.- During the presentation of the first international catalogue of stamps, Archbishop Luigi De Magistris, prefect emeritus of the Apostolic Penitentiary, revealed this week that the founder of the Italian Communist Party, Antonio Gramsci, returned to the Catholic faith of his childhood and received the sacraments before dying in April of 1937.
Gramsci was the father of a more sophisticated version of Marxism, which gave rise to so-called âEuro-Communism.â Under his scheme, the Catholic Church and the Christian family were the main enemies to gaining control of minds and of the culture, which he considered essential to maintaining long-term political power.
Among the measures he used to achieve what he called âcultural hegemony,â Gramsci proposed ending the beliefs, traditions and customs that speak of the transcendence of man and creating a culture in which transcendence has no place. He also aimed to infiltrate the Church to get dissident bishops and priests to speak out against her. His plan was to destroy the Church from within.
The Spanish daily La Razon reported that the conversion of Gramsci âhas been confirmed and denied on various occasions, but this is the first time that a member of the Curia declares that the rumor is certain.â
During a press conference covered by Vatican Radio, Archbishop De Magistris explained, âGramsci had a statue of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in his room (at the hospital where he was dying). During his illness, the nuns at the clinic brought a statue of the Child Jesus to the patients for their veneration. Gramsci complained that they did not bring it to his room. âWhy didnât you bring it to me?â he asked them. So they brought the statue of the Child Jesus to him and he kissed it. He also received the sacraments and returned to the faith of his childhood. The mercy of God âpursuesâ us, the Lord does not resign to losing us,â the archbishop said.
Giancarlo Lehner, Italian lawmaker and author of the âThe Gramsci Family in Russia,â said he would ânot be surprised if Gramsci had embraced the Catholic faith.â According to the Italian daily La Stampa, theologian Father Gianni Baget Bozzo believes the statue of St. Therese is an important part of explaining the conversion of the Communist Partyâs founder.
âSt. Therese offered her life for the conversion of the anarchist Prandini, who in fact before he was beheaded asked to kiss a crucifix, and she was willing to give her life for the conversion of atheists,â Father Bozzo said.
Gramsci died in Rome at the age of 46 and asked his family members to bury him in a Protestant cemetery, where his tomb is found today.
Gramsciâs followers claim there is âno evidence that he had converted to Catholicism.â But their claims have been discredited by those who cared for him at the hospital where he died and which was visited often by priests and religious.
Giuseppe Vacca, director of the Gramsci International Institute said that Gramsciâs conversion âwouldnât be a scandal and wouldnât change a thing,â because in fact his method of cultural hegemony continues to be employed by feminist, pro-abortion and homosexual groups.