Although Gramsci was fascinated by the Church, mining the Roman Catholics for tips on how to run the communist party and holding up the Reformation as the last great bottom-to-top revolution, he has no romantic delusions.

Thus, ‘Jesuitism is an advance when compared to idolatry, but it is an obstacle to the development of modern civilization’ (Q1§107). And yet other elements within the Roman Catholic Church, such as the integralists, made the Jesuits look like a moderate centre-party of a Church that had already assumed ‘the mummified shape of a formalistic and absolutist organism’ which ‘hangs together only by virtue of the rigidity typical of a paralytic’ (Q20§4(ii).

About these ads