- May 28, 2020
Italy’s failure to adopt a proposed law granting children of immigrants citizenship by birth despite Pope Francis’s strong support illustrates the gap between personal popularity and political influence.
Normally Pope Francis tries to stay out of direct involvement in Italian political affairs, but in a recent debate over a proposed law that would afford citizenship to the children of immigrants by virtue of birth in Italy, the pope and other Catholic leaders have dropped the pretense of being non-political and made their support for the measure clear.
While he was in Russia this week, the Vatican’s top diplomat said the Holy See is not identified with any “particular political position” — ironically, one day after Pope Francis took a position on citizenship by birth with clear political relevance in Italy right now. In truth, when Vatican officials say they’re not “political,” what they really mean is that they’re not “partisan.”