Today, Catholic Church and Vatican are the principal structure of bourgeois political power’s system in Italy. This multinational is the principal crutch of imperialist bourgeoisie’s dominion, of oppression and exploitation it exerted upon working class and other popular masses.
It’s also the cause of Italian imperialist bourgeoisie’s relative weakness, compared to other world imperialist groups. Many Italian imperialist bourgeoisies’ exponents feel it more and more clearly as capitalism general crisis goes on and the need to find remedies (that is, to carry out the imperialist bourgeoisie’s “common program”) becomes pressing. The crisis of Christian Democracy’s regime exploded in the Nineties. It was the crisis of the combination USA - Vatican - Italian imperialist bourgeoisie that ruled Italy in second post war period (the role of other autonomous power - Mafia, Zionists, other groups of organized criminality, etc. was lower): But it is also crisis of political and social line which that combination worked on. This Italian crisis is part and is effect of a much wider crisis: the second general crisis of capitalism. Since then, the relation among the three great protagonists - four, because of general crisis and of collapse of socialist field a fourth has been added them: the European Union - are precarious and tendentially conflictual.
The Church, headed by Vatican, is by far the greatest Italian anti-Communist political force. However, it cannot give imperialist bourgeoisie what it gave in previous phase. Its influence remains overwhelming in school and children’s formation and wide in cultural field, but its hegemony upon peasants disappeared with the peasants and also its hegemony upon women is much reduced. Shortly, Vatican has become stronger in financial and political system, compared to its accomplices, but its hegemony, its capability to direct intellectually and morally the mass of population is greatly reduced. The imperialist bourgeoisie is more and more intolerant of the quota that Vatican and its Church suck parasitically from the total richness that country produced, of general negative influence their parasitic nature exert on the entire country to the detriment of its structures’ effectiveness and its manpower’s productivity, of Church’s awkward role in every field. It feels Vatican and its Church as a hindrance for the realization of its “common program”. In each important transformation, the imperialist bourgeoisie will get cross with Vatican: the invalid will stumble in his crutch. But to free itself from Vatican and build another power structure is a task by far beyond its forces. As the popular masses’ resistance to crisis’ advancement and Communist movement’s rebirth will grow, the relations between imperialist bourgeoisie and Church will become more conflicting and their unity more necessary to face revolution.
Political crisis obliged Vatican to commit itself more directly in country’s government, to deal with direction in detail. It reduced margins of tolerance among Vatican, imperialist bourgeoisie, USA, EU and lower autonomous powers. It increases pressures on Vatican; it brings to light its earthly power and its consequences. It increases contrasts between Church and other sovereign powers. The contrasts of popular masses with imperialist bourgeoisie may become contrast with Church, if Communist movement’s rebirth advances.
Church and Vatican’s evil role in our country’s life is bound to become stronger and more evident. They are not only the main support of imperialist bourgeoisie’s power. They’re also the principal source of corruption of social life in our country, both for their anti democratic and theocratic (feudal) nature that doesn’t recognize any inalienable right to popular masses, but only granted rights, charity and alms, benedictions and maledictions, and for the hidden character of its power. The Vatican gives orders but don’t take responsibility for them, doesn’t accept to be valued by the results of its direction, hides behind men and parties: the only judge is God, which only the Church and the Vatican talk to. This contributed to make country’s life less understandable at first sight, increases the confusion of consciousness and mistrust among popular masses, hides the real conflicts of interests and feeds a general climate of hypocrisy, duplicity and irresponsibility that characterize all the ruling class and contaminate the whole country.
In our country every way of progress passes through Vatican and Church’s suppression. Every individual, group, movement, who, pressed and urged by necessity will try to reform the country, will get cross with the obstacle constituted in every sector of life by Vatican and Church’s interest, and by the forces they can mobilize in their support. Therefore, the Communist party will be able to mobilize a wide front in the struggle to suppress Vatican and its ecclesiastic structure, if it maintains its autonomy and practices mass line as main method of work and direction.
In order to make Italy a new socialist country, to seize power, to pull down imperialist bourgeoisie’s power, Italian working class must suppress Vatican and its Church. It’s a task it can’t get out of, without which it can get no emancipation for itself or socialism. It will be an internationalist contribute it will give to popular masse of the entire world. In order to accomplish it, Italian working class may get help and solidarity by international Communist and democratic movement.
It’s impossible that Vatican and Church recycle themselves in socialist society, as they did in bourgeois one. Even if by their nature they are institutions of feudalism, and therefore outside the bourgeois society, they adapted themselves to it and became its component. It is not possible that such a thing occurs in socialist society, whatever efforts Vatican and Church could do for updating themselves.
Surely, in next years the Church will do new important concessions about doctrine, in order to make its world conception less mortifying for its believers’ reason. The same it will do for rites, to mitigate the presence of aspects degraded, self-injurer, racist, ancient, tied to a now far stadium of human civilization. To get out of its crisis of recruitment, it will allow women to enter into some lower ecclesiastic offices and introduce growing derogations of ecclesiastic celibacy. In matter of morals, it must at least “move with the times” authorizing contraceptive practices, sanitary assistance to abortion, euthanasia, divorce and homosexual relations for its believers. However, the morals promoted by Church will be out of date, deaf and alien from needs put by the relation of individuals with rest of nature and with himself, with other people and with society as they really are today, far from the intellectual and moral role each individual has to rise to participate in society’s direction. With these concessions, the Church will try to limit uneasiness and instability of the mass of “shepherds” and, most of all, the mass exodus of its “little sheep” that, excluded from rites because of bad behaviour, easily lose their faith in Church itself. And there are not enough to compensate that exodus the measures more and more largely taken by the States in charge of public expenditure in order to make up for decline of believers’ participation in financing and supporting the Church. In fact, the problem is not mainly financial, but of hegemony, of intellectual and moral direction.
In contrast of every concessions the Church will do, attempts will rise to come back to the intransigent practice of old rites, morals, doctrine and discipline as Council of Trent coded them. Attempts will rise to gather the believers who will try to get remedies to the present ills by going back to the past in more restricted but more compact and combative groups, “in special forces”. So it was did with not ecclesiastic leaders but with Church’s favour, by the movements that promoted the reactionary mobilization of popular masses, Fascism, Nazism, Zionism, etc., during the first wave of proletarian revolution in imperialist countries. Maybe that those groups acquire large diffusion, because bourgeois society’s agony is very painful and compels people to find solution even seemingly absurd and surely macabre, with no future, desperate. Maybe that these groups get historical importance, as new forms of masses’ reactionary mobilization that bourgeoisie will try to provoke during the next wave of proletarian revolution. But, even apart of this contrasting reactions, its concessions will note make the Church compatible with socialist society: they will only be a new step towards its disappearance, that Communist movement will set off in a positive sense. As former ones, also bourgeois society is founded on the division of population in classes of exploiters and exploited, oppressors and oppressed. The great majority of people are excluded from cultural patrimony of society, emarginated from direction of their own individual and social life that is in hands of ruling class and its auxiliaries: they remain manpower and mass for manoeuvre by powerful people. More or less important remnants of personal dependence relations (as that of the “little sheep” by “shepherds”) that characterized old societies are completely compatible with bourgeois society. By some adaptation they can be integrated into it. In fact, this is happened in imperialist era, in various bourgeois economic - social formations. Nothing similar can be repeated in socialist society. Surely humanity can overcome the decay it has been brought to by the contrast between its productive forces and its social relations, between the reality they face and the conception and morals the bourgeoisie inculcates individuals until it makes them psychologically ill, disabled, schizophrenic and maladjusted. But humanity will overcome this decay only on condition that its members transform themselves and become en masse conscious protagonists and directors of their own individual and social life.
Children’s education and integration in society, women’s emancipation and intellectual and moral reformation are matters whith such implications and such importance for the construction of a new higher social order that no party seriously intended to solve our country’s problems can get out of dealing with as an essential part of its program. Sexual relations, sexual repression and “liberation” and sexual ethics have an important and deep role in our life. Neither the old rules imposed to oppressed classes all along history founded on class division, nor to repropose the myth of the “good savage” or of “return back to nature” in sexual matters can bear in front of the real struggle for emancipation and creation of a new social order. Crimes, violence, traffics directly tied to sexual relations and institutes (and even more those indirectly tied to this) multiply and constitute an important part of present decay. Huge energies are wasted to solve simple problems. Until women don’t get en mass not only a real economic and intellectual independence in front of men, but also a new way to conceive themselves and their role in sexual relations, the sexual question will remain full of morbid character and negative effects. Well, the solution of all these questions in our country has also Vatican and Church’s suppression as premise and climax.
Therefore, Vatican and Church’s suppression is a necessary and unavoidable passage for getting out from social decay and take again the way of progress. It’s also quite possible, owing to nature itself of Vatican and Church. On the contrary, we Communists would do wrong thinking to suppress Catholic or any else religion. Religion is the way men have conceived, represented and managed their individual and social relation with the world (25) . Religion has had an important role in humanity’s history, and perhaps it will continue to have it for some time (for instance, see the role of religion in these years in anti-imperialist democratic revolution of Arabian and Muslim peoples). All peoples have created religions. At its birth every religion reflected the concrete conditions of peoples within which it was born, and supported those peoples in their work. As long it could have survived beyond the conditions justifying its birth and even become an instrument of political direction in the hands of ruling classes, we Communist cannot abolish it, for the nature itself of the revolution we want to promote and direct (26) . Religions will go to their end as men and women will find them no more useful. Some passed and will pass directly and immediately to a higher, scientific and experimental conception of the world, and to morals fit for present humanity’s tasks. (27) Some other will arrive at it reinterpreting old religions for the tasks of present struggle. What socialist revolution can and has to do is to give religious freedom to Catholics, as well as to the rest of population: freedom to handle their own conception, their moral principles, and rites by themselves, at last free from the authority Vatican and Church (ecclesiastic structure, clergy) pretend to impose in God’s name, through monopoly of buildings and other means of cult, moral blackmails and physical compulsion when and where they can. History of Protestant, Muslim, Buddhist, Hinduist and other religions shows that religions’ history is different from history of Papacy, Caliphate, etc.
The way of Vatican’s and Church’ suppression by socialist revolution is exactly indicated by the social role they assumed in imperialist era and by consequent contradictions determining its decay. This tie and that role will become deadly for Church - Vatican and imperialist bourgeoisie, in front of Communist movement’s rebirth and the development of a new wave of proletarian revolution in all the countries of the world: imperialist, oppressed and ex - socialist countries. What saved Church from death and gave it a shot in the arm, the “invalid’s crutch” to support decadent bourgeoisie against rising Communist movement, indicate its fate as well. On one side the connection between Church and bourgeois society will become closer and closer, its political intervention more and more direct and so it will be more and more involved in class struggle and in contradiction between popular masses and imperialist bourgeoisie. On the other side Church is and will be more and more involved in contradictions among imperialist countries. From here, contradictions between Church and believers will start to increase and, as a consequence, so will do the contradictions within Church itself.
The strain that Vatican does for conceal its past and present role in our country’s government shows the fear it has to be overwhelmed by the political crisis of capitalism and clearly indicated the way we Communist have to follow:
· To make the unmasking (therefore inquiry and information) and denounce of Church’s role and its implication in everything makes popular masses’ life difficult, miserable and bitter, as an important part of our work in second and third front (see the General Plan of work of (n)PCI), of our propaganda and agitation.
· To give a right place to the economical practical claims of popular masses against Church and Vatican in their claiming struggles
· To make emerge clearly and strongly Vatican’s active and passive (for that it does an that it doesn’t do) responsibilities in the decay which our country is in, and in the undeclared extermination war imperialist bourgeoisie carries out against popular masses all over the world: the greater is Vatican’s force and the wider its suite, the greater is its responsibility for the situation we’re within and for events that are going to happen. (28)
Already today in our country there is no sectorial event or decision of some importance, which Church’s interests are not directly involved in or where the Church itself is not directly involved. Only imperialist bourgeoisie’s fear and complicity, modern revisionists’ servility and obligingness and Communist movement’s weakness till now have avoided that its role was spread in any crisis and event. (29) Imperialist bourgeoisie’s spokespersons, revisionists, reformists and any kind of opportunists constantly and systematically protected Vatican and Church (for services and favours they received by them), to prejudice of popular masses’ right to know: they concealed or minimize their misdeeds, crimes, responsibilities, indifference to popular masses’ suffering.
International relations, that is, for our country, foreign policy, are a field of contrasts between imperialist bourgeoisie’s groups and Vatican and between Vatican and popular masses. Vatican can’t accept the transformation of EU in a political power: it couldn’t have any more licenses, immunities (from inquiries, controls and justice), fiscal exemptions, privileges, monopolies and financial power it has today in Italy. The latest winter events of Antonio Fazio, of Work National Bank and Antonveneta Bank showed a side of this problem. Vatican is allied to USA in sabotaging European Union’s political enforcement. On the other side, EU can serve European and Italian imperialist groups’ interests only becoming a political power, So, Vatican is obliged to support US imperialism also in its preventive wars, because it needs its benevolence and protection in Europe and in the world, as well as because of pressures of US imperialists, who unscrupulously utilize American clergy’s financial and sexual crimes and US Protestant churches’ competition. However, the support of US imperialism contrasts with the role Church is trying to assume for maintaining what still remains of its hegemony upon popular masses, that is its role of dispenser of hopes in heaven to the masses beaten down by the undeclared war of extermination, the role of chaplain consoling while executioner’s killing.
As regard our country’s internal policy, there is no field where aren’t at stake Church and Vatican’s important interests. Bank, insurance and financial system, fiscal regime, destination of public expenditure, bank and commercial and professional men’s secret, registration of exchange and other financial securities, publicity and transparency of balances and fiscal declarations, property and use of soils (zoning regulations, planning permissions, public works), regime of rents, protection of environment and environmental improvements, artistic patrimony (property, conservation and management), school, hospital, assistance and sanitary system, show business, museums, tourism, communications, careers in Public Administration, work relations, and so on: these are some of the sectors where who formulates laws and who controls their administration and application must care not to damage Church’s interests and must quickly meet its wishes and demands. Adding to this other sectors as scientific research, historical research and management of State archives and secret, marriages legislation, family laws and everything concern sexual relations, we begin to have an idea about how much Church conditions the State and to understand why in Italy the Public Administration is so demotivated, parasitic, corrupted, irresponsible, overbearing towards weaklings and weak towards powers, and “inexplicably” ineffectual. Finally, let’s add that in all these sectors and especially dealing with crimes which the clergy is implicated in (financial crimes and speculations, frauds, sexual violence and abuses, usury, circumvention of incapables), Justice administration and police activity must close one or both eyes every time they had to do with Church or Vatican’s organs and Church’s members or their relatives, dummies and favourites (that is hundred of thousand of people scattered in the entire country), and that in their turn all swindlers who have interest, will, social position and means to do it take advantage of the situation created by respect of Church’s interests and privileges. This is the reason why in Italy every government always proclaims the struggle against tax evasion, and this always remains a dead letter. This explains as well hundreds others Public Administration’s deficiencies and many “mysteries” of our country.
If, as it’s probable, the Church will become promoter centre of popular masses’ reactionary mobilization in Italy that is what imperialist bourgeoisie needs, in next future it will intensify its activity in popular masses’ mobilization and organization to hamper Communist movements rebirth, to prevent the Communist from orientating and directing the resistance that popular masses are opposing to advancement of crisis, to prevent popular masses’ revolutionary mobilization. Doing this, the Church will have to reckon with the heritage that first wave of proletarian revolution settled within popular masses in matter of consciousness and organization: already today everywhere the imperialist bourgeoisie had to recruit mercenaries and volunteers because it cannot trust on young people’s mass. Anyway, it will create a wide field, which we Communists can change in a fertile ground for us, considering the experience of oppression and exploitation that also the popular masses mobilized by Church have had: it is and will be completely in our favour. We mustn’t address the masses levering on our consciousness, but on their experience and on progressive side of their consciousness. We shall not say: “We do so because we’re Communists, we’re left-wing”. We, Communist and left-wing people, shall show the popular masses, the ones who worship God as well, how things stand, who are their real enemies and who are their friends, what they must and can do to end the compulsions they suffer on earth. We lever on left wing of its believer themselves for liberating themselves from Church, in name of their class’ experience.
We don’t fear the problem of direction. It would be wrong to put as a question to be decided beforehand, with top management’s agreements. The struggle that popular masses had to carry out to face current crisis is not an academic discussion, or an electoral campaign, or an assembly even heated and tumultuous, with rules and regulations before fixed. It will be a severe, painful, tenacious and long struggle. In every severe struggle that puts at stake popular masses by millions and in which millions of people have at stake the life of them and of their loved ones, there aren’t the diplomatic agreements or the backroom deals that decide who directs. Unavoidably, it directs who most rightly understands conditions and forms of the struggle, and step by step launches paroles in which who struggles with decision recognizes his aspirations and so appropriate them.
Marxism - Leninism - Maoism and mass line will be the instruments of our victory in isolating Church and Vatican from popular masses, overthrowing the reactionary mobilization in revolutionary mobilization and at last liberating our country and the world from Church and Vatican’s defilement.
27. Clericals, and with them “laics” as Italian “philosophers” Marcello Pera and Costanzo Preve, uphold that there aren’t morals without religion that founds them. They accuse us Marxists of “moral relativism”, that is to have no morals. “If God doesn’t exist, everything’s allowed” - they say. It’s understandable that only the master, for people with a slave or slaver mentality, can do life’s rules. “No master, no rules.” “When the cat’s away the mice will play!” As a matter of fact, once the mantle of duress as been broken, several times experience showed people who suffered it, but little or nothing did for breaking it, which get wild, as drunks, until the practical needs of life recall the to reality. At that point, if revolution has in itself forces to go on, it comes out what’s confirmed by the whole course of human history: in every situation humanity better survives and advances, the more there become rules of personal conduct for every individual the ones better corresponding to the work the concrete society has to do in those concrete conditions. Anyway, if morals and religion had come from God, why would he have scattered so many morals and religions and sometimes also changed his mind? Only when the connection is lost, that is only when morals survived to their times, or when morals imposed to members of oppressed classes and peoples by ruling class in order to maintain oppression, morals are presented as God’s commandments, the earthly sanction of its violation is reinforced by curse and divine condemnation and its faithful observance is recompensed as well as master and also God’s benevolence. Worst crimes are done in the name of God, so as many pious and heroic works.
28. Particularly, we have to denounce Church and Vatican’s present role in many ex - colonies. Here they have great hegemony and power. They monopolize distribution of supplies, sanitary assistance and other imperialist countries and multinationals’ “aids”. They use their political power and intellectual and moral direction upon the popular masses to divert them from the struggle for emancipation and economical, political and cultural development against imperialism and puppet governments of comprador and bureaucratic bourgeoisie, and to recruit employees for their international activity (selected emigration), so further impoverishing oppressed countries in this way as well.
29. There are some exemplary cases. When the State saved from failure of Michele Sindona’s Italian Private Bank, deposits of five hundred holders who were in tabulations miraculously vanished, Vatican and its prelates’ involvement in the case saved everybody from bad publicity and judicial and patrimonial consequences. The unwise magistrate of S. Maria Capua Vetere who made public the involvement of cardinal Giordano of Naples in a wide usury racket, burned his career. Obviously, because of the reasons indicated the hidden remains unknown. Its existence is revealed only by the fury which are cancelled, by few cases emerging because of accidental reasons or by idleness and ineptitude of apparatuses whose members are personally not at all incompetents (many of them, however, owed their position to Vatican and Church themselves).