Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Giuseppe Dossetti. Prime Prospettive E Ipotesi Di Ricerca

Academic journal article The Catholic Historical Review

Giuseppe Dossetti. Prime Prospettive E Ipotesi Di Ricerca

Article excerpt

Alberigo, Giuseppe (Ed.). Giuseppe Dossetti. Prime prospettive e ipotesi di ricerca. [Istituto per le scienze religiose-Bologna, Testi e ricerche di scienze religiose, nuova serie, 22.] (Bologna: Societa editrice il Mulino. 1998. Pp. 145. Lire 20,000 paperback.)

The three essays contained in this short book deal with the life and work of Giuseppe Dossetti. Included as well are some transcripts of talks that he gave to young Catholics in the early 1950's. For the fifty or so years before his death in December,1996, Giuseppe Dossetti served as one of the most important voices of Italian Catholicism. His roles as a scholar, a maverick, and an irritant made him all the more valuable to that world. A young canon law professor during the waning years of Benito Mussolini's regime, he joined the anti-Fascist resistance and assumed command of the Committee of National Liberation (C.L.N.) in Reggio nell'Emilla. The C.L.N: s political ecumenism, however, dissolved after the war when the Communists turned anti-Fascist popular justice into a broader violent attack on conservatives and Catholics. This prompted the idealistic Dossetti to delay his desire to enter the Church and to take up politics as a Christian Democrat. Dossetti made his mark in the Christian Democratic Party (or D.C.) as the leader of an ill-fated left-wing faction of intellectuals, the professorini (or dossettiani), which included Giorgio La Pira, Giuseppe Lazzati, and Amintore Fanfani. The faction reached a dead end at the D.C: s 1949 Congress in Venice, and the defeated Dossetti retired from politics. His departure was interrupted briefly in 1956 when he ran without success for the Bologna mayor's of fice against the popular Communist, Giuseppe Dozza.

Dossetti became convinced that the limitations of Catholic politics rose from the failings of the Italian Church. …

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