Catholic parishes up and down Italy have handed out millions of flyers urging the faithful to rally outside Rome’s St John in Lateran cathedral on Saturday for “Family Day”, against what they see as an attack on family values by the left.
The Vatican has a grip on Italy that is more than religion, but involves culture too. 88% of Italians claim to be Catholics, however, only 37% claim to practice. In the same survey, only 19% support abortion when the reason for abortion is that the mother does not want to have children. If only 37% practice, clearly their is a belief system that transcends going to church.
As Western Europe sees declines in church attendance, the Vatican may slowly lose its grasp of its enveloping bordering nation. Additionally, if Italy's new relaxing of immigration legislation encourages more immigration, the Albanian and North African Muslims may swing the pendulum somewhat. Statistics show that Orthodox Christians from Eastern Europe are coming in large numbers too.
The success of the current measure may help us understand better how the Vatican is fairing in what was once a ruling faction of the area for centuries.