The Peak of anti-Protestant Co-operation between Fascist Italy and the Catholic Church. Origin and Enforcement of the Buffarini Guidi Decree This paper analyses the cultural origin, the enactment and the implementation of the so called Circolare Buffarini Guidi: the decree, issued by the Fascist government in April 1935, that banned all religious activities of the Pentecostals throughout the entire Italian territory. Through the analysis of various archival sources, and in particular of Vatican documents, this article shows the way in which the hostility of the Catholic Church and the Italian State towards Pentecostalism grew up during the early Thirties. For the Italian Catholic Church, and for the Holy See itself, the danger was constituted by the sudden progress of Pentecostal proselytism in Southern Italy; for the Italian Sta te by the idea that the Pentecostals’ worship would be dangerous for the social order and for the safety of the population. The result of these convergent worries was the Circolare Buffarini-Guidi, probably the highest point of the common anti-Protestant activity by Italian Church and State during the Fascist period.
Keywords: Circolare Buffarini Guidi; Fascist Italy; Church and State in Italy; Protestant Communities in Italy; Pentecostalism; Religious Freedom.