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Title: The Lateran Pacts and the debates in the Italian Constituent Assembly, with reference to religious freedom, and the consequences for religious minorities (1946-1948)
Author: Thomas, Huw Martin
Awarding Body: University of Wales, Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2005
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The thesis is a detailed study of the debates of the Italian Constituent Assembly on the question of the inclusion of the Lateran Pacts of 1929 and the constitutional and practical ramifications with regard to the condition of the religious minorities. Section A briefly outlines the changes in the role of the papacy from the mid 19th century until the end of World War II, the emergence of political Catholicism and the significance of the Lateran Pacts. Religious freedom for Protestants over the same period is then discussed, focussing in particular on their legal position. This is followed by an analysis of Catholic religious freedom as established by the Catholic Church and of the relationship between the Vatican and the Christian Democrats. In Section B the debates on the articles dealing with the inclusion of the Lateran Pacts and religious freedom for the minority religions are discussed. Draft article 5 of the Constitution is the basis for the analysis, the individual clauses of which have been treated separately. Methodologically, this was the most appropriate way of tackling the extremely complex issues linked to the various clauses. In Section C, the most significant conclusions to emerge are the determination with which the Catholic deputies fought for the inclusion of the Pacts, frequently using religious arguments while ignoring juridical advice, and the Communist leadership's decision to vote with the Christian Democrats for inclusion of the Pacts. For the minority religions, the crucial factor in their continued oppression after the war, apart from the Communist's decision, was the lack of will in the Assembly to draw up clear guidelines that would allow for changes in the Fascist legislature that controlled the actions of the minority religions, thus ensuring that their struggle for religious freedom would continue.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available