28/07/2021

Christianity and democracy

Principles of Christian Democratic Ideology

In the scientific literature, the examination of Christian democracy generally belongs to the researcher interested in the history of politics; the Christian democratic movement, the parties, or its leaders are in the focus of a historical elaboration, and Christian democracy is rarely analyzed as a distinct political ideology. Partly this theoretical niche prompted Carlo Invernizzi Accetti (2019) to write a monograph on the question entitled What is Christian Democracy? Politics, Religion and Ideology. This article offers an overview – mainly based on Invernizzi Accetti’s arguments – on the principles of Christian democratic ideology

In the second half of the 20th century, Christian democracy has been one of the most influential political movements in Western Europe. Christian democratic political parties such as Christlich Demokratische Union (CDU) in Germany, Democrazia Christiana (DC) in Italy, and Parti Social Chrétien-Christelijke Volkspartij (CVP-PSC) in Belgium played decisive roles in their domestic political affairs most commonly taking governmental positions. In France, the Mouvement Républicain Populaire (MRP) – as a Christian democratic party – was also part of governing coalitions and significantly influenced France’s foreign policy. Moreover, Christian democrat politicians were leading figures of European integration from its birth. As Roberto Papini highlights: “On 9 May 1950, Schuman, then the French foreign minister, after consultations with Konrad Adenauer and Alcide de Gasperi, presented a first draft of a blueprint for the construction of Europe, conceived, as he said, ‘as a great work of domestic peace and external cooperation” (Papini, 1997, p. 58). Papini also emphasizes that the prime ministers and the foreign ministers who signed the Treaty of Rome in 1957 were all Christian democrats..

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