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Senate Passes Bill Guaranteeing Liberty to Non-catholic Cults

Simultaneously with the vote for the ratification of the Lateran Treaty of accord between the Italian State and the Vatican, the Senate passed the bills regulating non-Catholic marriages in the Kingdom of Italy and guaranteeing the freedom of worship to non-Catholic cults.

The vote on these bills was 283 against 10, while the ratification of the Concordat was effected by a majority of 315 against 6.

On the occasion of the passage of this bill, Mussolini delivered another long address in which he dealt with the recent objections voiced by the Vatican and the agitation concerning the matter in certain Catholic circles. Speaking for the purpose of explaining his first address, which he feared was not fully understood, the burden of Mussolini’s argument was that by reason of the Lateran treaties, Italy was not Vaticanized, nor was the Vatican Italianized.

In his first address, the Prime Minister stated that full religious liberty will continue to exist in Italy. The Catholic Church is again proclaimed as the State Church in Italy, but this does not diminish in any way the absolute freedom of individuals as citizens to follow their own religious inclinations. The other authorized religions are to be free to exist in Italy. The sovereignty of the church must not be misunderstood. The church is not really sovereign in the state because it is bound by terms of the Concordat.

An interesting remark made by Mussolini was his reference to Christianity in connection with Palestine. If Christianity had remained in Palestine instead of coming to Rome, it would have remained merely a Jewish sect, and would have died out, like the sect of the Essenes, he said.

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