Italians have elected a far-right politician, Giorgia Meloni, as prime minister. During the campaign, Meloni invoked the country’s Christian heritage and vowed to oppose the expansion of LGBTQ rights.
Meloni, who once wrote of herself, “I am Giorgia, I’m a woman, I’m a mother … I’m Christian,” was elected in part due to concerns over immigration in Italy. Despite her appeals to the Catholic faith, critics speculated that Meloni, like Donald Trump in America, is largely indifferent to religion but has used it skillfully as a political prop.
Massimo Faggioli, an Italian professor of theology who lives in America and teaches at Villanova University, told Michael Sean Winters, a writer for the National Catholic Reporter, that there are key differences between Meloni and alt-right politicians in America.
“The first is the basic acceptance by all Italian Catholics of the distinction between the religious and political spheres,” said Faggioli. “For example, Meloni preaches about God and family, but she is not married to the man she has been living with and for many years. Other leaders of the right in Italy are in the exact same situation or worse. They campaign to cultural Catholics but have no interest in Catholic moralization campaigns.”