In Italy, from the 1930s until the end of the century, the relationship between the Catholic world and the development of the Social state becomes a very relevant theme. Social thought and Catholic historiography issues witness a European civilisation crisis, by highlighting problems of poverty and historical forms of assistance. Furthermore, by following the 1931 Pope Pius XI encyclical Quadragesimo anno these issues interacted with fascist corporativism. After 1945, other key experiences arose, as the discussion on social security as the conclusion of the whole public assistance debate shown. These themes are reported in the Bologna social week works in 1949 and in Fanfani’s and La Pira’s positions, which present several correspondences with British and French worlds, such as Christian socialism, Reinhold Niebuhr’s thought and Maritain’s remarks. The 1948 Republican Constitution adopts the Welfare State model assumptions, and it is in those very years that the problem of a system based on a universal outlook arose. Afterwards, governments of coalition led by centre and left-wing parties fostered social security through welfare and health reforms until the ’80s. While this model falls into crisis, and new social actors begin to be involved in a context of subsidiarity.
Keywords: Catholic Social Thougth, Social Security, Italian Welfare State, Italian Society post 1945, Subsidiarity.