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Catholics and an election in Italy

Sandro Magisters newsletter today is devoted to the upcoming administrative elections in the region of Lazio, which includes the diocese of Rome. Emma Bonino, a woman well known for her opposition to Church teachings is the candidate of parties of the left. Magister contrasts the absence of general and strong opposition to her on the part of Italian Church leaders to Pope Pius XIIs effort in 1952 to get the Christian Democrats to enter into an alliance with rightist parties in order to prevent a communist victory, a coalition refused by the leader of the DC, de Gasperi. Both the Communist Party and Christian Democracy are defunct now, and Catholic voters are scattered across the whole political spectrum. A key paragraph:

So how is the Church reacting to this challenge represented by the Bonino candidacy? Certainly not as it did in 1952. In part because today it is unthinkable that the pope should personally dictate to Catholics a specific political "mechanism" for confronting the danger.

There are several other aspects of the Italian situation that alsobear comparison, and contrast, with the U.S.

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Pius saw the Christian Democrats as the Catholic Party and naturally assumed that a Catholic party should do what the Pope asked. There is no Catholic Party in the US but there are Catholics who hold political office. How strange is it that a bishop would expect a Catholic politician from his diocese to follow his teaching?

Prof. Cannon --Pre-V2 it would not have been strange at all. Post -V2 another question needs to be asked: how strange is it to ask that the Faithful expect their bishop to teach what they are agreed upon?

It seems to me that Magister wants to push the situation into one more like the US--is that impression correct? I don't know much about him.

I had the same impression. The election is two months away, I believe.

The use of the word "non-negotiable" was a tip off. It's not a term of traditional Catholic moral theology, it finds its origin in the protest movements of the 1960s. It was used in a couple of speeches of the pope AFTER Catholic Answers used it.If I hadn't sworn off writing articles till I finish this @#(%#()%) book, I'd say the migration of the term into Catholic moral theology would be worth a brief note for TS or something.

If I remember correctly, Pius retaliated against de Gasperi by refusing to grant him an audience. I have never heard that he proposed that de Gasperi stop receiving communion.

Cathleen and Fr. Joseph yes your impression is true. Every Day Magister drifts more onto right side.His opinions are very far from a Italian perspective of religious and politics.BTW in his article he forgot to write that also the candidate ( a woman too) of the right party speaks about the Italian current abortion law as a women's right.

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About the Author

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.