Pope Francis has been openly anti-populist, but the Italian people seem open to it now that the situation has gotten more dire economically as a result of COVID-19, rising inflation and an energy crisis triggered by Russia’s attack on Ukraine. The pope has been good about staying away from the morass of Italian politics, leaving it to the Italian bishops to exert influence.
As Vatican observer John Allen Jr. wrote in a recent Crux column: “Italian Catholics also have a commendable capacity to live with contradiction, reflecting a healthy sense of the complexities of things. Small case in point: I recently went to a local pharmacy for a Covid test, and I noticed a poor box to support the hospital founded by Padre Pio atop a shelf. Upon further inspection, it was the same shelf that offered the pharmacy’s collection of jumbo-sized boxes of condoms.”
Meloni is an embodiment of such contradictions. For example, she supports family values and other Catholic doctrines, but has a daughter, named Ginevra, with her boyfriend Andrea Giambruno, a journalist.
Allen said Italy is a place where “the sacred and the secular have been forced by bitter experience to work out a modus vivendi, for the most part respecting the legitimacy and autonomy of the other.”
Despite all these contradictions, Meloni is poised to be prime minister. Her campaign slogan may be “Ready” — but it remains to be seen if she, the majority of her countrymen and the world are ready to see her lead Italy.
Giorgia Meloni could become Italy's first female PM.@ClementeLisi reports on her "God, homeland and family" platform for the Brothers of Italy party, which has roots in the post-war fascist movement that hailed the legacy of dictator Benito Mussolini. https://t.co/1k5EKMliEp
— Meagan Clark Saliashvili (@Meagan_Salia) September 20, 2022