Italian political elections were held in April 1963 in a climate of polemic in both the Catholic and Socialist worlds on the prospect of the government being “organic centre-left namely comprising the Italian Socialist Party. Christian Democrat Amintore Fanfani who had piloted the transition to the previous government (of programme-based Socialist Party support) was momentarily sidelined.

La Pira considers Fanfani an admirable friend and the only person who has …the intellectual swiftness and ability to sense the major shifts in the present-day world history and has also the immediate, prudent desire to find common ground with the new, vast course of world history. He is an able constructor of peace and world unity: ut aedificentur muri Jerusalem!

La Pira feels that the new spirit to be given to the Christian Democrat Party ought not to be of parliamentary tactics but of broad international and national strategies: …Fanfani is the person capable of coordinating and pacifying the biggest political forces in Italy (the real ones, the ones that count, the “popular” forces) and the person able to coordinate the best political forces in the world in the quest towards world peace and elevating the world…

La Pira’s explanation for expressing these thoughts to the Pope was …I felt the need to tell you these things, we are driven thus by the sole reason that drives our thought, our desires, our acts, namely to serve the Church in the historic situation of the world – to serve Peter, the captain of the Church!

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