Arguably the most famous Social Catholics of the post-war period where the “Little Professors,” centered on Giuseppe Dossetti and including Amintore Fanfani, Giorgio La Pira, and Giuseppe Lazzati. Other politicians, such as Aldo Moro, could also be included within the Christian Democratic “Left.” While there were important differences between these men, in general they shared a commitment to Christian thought as a potent antidote to atheist Marxism as well as to the injustices of capitalism that often led people to embrace anti-Christian ideologies.
While they arguably failed to achieve the just Christian society they sought to create, the Italian Social Catholics are important because they understood that if religion was simply reduced to a personal eccentricity as opposed to an active force in the world there would be little hope of it succeeding in a modern world increasingly dominated by materialist ideologies. With the end of the Cold War and the ascendancy of neoliberalism, the message of the Italian Social Catholics is as important as ever. Over time, I will try my best to write about the various Italian Social Catholics, their strengths and weaknesses, successes and failures, and what they can teach us today.