Maria Paiano

Religion and Politics in the Risorgimento: Devotions under Pope Pius IX

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Risorgimento; Catholic Cult; Catholic Movement.

Italian Catholics had their own way to take part in the expansion of the politic use of the symbolical dimension that characterized the Risorgimento. Between 1847 and 1848, in a cultural and psychological context marked by the myth of the liberal pope and by the belief that they could express their own ideas freely, they gave to their traditional prayers a variety of meanings that reflected their different positions about the national cause. This polysemy of the Catholic cult shrank after the pope began to give an intransigent meaning to the most popular forms of piety. When the unitary State was born, the intransigent Catholics spread that meaning among all believers and used the cult as a weapon to contrast the ecclesiastical politics of the new Italian Kingdom and to defend the temporal power of the pope. However, the years before the final fall of this last, they felt the need to invent new forms of engagement for the Church, laying the foundation of the first Catholic movement.

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