Mussolini and the Church; rivals or collaborators?

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'Rivals' or 'Collaborators'? Which description of the relationship between Fascism and the Church 1922-39 is the more accurate? The Italian Church played a large part in everyday life and had done for a very long time. Over 9/10th of the population was Catholic. Because of this the Church had a huge sway in the feelings and beliefs of the people of Italy. There was a complex structure of financial, educational and welfare organisations set up …

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…the Church were both collaborators and enemies. Neither truly valued the other's beliefs, but adopted them in order to make personal gains. They had, in my opinion, a relationship similar to that of Hitler and Stalin, all smiles with each other, whilst privately they sought to rid themselves of the other. Only they couldn't, as they needed one another in order to retain, and hopefully increase their power and position within 20th century 'fascist' Italy.