La Constitution de 1947
Article 7 of the Italian Constitution of 1947 (adopted in 1948) concerns the relationship between the State and the Catholic Church. The organization and structure of the catholic Church are considered in Italy as the “prototype” of religious denomination. The first section of Article 7 establishes the mutual independence and sovereignty of both the State and the Church. The second section of Article 7 states that the relations between the State and the Catholic Church is regulated by the Lateran Pacts : changes to the Pacts that are accepted by both parties shall not require a constitutional amendment.
At the same time the first section of Article 8 states that : 1) all religious confessions enjoy equal freedom before ; 2) religious confessions other than Catholicism have the right to organise themselves in accordance with their own statutes, to the extent that these are not in conflict with the Italian legal system ; 3) relationship between minority religions and the State is regulated by legislation, but these legislative acts must be based on specific agreements called “intese”, which literally can be translated into “arrangement” (between State and denominations) on the specific needs concerning confessions.
It is important to underline that Article 2 of the Italian Constitution affirms : “the Republic recognises and guarantees the inviolable rights of the person, as an individual and in the social groups within which human personality is developed. The Republic requires that the fundamental duties of political, economic and social solidarity be fulfilled”. Aricle 3 states that “the Republic recognises and guarantees the inviolable rights of the person, as an individual and in the social groups within which human personality is developed. The Republic requires that the fundamental duties of political, economic and social solidarity be fulfilled”. Article 19 of the Italian Constitution also affirms that “everyone has the right to profess freely their religious faith in any form, individually or in association, to disseminate it and to worship in private or public, provided that the religious rites are not contrary to public morality”. Besides, article 20 states that “no special legislative limitation or tax burden may be imposed on the establishment, legal capacity or activities of any association or institution on the ground of its ecclesiastical nature or its religious or worship purposes”.