The Constituent Assembly

In the Referendum of 2 June 1946 12,717, 923 votes were cast for the Republic and 10,719.284 for the Monarchy. The same moment saw the election of the Constituent Assembly, which consisted of 207 Christian Democrats, 115 Socialists, 104 Communists, 41 Liberals, 23 Republicans, 7 from the Action Party, 30 from “L’Uomo Qualunque” and 13 from minor parties. 

La Pira was named one of the “Committee of 75”, whose job it was to draw up the project of the new republican constitution, and was a member of the First Subcommittee, which had the specific task of defining the general principles, as well as the rights to liberty, ranging from the relations between the citizen and the State (on which, together with Lelio Basso, he drew up the committee’s report) to the whole body of social rights and their endorsement, and to relations with the Catholic Church (including the question of Article 7, to the solution of which La Pira made a decisive contribution).

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A leading figure in the dialogue which took place in the Assembly between the major cultural currents of the Resistance movement (the Marxist, the secular-reformist and the Catholic-democratic), La Pira never thought of dialogue in terms of the dissimulation of his own convictions: “The fact that he never flaunted his faith,” Aldo Moro was later to write, “but simply showed it, feeling that no one would be disturbed by it, demonstrates his purity of spirit and the firm bond that existed between his own inner being and his social action”.