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Relationship Between Vatican and Mussolini. He needed to forge strong relationships with the church, as the church was very big in Italy, and he could not afford to anger the Roman Catholic Church

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He needed to forge strong relationships with the church, as the church was very big in Italy, and he could not afford to anger the Roman Catholic Church

  • Although he disliked the Church, a view shared by his father, he recognized that RCC represented not only millions in Italy but 400 million people all over the world

Once Mussolini came into power, he tried to forge a good relationship with the pope, by baptising both of his children in 1926 and 1923, as well a renewing his marriage in a church (his initial marriage was just a civil one)

  • He also stood by the church’s stand against divorce and contraception, as well as their notions that women should not work and should stay at home.

They often clashed on who would take control of education, as both felt that they needed a strong influence on the young.

  • This led to the Lateran Treaties, this ended the ‘Roman Question’, essentially creating the Vatican City State.

The Roman Catholic Church had lost all it’s land in the unification of Italy

  • The Roman Catholic Church received £30 million in compensation in 1929 and the Church was given 109 acres in Rome to create a new papal state - the Vatican. The pope was allowed a small army, police force, post office and rail station.
  • This treaty made Catholism the national state religion and was mandatory for primary and secondary education,
  • he Roman Catholic Church was given full control of marriage

When all of these treaties were signed and agreed on, Mussolini’s popularity rose to an all time high, he had got what he wanted by gaining the support of both the church and people.

  • He also got the support from the members of the public who may not have supported the Fascists but who saw the Roman Catholic Church working with the Fascist government, and that by itself created a tacit acceptance of Mussolini’s government.
charter of race
Charter of Race
  • There were many minor squabbles between the Church and State, however nothing major grew from these, except for one major occurrence
  • In 1938, Mussolini introduced the Charter of Race, taking away Italian Jews of Italian nationality. They also weren’t allowed to teach, or have state jobs or be allowed into the Fascist Party. Additionally no Jews were allowed to work for banks or insurance, they were also not allowed to marry non-Jewish Italians or join their army. These laws were so unpopular that it led to the pope protesting these laws against Mussolini.
  • The creation of the Papal states went by very smoothly
  • The church and state often got together well because of Mussolini getting on the bandwagon on many of the Church’s stance on certain issues, even though he didn’t necessarily believe in them.
  • Both Church and State ended up with a very strong impact on Italy.