3280/IC2010-258001
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The article outlines the doctrinal references of Catholic anti-communism and its role in the political drives brought on in Italy, soon after 1945, by the Church hierachies and the dependent lay organizations. The author regards the 1937 Encyclical letter Divini Redemptoris, together with the intense intellectual reflection originating it, as a milestone in the foundation of the doctrinal and theological definition of communism as materialistic "anti-religion". In this light, the post-war anti-communist commitment of the Catholic movement may be interpreted as a continuation of previous cultural trends. Provided with such a consistent and deep-rooted criticism against "godless Communism", Catholic culture could appear the only safe barrier against the Soviet menace, as suggested by the success of the Civic Committees campaign in view of the 1948 general elections. Yet both the hierarchies and the lay leaders of the confessional front would fail to turn this triumph into the preliminary step for a "re-christianization" of Italian society, having the emergent trends of secularization to reckon with.

Keywords: Anti-communism; Catholic Church; Divini Redemptoris; Italian Catholic Action; Civic Committees; secularization

  • The training and education of propagandists in the ‘repubblica dei partiti’: internal-circulation periodicals in the PCI and the DC (1946–58) Andrea Mariuzzo, in Journal of Modern Italian Studies /2011 pp.84
    DOI: 10.1080/1354571X.2011.530765

Andrea Mariuzzo, Il cattolicesimo organizzato in Italia 1945-1953 Successo dell’anticomunismo, fallimento dell’egemonia in "ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA" 258/2010, pp 7-25, DOI: 10.3280/IC2010-258001