Angela Pellicciari: The other Risorgimento - A forgotten religious war

Angela Pellicciari
Ed. Ares, Milan 2011
pp. 287

The author, historian of the Risorgimento, in this essay, elaborated on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, going against the tide, gives a version, on the historical period examined, totally different from the common vision.

"The image of the Risorgimento that has been handed down to us is the one desired by those who built it: the rulers of the Kingdom of Sardinia, first of all ..." However, many facts remain unexplained, such as, for example, "The first serious anti-Catholic persecution since the time of Constantine, immediately extended to the rest of Italy after unification", unleashed by the Sardinian government in Piedmont, despite the fact that the first article of the Kingdom's Statute states "The Roman Catholic apostolic religion is the only state religion."

The suppression - which begins in 1848 and ends in 1873 - of all religious orders is decided, with 57.492 people, men and women, put on the pavement. "In this century, both secular and Catholic liberal historiography has given voice to the declarations of intent of the Risorgimento ruling class but has forgotten the facts and silenced the Catholic press and historiography of the nineteenth century with the result that, today, only the reasons of the liberals, that is, of the winners. " Pius IX and Leo III, however, see in the Risorgimento an attempt to exterminate the religion of Jesus Christ, "Wanted and promoted by Freemasonry in order to destroy spiritual power using temporal power as a picklock."

1848 begins with the king of the Two Sicilies, Ferdinand II who, on January 29, grants the Constitution, followed closely by the other sovereigns of the peninsula. This is also the year of the first war of independence that began against Austria on 23 March. But another, undeclared war is also being fought this year. A “Dirty war which, as foreseen by the instruction of the Carbonari, is conducted under the banner of lies, slander and defamation. In 1848 the war against the Catholic Church was fought. [...] "

For Cavour, who became prime minister in 1852, foreign policy and domestic policy are two sides of the same coin: "Both functional to the Italian unification under Piedmont, to be carried out under the patronage of the great liberal powers." For this he will send 15.000 men to Crimea at the request of the British government. For this reason, since the British government wishes to free Italy from Catholic obscurantism, it will unleash a war against the Catholic Church, the state religion of Piedmont, by presenting, in 1854, a bill for the suppression of religious communities and establishments. “Everything that is seen falls under the influence of temporal power and therefore of the state; everything that is not seen falls under the jurisdiction of the spiritual power and therefore of the Church. [...] It is evident that if the Church cannot even own the houses in which monks and friars live, imagine if it can legitimately claim the possession of an entire state. " Therefore, with this law the predatory will of the Kingdom of Sardinia towards the State of the Church will be juridically motivated.

It is clear, therefore, why the author, in the subtitle of this essay, speaks of one forgotten religious war.

Gianlorenzo Capano