34 pages
Français

The Territorial Articulation of Secularization in Italy: Social Modernization, Religious Modernization / Territoire et sécularisation en Italie : modernisation sociale et modernisation religieuse - article ; n°1 ; vol.107, pg 77-108

-

Obtenez un accès à la bibliothèque pour le consulter en ligne
En savoir plus

Description

Archives des sciences sociales des religions - Année 1999 - Volume 107 - Numéro 1 - Pages 77-108
Can traditional religious organizations successfully adapt themselves to modernization? Are the ecclesiastical organization of the Christian churches and modernization compatible? The answers to these questions may determine our understanding of modernity and secularization. In this respect, a look at the religious situation in Italy is particularly interesting. The author presents a comparison between the religious situation in the North (more developed) and the South (less developed) regions of the country and concludes that the present situation results more from a strategy of religious modernization than from a legacy of a previous premodern situation. While it is impossible to imagine modernization without secularization, it is nevertheless necessary to reject a direct and univocal relationship between secularization and the crisis of religion.
Les organisations religieuses traditionnelles peuvent-elles s'adapter avec succès à la modernisation sociale ? Y a-t-il compatibilité entre l'organisation ecclésiastique des Eglises chrétiennes et la modernisation ? La compréhension de la modernité et de la sécularisation dépendent en partie des réponses à ces questions. L'analyse de la situation religieuse en Italie à cet égard est intéressante. L'auteur propose d'offrir un schéma de comparaison entre la situation religieuse dans le nord (plus développé) et le sud (moins développé) du pays, et souligne que la situation actuelle apparaît bien plus comme l'effet d'une stratégie de modernisation religieuse que comme l'héritage d'une situation pré-moderne. S'il n'est pas possible d'imaginer une modernisation sans sécularisation, il est néanmoins nécessaire de refuser d'envisager une relation directe et univoque entre sécularisation et crise de la religion.
32 pages
Source : Persée ; Ministère de la jeunesse, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Direction de l’enseignement supérieur, Sous-direction des bibliothèques et de la documentation.

Sujets

Informations

Publié par
Publié le 01 janvier 1999
Nombre de lectures 15
Langue Français
Poids de l'ouvrage 3 Mo

Luca Diotallevi
The Territorial Articulation of Secularization in Italy: Social
Modernization, Religious Modernization / Territoire et
sécularisation en Italie : modernisation sociale et modernisation
religieuse
In: Archives des sciences sociales des religions. N. 107, 1999. pp. 77-108.
Citer ce document / Cite this document :
Diotallevi Luca. The Territorial Articulation of Secularization in Italy: Social Modernization, Religious Modernization / Territoire et
sécularisation en Italie : modernisation sociale et modernisation religieuse. In: Archives des sciences sociales des religions. N.
107, 1999. pp. 77-108.
doi : 10.3406/assr.1999.1164
http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/assr_0335-5985_1999_num_107_1_1164Resumen
¿ Pueden las organizaciones religiosas tradicionales adaptarse con éxito a la modernización social ? ¿
Son compatibles la organización eclesiastica de las Iglesias cristianas y la ? El
entendimiento de la modernidad y de la secularización se encuentra en parte en las respuestas a estas
preguntas. En este sentido, el análisis de la situación religiosa en Italia es interesante. El autor propone
un esquema comparativo entre la situación religiosa del norte del país (mas desarrollado) y del sur
(menos desarrollado), y muestra que la situación presente parece más como el resultado de una
estrategia de modernización religiosa que como una herencia de una situación premoderna. Si bien no
es posible imaginar una modernización sin secularización, sin embargo es necesario de no considerar
la relación entre secularización y crisis de la religión como directa y unívoca.
Abstract
Can traditional religious organizations successfully adapt themselves to modernization? Are the
ecclesiastical organization of the Christian churches and modernization compatible? The answers to
these questions may determine our understanding of modernity and secularization. In this respect, a
look at the religious situation in Italy is particularly interesting. The author presents a comparison
between the in the North (more developed) and the South (less developed) regions of
the country and concludes that the present situation results more from a strategy of religious
modernization than from a legacy of a previous premodern situation. While it is impossible to imagine without secularization, it is nevertheless necessary to reject a direct and univocal
relationship between secularization and the crisis of religion.
Résumé
Les organisations religieuses traditionnelles peuvent-elles s'adapter avec succès à la modernisation
sociale ? Y a-t-il compatibilité entre l'organisation ecclésiastique des Eglises chrétiennes et la
modernisation ? La compréhension de la modernité et de la sécularisation dépendent en partie des
réponses à ces questions. L'analyse de la situation religieuse en Italie à cet égard est intéressante.
L'auteur propose d'offrir un schéma de comparaison entre la situation religieuse dans le nord (plus
développé) et le sud (moins développé) du pays, et souligne que la actuelle apparaît bien plus
comme l'effet d'une stratégie de modernisation religieuse que comme l'héritage d'une situation pré-
moderne. S'il n'est pas possible d'imaginer une modernisation sans sécularisation, il est néanmoins
nécessaire de refuser d'envisager une relation directe et univoque entre sécularisation et crise de la
religion.Arch de Sc soc des Rel. 1999 107 juillet-septembre 77-108
Luca DIOTALLEVI
THE TERRITORIAL ARTICULATION
OF SECULARIZATION IN ITALY
SOCIAL MODERNIZATION RELIGIOUS
Introduction
The uncommon ability of Catholicism at least until the mid 1990s to endure as
dominant religion in Italy as pointed out by long series of studies 1) still remains
to be fully understood
In the present study we propose to link this ability to the partial success of the
project of modern Christianity conceived and developed between the pontificates
of Leon XIII and Pius XI asking ourselves if in the development of this project
kind of winning compromise between Catholicism and modernization has emerged
in Italian society We also have to ask whether the deep and prolonged influence of
certain kind of Italian Catholicism social par essence has resulted in kind of
defensive modernization 4) or protected modernization characteristic which
could explain the limits typical of the Italian process
From broader interdisciplinary perspective we could further evaluate whether
and to what extent this defensive Italian modernization has been an opportunity taken
or lost and by whom In the present study it is more important to affirm that the
relationship between Church and modernization cannot be analyzed through the sole
quantity of ritual practice attendance This relationship must also be analyzed in
We shall refer to series of frequently cited studies Amongst them the first national survey on
religiousness by the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore CESAREO et alii 1995 in 1994 and the second
national study twenty five years later by BURGALASSI 1970 See also Luca DIOTAVELLI Religione chiesi
moderniu.asione Roma Borla 1999
Probably more realistically modern than the Catholic modernism Fogazzaro Murri Bo-
naiuti)
SeePouLAT 1974 pp 12-13
MORO R. 1988 the conclusions in particular
77 ARCHIVES DE SCIENCES SOCIALES DES RELIGIONS
terms of how the extensive post World War reforms of the ecclesiastical organiza
tion from the new seminaries to the transformation of the Azione Cattolica into
contemporary mass-movement were successful attempt at managing structural and
strategic innovations which enabled the Catholic Church to reposition itself in
society undergoing modernization process The Catholic Church may not always
have been at the center of this process but it was almost never at the margins either
and this gave rise to an obvious form of internal secularization
To understand the relationship between Church and society it is crucial to widen
our perspective beyond the limits of individual religiousness Different social contexts
must be considered as well as the forms taken by ecclesiastical organization As Carlo
Prandi recently affirmed religious membership can be understood only if one analyzes
it in terms of the relative offer Prandi 1996 It is probably the right moment to turn
our attention to the call Kaufmann put out more than 20 years ago and to bring the
present sociology of religion back as its classics did to the task of studying the
larger religious organizations as well 6)
The fact that in the Northern Southern and Central areas of Italy different models
of Church or to be more precise various doses of various types of ecclesiastical
organization and various types of Church oriented religiousness can be found is by
now sufficiently obvious And the different quantities that we can measure become
significant only where the possibility for religion to be able or unable to cope with the
social context is taken into account Secularization in the North in the Center and
in the South of Italy is at least of three different kinds Cartocci 1994 173) owing
to the form and the dynamics of the social context and to this religious
component There are probably areas of the country especially in the North
where high levels of secularization are matched by more than average performances
of the ecclesiastical organization and by higher than average levels of diffusion of
Church oriented religiousness 10)
bid
En dépit des travaux de Troeltsch et de Weber le développement de la sociologie religieuse
pas traité de fa on substantielle les aspects organisateurs des phénomènes religieux La recherche empirique
est concentrée sur étude des phénomènes religieux observables chez les individus attitudes comporte
ments ou les groupes élémentaires paroisses cercles religieux communautés religieuses) mais elle
négligé les organisations religieuses envergure plus large tels les ordres les diocèses les glises
réformées voire la curie romaine KAUFMANN 1974a 101)
In this regard several issues become relevant the adaptability of religiousness and Christianity to
modernization and functional differentiation the emergence of limits embedded within the process of
functional differentiation LUHMANN 1977 54 Limits for which according to Luhmann theory is
necessarily lacking SIMMEL in his essay on social differentiation 1982) considers these limits as both valid
and fortunate in regard to the symmetrical process of individuation
Southern Catholicism appears to be more strongly characterized by ritualistic and conformistic
aspects CARTOCCI 1990 188 see also CARTOCCI 1983)
From the late 70s to the late 80s Cartocci found transformation in the relationship of positive
correlation between religious identification and participation in the country as whole and in its various
areas
10 Cartocci prefers not to evaluate this hypothesis If repeated after about twenty five years the
historic survey on the hidden Christianities would show very different territorial distribu
tion of the three main ecclesiastically oriented subcultures the official the sacral and the prophetic
BURGALASSI 1970 137 and following pages)
78 THE TERRITORIAL ARTICULATION OF SECULARIZATION IN ITALY
We do not yet have vast body of comparative sociological literature on religious
localisms in Italy neither for areas of limited dimensions nor as to contexts of larger
proportions 11 Furthermore studies in this area are often centered on specific
aspects of local religious systems on popular religiousness and its practices At
any rate tradition of purely intra-national comparison is virtually non existent
For this reason it is useful to offer contribution devoted to the three large national
territorial partitions which boast fair level of internal homogeneity at least relative)
basedon volume of scientific information concerning the North 12) the Centre 13
and South 14 of the country
Such study has twofold advantage On the one hand it allows to oppose
critical approach to the most widespread ideas on the territorial differentiation of
religion in Italian society 15 On the other hand socioreligious analysis of Italian
territorial identities and differences gives us an interesting opportunity to reconsider
some aspects of the more current ideas on secularization
Territorial differences in Italy are well known and not of minor importance
few figures will be enough to portray the gap between North and South the first is
very rich and advanced 16) the latter much less so 17 On the economic level for
example the data have an immediate significance Compared with the national
average consumption and income per capita in the North are about 40 points higher
than in the South Istat data 1995 The Northern regions which account for about
44 of the total population produce more than half of GNP The South with
36 of the total only about 25 of GNP In the last
decade this gap has widened In the North we find more than half of all Italian
businesses and more than half of all employed persons in the South we find more
than half of all the unemployed If we focus on the employment of women crucial
aspect for the evaluation of the level of socio-economic modernization) we see that
the 54 of Italian women are employed in the North while the 24.7 are employed
in the South This figure is 10 points above the overall percentage of resident female
11 CIPRIANI 1992 23 ss
12 Piedmont and Valle Aosta) Lombardy Tri véneto Trentino-Alto Adige Veneto Friuli Vene
zia Giulia) Liguria Emilia Romagna
13 Tuscany Umbria Marche Lazio
14 Abruzzo Molise Campania Apulia Basilicata Calabria Sicily Sardinia
15 Franco GARELLI who has the merit of having always kept the question in mind writes the
religious expression in our country varies considerably according to the different geographical areas Overall
the widest diversity of religious positions emerges between the Southern regions Islands included and those
of the Centre while compared to these large territorial partitions the area of the North expresses trends
which are more aligned with the average national data The South is the area of the country in which the
adhesion to the model of the Church-oriented religion is most widespread 1991 104 Later even as
commentary to the results of the most recent survey on religiousness in Italy Cesareo et alii 1995) this
opinion does not change see GARELLI 1995a 65)
16 In the sense in BECKFORD 1991
17 SeeTRlGlLiA 1993 We cannot mention the numerous socioreligious specificities of Central Italy
of which the most important is the presence of Roma In our evaluation of the crisis of religion ecclesiastical
organizations and religiousness for this region we advise not ascribing primary role to political aspects
The strong rooting of the political red subculture cannot have decisive role in the explanation given to
this specific situation It suffices to reflect on the not negligible differences between the situations of Emilia
Romagna Tuscany and Umbria this latter much more in crisis These differences are not attributable to
their respective political profiles in particular the dominance of the leftist political subculture
79 ARCHIVES DE SCIENCES SOCIALES DES RELIGIONS
population in the North and 10 points below the percentage of resident female in the South
The different sociopolitical dynamic between the North and the South is also well
known For example voter turnout crucial indicator of political participation at
the political elections in 1992 for the Camera dei Deputati was 15 points higher in the
North than in the South 18 And yet the economic significance of the
presence in the South with all that it brings in terms of distortion of the specificity
of the political and economic spheres Walzer 1994 may be assessed by single
fact in the South and in the Center 23 out of 100 employed people are directly
state-employed public administrators This figure in the North by contrast drops to
16 out of 100
In the following pages we therefore wish to update to the mid 1990s the figures
of available socioreligious indicators in reference to the territorial entities we have
chosen to consider to show how certain quantitative balance has been produced
not in spite of the Italian processes of social modernization but within them and within
the closely linked processes of ecclesiastical and to call attention
to how this line of research can update the theoretical study of modernization and
secularization through careful study of large religious organizations and of the
Churches 19)
An update to the mid 1990s
The picture we propose in the present study will try not only to update the
available information generally updated only to the late 1980s but also to increase
the number of sources of information and to perform more in depth elaboration of
the data 20)
18 See for example ARCULEO MARRADI 1985 CARTOCCI 1990 RICOLFI 1989 and 1996 PARISI
ScHADEE1995 BAGNASCO 1996a
19 In this regard the contribution made by LUHMANN 1977 chapter and 1972 is crucial though
to be firmly placed in the whole of the production of the Bielefeld sociologist particularly as to his theory
of social differentiation and of the distinction of levels Ebene or types of social systems The sense and
usefulness of theoretical contributions emerge much more clearly when situated within the
various and important studies which underline the difficulties and the need to revive studies centered on
religious organizations from BECKFORD 1973 and 1984 to KAUFMANN 1974 down to GUIZZARDI Pace 1987
and WUTHNOW 1988 For discussion about these data and and these problems the economic theory of
religion Stark lamnaccone and others the neosecularization Chaves see my Italian case and
American theories DIOTALLEVI 1999 forthcoming)
20 In the present study we will not evaluate the existing data for the area of Roma For the moment
suffice it to say that the presence in Roma of the Vatican Curia of the offices of the Conferenza Episcopale
Italiana and of the national and international centers of many Catholic institutions strongly influences some
indicators like that of the ecclesiastical workforce It should be further noted that the area of the Municipality
of Roma is divided into four dioceses Roma Porto and Santa Rufina St Paul outside the Walls and Ostia
For all these reasons we have chosen to give where possible the cumulative figure which could be ascribed
to the four Roman dioceses that for the rest of Lazio and for the remaining part of Central Italy
80 THE TERRITORIAL ARTICULATION OF SECULARIZATION IN ITALY
Ecclesiastical workforce
As of the end of 1995 the Central Statistics Office of the Catholic Church
attributes to the Italian dioceses 35388 incardinated and present secular clergy The
disproportion in the territorial distribution is obvious The figures per 10000 inhabi
tants are in the North 7.4 in the South 4.6 in the Center Roma included) 5.5 In
the Italian dioceses we find 1450 priests ordained in another Italian diocese of these
about 50 are in Roma The Italian dioceses also have 2676 foreign priests 92.9
of these in Roma
The situation does not change when we examine the data referring to regular
clergy With the exception of Roma 21 the figures per 10000 inhabitants are in the
North 2.8 in the South 2.1 in the Center 3.5 Even with the attenuation if we
consider the last two decades] the North still has 20 points more than the South
compared to the national average
Another component of great importance within the ecclesiastical workforce is that
of nuns Even today their number in Italy is more than double that of priests Their
territorial distribution is equivalent to that of the priests more numerous in the North
less so in the South The figures per 10000 inhabitants are in all Italy 20 in the
North 20.7 in the South 12.1 in the Center Roma excluded) 18.4
The main ecclesiastical structures
In 1995 in Italy there were 25700 parishes with an average population of 2286
inhabitants The capillarity of the parish network appears to be greater in the North
than in the South The number of residents per parish breaks down as follows in the
North one parish for every 2033 in the South one parish for every 2818
residents in the Center one parish for every 2135 inhabitants The South accounts
for 18.6 of the total Italian parishes More to the point however and as conse
quence of both the delayed establishment of the Southern parishes and of their mainly
recettizio character in recent times 36 of these Southern parishes boast more
than 5000 inhabitants On the contrary small parishes are far more common in the
North 57.6 of the Northern parishes have fewer than 1000 inhabitants This figure
for the South falls to 18.6 This situation allows the Northern dioceses good margin
of flexibility compared to the Southern dioceses in managing human resources which
are shrinking to the demand
As far as the level of centralized diocesan control over the local parish clergy is
concerned the peculiar situation of Central Italy must be mentioned In Central Italy
the regular clergy are in charge of more than one quarter of the parishes and are
necessarily endowed with higher degree of juridical organizational and cultural
autonomy While in the North the regular clergy are in charge of only 4 of the
21 In the four Roman dioceses we find l/5th of the regular clergy present in Italy in of them is
foreign priest
81 ARCHIVES DE SCIENCES SOCIALES DES RELIGIONS
parishes in the South this figure more than doubles 22 In the whole country with
the exception ofTuscany we find situation quite rare today in Western Europe 99
of the parishes are managed by priest almost always resident parish priest but the
level of pastoral homogeneity is better assured in the North than elsewhere In
Lombardy 91 of the parishes have resident parish priest belonging to the secular
clergy 70 in Lazio and Tuscany 66 in Abruzzo and Molise and 58 in
Roma 23)
higher proportion of parishes in Central and Southern Italy are entrusted to
regular clergy Yet we cannot conclude from this that these regions show wider
diversification of the offer made available by the Catholic Church within the religious
market While in the North we find one parish priest for every 13.8 regular priests the
ratio decreases to 5.6 in the South and to 5.2 in the Center Roma itself 11.8 These
data allow us to presume that in the Center and in the South community life and
resources devoted to all forms of religious life may find greater difficulty It may well
be that in the central-southern area of the country the regular clergy are called to act
as mere substitutes for the secular clergy even though they cannot for obvious
reasons ensure the same levels of synergy with their diocese at least in the medium
and the long term At the same time we have to be aware of the risk of jeopardizing
the visibility of an offer of religious experience which remains specific
Another essential structure of the Catholic ecclesiastical organization is the
seminar which is charged with the selection and education of the priest The philo
sophy and theology seminaries for the secular clergy are located as follows 51 in
the North 23 in the South and 18 in the Center It should also be said that the
universities and faculties of ecclesiastical studies are more numerous in the North than
in the South while the maximum concentration of them is found in Roma This fact
is complemented by another which can be read as partial measurement of the
theological and cultural autonomy from the Roman centers of studies of the Northern
dioceses of the diocesan priests already ordained who continue their studies in the
Roma region 46.3 are from Southern diocese while only 31.5 come from the
North
In the field of social assistance Vatican sources cite more than 5400 hospitals
surgeries leprosy hospitals old homes orphanages day-cares marriage
guidance counselors special education centers and others services all under control
of the ecclesiastical authorities in Italy Of these 48 are located in the North the
figure is slightly higher than the percentage of resident population) 18 in the Center
and 34 in the South in both cases slightly lower than the percentage of resident
population The figure is still more significant if we consider that in the North
competition within the market of assistance services is much stronger and at the same
time the offer in that field more developed and more qualified 24)
22 The explanation could be found in the fact that in the North secular clergy who are not resident
parish priests can be in charge of many parishes thanks to the overall smaller size of those parishes 15.4
compared to 11 in the Centre and 6.8 in the South
23 We have to keep in mind that priest whether diocesan or regular can also be in charge of more
than one parish so that the same priest is registered at best as resident in only one of those parishes
24 An even higher disproportion emerged from the results of an empirical research project done in
the late 80s whose object was the welfare activities linked to the Catholic Church AA VV. 1990a This
study presumably examined wider range of initiatives compared to those examined by the Vatican sources
82 THE TERRITORIAL ARTICULATION OF SECULARIZATION IN ITALY
The North holds still greater advantage in the field of education Even though
competition in the educational market is once again stiffer in the North and even
though the offer is certainly not less penetrating Vatican sources attribute to
the North 53 of the institutions and 77 of the whole body of users
Finally the unofficial estimate of 1100000 copies of diocesan newspapers sold
weekly places them at the top of the list of the most widespread Italian weekly
publications Of the 116 diocesan weekly publications operating in Italy 70 are in the
North 18 in the Center and 28 in the South This means that Northern dioceses on an
average manage more than one publication whereas in the Center and the South the
situation is quite the reverse one diocesan weekly for every or dioceses The only
three daily newspapers controlled by religious authorities are actually located in the
North in Lombardy
Until now we have pointed out the more marked capillarity of the ecclesiastical
structures and of their increasing activity in the North compared to the Center and the
South It is worth noting here two other trends
If we move from the grass roots level parishes workforce services) to the
diocesan level the territorial areas which boast the highest levels of capillarity apart
from centralization and potential quality show the lowest of segmentation of
the diocesan fabric One can say the same about the institutional network made up by
the ecclesiastical or counciliar regions As it will become clearer in the following
pages the model of ecclesiastical organization that reacts best to processes of higher
modernization seems to be that of large diocese and small parish Diotallevi
1996 25 The structure by region is as follows the North is controlled
by 63 dioceses and ecclesiastical regions with total of almost 26 million inhabitants
the Center is controlled by 61 dioceses and ecclesiastical regions with total of 11.5
million inhabitants the South is controlled by 101 dioceses and ecclesiastical regions
with total of 21 million inhabitants The average counciliar region in the North has
therefore almost double the than those of the Center and South for
Lombardy the figure is almost ten times more if compared to Umbria or Basilicata
The average Northern diocese has more than 400 thousand inhabitants in Southern
Italy 200 thousand and in Central Italy it drops to less than 150 thousand Roma
excluded)
The diocesan synods after the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council
Until 1991 38 of the 226 dioceses including San Marino-MontefeItro) had
celebrated synod after the end of the Vatican II 17 diocesan synods were in progress
and 25 were in preparation These data testify to an acceleration although limited in
post-council synodal activity In the North out of 64 dioceses 16 had already
celebrated synod were celebrating at the time and were preparing one In the
South 12 had celebrated synod were in process and 10 were in preparation but
25 It is almost superfluous to note that adequacy and efficiency on the organizational level are only
two of the factors which influence the relationship between the ecclesiastical actors and modernization
83 DE SCIENCES SOCIALES DES RELIGIONS ARCHIVES
these figures are for total of 101 dioceses In the Center 10 had been celebrated
were in process and in preparation out of total 61 dioceses This means that in
the North of Italy 25 of the dioceses had celebrated synod whereas in the Center
the percentage was 16.4(and in the South an even lower 11.9 This disproportion
becomes even greater if we consider the percentage of the population residing in
diocese where synod had been celebrated or was currently 1991 being celebrated
the data are as follows 42.6 of the population of Northern Italy 15 of the
population of Central Italy and 17.3 of the of Southern Italy The figure
is even higher in Lombardy 77.2 and Triveneto 44.8)
The ability to recruit ecclesiastical workforce
It is crucial to dwell on the data referring to the recruitment of the ecclesiastical
workforce Firstly because recruitment is decisive parameter for the evaluation of
the self-reproductive ability of the ecclesiastical organization and secondly because
it is now particularly difficult to find an indicator that could measure in an at least
fairly valid and reliable 26 way the ability of the Italian Catholic ecclesiastical
organization to recruit its workforce in loco In the last few years the territorial
mobility of the ecclesiastical has been matched more and more frequently
by corresponding importation of foreign workforce especially from the countries
of Eastern Europe and from developing countries It is necessary therefore to look
more carefully for measurement of the ecclesiastical organizations ability to recruit
an indigenous workforce 27 We also have to keep in mind that for the most part
the recruiting process in Italy still involves the younger sectors of the population an
age group particularly sensitive to social transformations This age group and its
parents generation underwent unprecedented high levels of social modernization and
secularization In the philosophy and theology seminaries one finds today young
people between 18 and 25) whose parents were presumably born around the
1940s 28)
An initial approximation can be obtained on the basis of an absolute figure For
every 100 priests present in 1974 in the dioceses of the North we find now only 84
26 For the concepts of validity and reliability of the social research see MEMOLI SAPORITI
1985
27 The high level of control over ethical demands exercised by the Catholic ecclesiastical organiza
tion on its clerical workforce regular and secular makes the trends of the recruitment significant
phenomenon However in recent years strange attitude has emerged on the part of the socio-religious
analysts On the one hand defections from convents abandonment of Churches closing down of seminaries
were all considered as direct indicators of rise in the general level of secularization Their quantities were
taken to be so obvious that sometimes they were not even considered worth measuring On the other hand
even those authors who favor downsizing of the phenomenon of tend to neglect positive
performances in the field of ecclesiastical recruitment ascribing them to socially insignificant organiza
tional vitality within few specific dioceses GARELLI 1991 151 Here we propose to consider the
higher ability to recruit within the local of Northern Italy richer and more advanced area of Italy
as an aspect deserving full and accurate consideration
28 In some cases the presence of seminarians whose family of origin was non regular from the
canonical point of view has been pointed out
84