Building the Roman Republic
The little-known republic was a short-lived experiment in constitutional democracy.
Pope Francis’ dispute with Italy’s outgoing Interior Minister, Matteo Salvini, is a reminder that in Italy relations between Church and State can be fraught. Pitching the Christian message of charity towards the destitute in opposition to Salvini’s ‘crusade’ against the perceived refugee ‘invasion’, Pope Francis might be seen as trying to unite the ‘conscience of the faithful with that of the citizen’. Such were the words employed by the political thinker Carlo Cattaneo, in the mid-19th century, when the recently elected Pope Pius IX seemed willing to embrace the spirit of the time with encouraging open-mindedness.