By John Pollard

John Pollard's booklet surveys the connection among Catholicism and the method of swap in Italy from Unification to the current day. imperative to the booklet is the complicated set of relationships among conventional faith and the forces of swap. In a wide sweep, Catholicism in Modern Italy appears to be like on the cultural, social, political and fiscal features of the Catholic church and its courting to the several studies throughout Italy over this dramatic interval of switch and 'modernisation'.

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The broader social consequences of the massive divestment of the Church’s property were serious. In many areas, the confiscations led to a deterioration in the living conditions of the poor, especially the peasantry. The latter could rarely afford to buy the land put on the market, so the land was snapped up by existing landowners. On the other hand, this often led to uprooting of the former leaseholders of church lands, who had formerly enjoyed advantageous terms. These people now swelled the ranks of the braccianti and giornalieri (hourly and day labourers), categories of agricultural proletariat hitherto rare in most regions of Italy, especially southern regions such as Calabria, and added to the numbers of those who joined the ‘brigands’.

It would not be going too far to say that this same situation also affected the pope’s decision to call the (first) Council of the Vatican in 1870 and led to the decision by that council to proclaim the dogma of Papal Infallibility, that is, that when speaking ex cathedra (by virtue of his office as bishop of Rome) the pope can make no error in pronouncements upon matters of faith and morals. With such a massive reinforcement of his moral and spiritual authority, a further centralisation of power in the Church, Pius IX hoped to be able to better confront both liberalism throughout Europe, but above all the machinations of Italian liberalism as represented by the new state in particular.

But despite this good augury, and Leo’s willingness for better relations, his pontificate was punctuated by a series of serious disputes with the Italian State: in 1881, after a Roman mob had tried to tip the coffin of Pius IX, in procession to its final resting place at San Lorenzo, into the Tiber; in 1887, after a further series of legislative measures against the Church; in 1889 following the debacle of the ‘Tosti affair’(see below, p. 43 Leo saw the machinations of Freemasonry behind the restrictive ecclesiastical legislation of the governments of the Sinistra.

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