11 February

After the conquest of power, Mussolini tried to broaden the consensus, and among his first acts he found an agreement with the Holy See to resolve the so-called “Roman question”, the historical contrast between State and Church that had accompanied Italian unification. On 11 February 1929, after years of secret negotiations, the Lateran Pacts were signed by Mussolini and the Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Gasparri. Italy recognizes Vatican City as a sovereign and independent state. With the Concordat, the Catholic character of the Italian State is recognized; assured the free spiritual power of the Church and freedom of worship; established the civil effects of canonical marriage and the obligatory teaching of Catholic doctrine in schools. The Concordat will be revised on 18 February 1984, signed by Bettino Craxi and Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, to remove the clause concerning the state religion and to introduce the mechanism of the eight per thousand.