The devout of any faith who advocate the application of its sociology and teachings to political and social life are “integralists,” since they seek to integrate faith and policy. Islam is not alone in this view: It exists as well in Roman Catholic states, Italy being a case in point. Beginning in 1948, Luigi Gedda organized civic committees that were meant to check the perceived threat of Bolshevism by ensuring the coherence of the Catholic vote as part of Azione Cattolica/Catholic Action (ACI), which also organized newly enfranchised women. By 1949, Italian Catholics voting for Marxist parties risked excommunication. These initiatives linked the Roman Catholic Church with the right-most wing of the Democrazia Cristiana/Christian Democracy Party (DC). The most aggressive Catholics were often active in the cities deep in the “Red Belt” of Emilia-Romagna and northward. Cardinal Lercaro of Bologna, for example, with the support of local industrialists, had small trucks and school buses converted into mobile chapels (the famous cappelle volanti or flying chapels) that, together with a priest, would drive on Sunday mornings into working-class neighborhoods, there to play over loudspeakers recordings of church bells and hymns while serving mass to passersby. Others sought expression through a faction of the early DC ably led by Professor Giorgio La Pira and Giuseppe Dossetti, an ex-partisan member of the Constituent Assembly.
   See also Catholicism; Gonella, Guido.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

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