Francesco Vito is the theorist of an “economy at the service of mankind”, an expression that for a long time appeared to be a utopia, especially after the triumphant march of neoliberalism that seemed to have marked the final victory of the market over any claim to orient the economy with politics towards goals of social justice. Nowadays, the crisis of neoliberalism seems to reopen the game and re-evaluate some attempts to seek a political governance of the economy. The aim of this essay is to reconstruct Vito’s thought around the related issues of the cyclical instability of capitalism and the limits of neoliberalism.
In the first part, the essay offers a brief review of the main studies on Francesco Vito’s contribution to the debate on the relationship between ethics and economics. In the second part, it offers a summary of the main reflections that the economist of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore developed on this issue. Vito’s thought is part of a conception of human action “as a whole”, proposed in the “personalist milieu”, so he argues that every economic act has a moral implication. In addition, he emphasizes that economics, as an instrumental science, can maintain its autonomy as a discipline only if it accepts the contribution of the other sciences responsible for defining goals. Vito develops his reflections in full consonance with the Social Doctrine of the Church, setting himself as an alternative to both the position of the neo-classical schools and the Marxist approach. This is precisely why Vito’s writings are in accordance with the teachings of the post-conciliar social magisterium.
Giuseppe Siri, during his presbyterate, was a senior lecturer and held courses collaborating with the Istituto S. Giovanni Battista, founded in 1927 at Villa Maria di Campomorone (Genoa) by Antonietta Capelli (1896-1974). The relationship between Siri, Istituto S. Giovanni Battista and A. Capelli was a long-term one. Capelli’s religious institute was also a crossroads, a place of relationships. The action of Giuseppe Siri and Antonietta Capelli have important common features, such as the commitment for the good of souls, the attention to every social category, the idea of the opportunity of a special action of apostolate towards the ruling class for more effective social action.
During the 1950s and the 1960s, the Italian economy and society went through profound changes that lead, in the next decade, Italians to be more interested in civil rights and increasingly involved in the country’s political life. Issues at that time included the reform of family legislation, the divorce law, the elimination of the crime of abortion, and the laws around sexual assault. Several Catholic associations began questioning their positions on the changes affecting the society and families. Among these associations was the Group for the Promotion of Women, founded in Milan between 1971 and 1972, that quickly became a point of reference for Catholic and non- Catholic women in this city. This article analyses the origin, the development and the activities of this group and it points out its achievements in terms to improve women’s conditions in various fields (family, society, workplaces and the Church).
According to the biographical literature on Padre Pio da Pietralcina, this essay confirms that Father Agostino Gemelli played a important role in the long investigations of the Holy Office on the Capuchin saint. Above all, many scholars accuse him of lying, because he claimed to have visited the stigmata while witnesses, present at the meeting of April 19, 1920, denied it. The careful study, together with the documents of the Archives of the Holy Office, reveal the facts with more completeness and bring news about the visit to the stigmata by Father Agostino Gemelli. In this article, Don Flavio Peloso, priest of the “Congregazione dei Figli della Divina Provvidenza” (Don Orione), of whom he was Superior General, currently parish priest, historian and postulator general, wanted to deepen this topic. The essay includes a documentary appendix, useful to complete the reflection on the topic under investigation.
Jacopo Mazzei, descendant of one of the most illustrious Florentine families, was introduced to higher studies in the economic disciplines by Giuseppe Toniolo. In 1917, Mazzei discussed with Toniolo, who had just returned from captivity, the thesis on The customs reforms of President (Woodrow) Wilson. His thought, thoroughly explained in the volume’s fourteen essays, highlights the figure of a scholar of international economics, also seen in his historical perspective and connections. Mazzei, while not neglecting the issues debated in the period between the two world wars ‒ from autarchic premises to theories on economic spaces ‒, remained substantially close to Toniolo’s conceptions. In particular, according to this approach, economics in its various forms and ethics cannot be separated and, for this very reason, Mazzei must be counted among the economists closest to the master of the University of Pisa.