- Jun 2, 2020
The Italian bishops have appeared to threaten that if they don’t get a satisfactory response from the government on a date for restarting public Masses, they may be prepared to assert the authority afforded under religious freedom provisions of the Italian constitution and act on their own.
Although no place on earth is more interesting in terms of the intersection of Catholicism and politics than Italy, there’s good reason to think that neither Pope Francis nor the Italian bishops may have a clear favorite in the 2018 elections.
Italy’s new Prime Minister, known as the “cold one,” could easily disappear as the roller-coaster of Italian politics continues, but he brings key assets to the job, including a deep understanding of Catholic tradition, a family history of strong Vatican ties, and a Pope Francis- style outlook on wars of culture.
Italy’s upcoming referendum might be the final surprise in a year marked by a sharp rise in populist sentiment. After Brexit and Trump’s victory in the U.S., Catholic votes might be the decisive factor in determining the political agenda for Italy and the West.