Mattarella’s speech in line with Francesco. He is the last Catholic at the Quirinale

The imminent farewell of Sergio Mattarella marks the exit from the active politics of the last exponent of democratic and social Catholicism. Some are retired (think of Romano Prodi or Rosy Bindi) but they are no longer engaged in political daily life.

Catholic Giorgia Meloni? Her “I am a woman, a mother, a Christian” is imbued with that clerical-nationalist caudillism in which the roots of visceral neo-fascism are recognized. On the other hand, there is a lack of incisive battles in his party against the network of employers, who in many parts of Italy use the hiring to exploit thousands of women (and men) in agricultural work. The mafia is propagandistically interested if it is Nigerian, the national one does not seem to have big enemies on the right. The family is fine as a very lofty and pure icon, no interest if it has the real face of families extorted by the mafia of the large fruit and vegetable markets.

Matteo Salvini waving rosaries and ardently invoking the Madonna, but his clerical-patriotic inspiration is extinguished when it comes to fighting to free the best of Italian youth from the swamp of a mass and ever-expanding precariat, which stifles any long-term project for the future . The idea of ​​a neighbor, for the leader of the League, stops at the strong economic spheres and those VAT numbers capable of collecting tax concessions combined with as many evasions: false VAT numbers, squeezed into tens of thousands of companies, the League captain does not sees them.

On the Catholic ancestry of Matteo Renzi not much to worry about. Democratic Catholicism, “adult” Catholicism, is unknown to him. When Prodi tried to introduce de facto unions in Italy, Renzi got involved in opposition to the Dico, crouching under the vetoes of Benedict XVI and a CEI forged by Cardinal Ruini. When it was clear to everyone that Pope francesco he would not have lifted a finger to oppose a law on civil unions, the Tuscan leader found the courage to implement it.

The Minister of Justice Marta Cartabia, of ciellina training? It is difficult to trace a high level of Catholic constitutional thinking in the clock process you have launched. A perversion both with respect to the procedural tradition derived from Roman law and with respect to Anglo-Saxon law. A mechanism that satisfies “strong interests” but does not do justice to either the victims or the innocent accused.

It is surprising that Cartabia has not plunged the scalpel into the quibbles and procedural tangles, which prevent rapid processes in Italy (such as in the United States) to the benefit of “Powerful”. There is a lot of scent of realpolitik ciellina and very little of Catholic-democratic constitutionalism in the direction of the current Ministry of Justice.

In this panorama Mattarella’s last New Year’s speech it represents a sort of legacy of that democratic political Catholicism which greatly contributed to the growth of the Republic after the war. A legacy marked by basic themes. The awareness that the Constitution is not a stale document of more or less assembled and assembled prescriptions, but the “solid and vigorous foundation of national unity”: very current in its “principles and values ​​that must be lived by political and social actors and by all the citizens”.

The insistence on a patriotism which does not feed on hatred and rifts (the good against the bad according to the gospel of the sovereignists and Trumpians of Europe and the Americas) but is manifested in the loyal and convinced collaboration between institutions and citizens for the common good: “The real face of a united and supportive Republic… patriotism concretely expressed in the life of the Republic ”.

Finally, in Mattarella’s intervention, it emerges a cornerstone of social Catholicism that in the political and media chatter systematically remains in the shade (and not surprisingly, since it is not in the interest of the economic potentates that it be addressed): the serious problem of inequalities.

The Catholic Mattarella did not discount. He criticized those who look at reality with “filters of convenience”, he recalled that in the course of the pandemic new inequalities were added to the ancient inequalities, first of all the widespread precariousness. He contradicted the liberal myth according to which economic growth in itself solves everything: “The spontaneous dynamics of the markets – he said – sometimes produce imbalances or even injustices that must be corrected”.

Thus the words of the President of the Republic are linked to the focal point of thehomily delivered by Pope Francis on Christmas Eve. The question of growing inequalities and injustices, which primarily affect work. “God tonight – underlined the pontiff – comes to fill the hardness of work with dignity. It reminds us how important it is to give dignity to man with work, but also to give dignity to man’s work, because man is lord and not a slave to work “. Hence the warning to stop the deaths at work.

The question remains as to who are or may be the political parties and exponents capable of taking the baton that a democratic and social Catholicism at sunset – at least as regards its representative figures – entrusts to new generations.

The Draghi government has shown in recent months that it actively works for a resumption of growth, accompanied where possible by social cohesion. But it is now clear that the current government is not moving towards the construction of a “new social market economy”. The signs are incontrovertible. There is no redistribution of wealthon the contrary, the tax reform realizes a redistribution for the benefit of the middle and upper classes. The fight against tax evasion is non-existent, a social monstrosity when (apart from European aid) all the economic weight of the health structure committed to fighting the pandemic and supporting the infected rests on the shoulders of citizens who pay taxes. And they are always the ones who pay the brunt of the deficit necessary for the wide range of incentives for the economy.

Finally, there is no trend reversal with respect to an insecurity of work now wild and false VAT numbers. Francis immediately said that the crisis is “better or worse”. In Italy and in many other countries of the world the signs indicate: as regards the social conditions, worse.

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