19 Emory Int'l L. Rev. 913 (2005)
The Permissible Scope of Legal Limitations on the Freedom of Religion or Belief in Italy

handle is hein.journals/emint19 and id is 927 raw text is: THE PERMISSIBLE SCOPE OF LEGAL LIMITATIONS ON
THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF IN ITALY
Marco Ventura*
I. THE RULE STRUCTURE DEFINING THE PERMISSIBLE LIMITATIONS ON
FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND BELIEF
Despite the historical' and ideological2 complexity of law and religion in
Italy, the traditional Italian approach (based on the legal doctrine of the diritto
ecclesiastico) tends to address permissible limitations on freedom of religion
and belief through the prism      of legal formalism.3      Since the formalistic
approach is likely to produce a distorted image of the Italian legal reality, in
this Article I challenge the traditional formalistic approach with a more
realistic approach (taking into account the political and social variables).
A. Limitations on Freedom of Religion and Belief.- the Formalistic Approach
Limitations on freedom of religion and belief are defined first by the
Constitution of the Italian Republic4 of 1948 through three fundamental
principles:
(1) According to Article 19, freedom of religion can only be restricted in
cases of rites... contrary to good morals;5 which means that the former
* Marco Ventura is Professor of Law and Religion at the Faculty of Law of the University of Siena,
Italy. He is also Director of the Law & Religion Programme, http://www.unisi.it/lawrel.
1 See ARTURO CARLO JEMOLO, CHIESA E STATO IN ITALIA DALLA UNIFICAZIONE A] GIORNI NOSTRI
(Torino: Einaudi, 1981).
2 See SILVIO FERRARI, IDEOLOGIA E DOGMATICA NEL DIRIro ECCLESIASTICO ITALIANO (1929-1979)
(Milano: Giuffr6, 1979).
3 A valuable exception has been supplied by ARTURO CARLO JEMOLO, I PROBLEMI PRATICI DELLA
LIBERTA (Milano: Giuffr6 1972).
4 The original version of the Italian Constitution in English translation can be found in MAURO
CAPPELLETTI ET AL., THE ITALIAN LEGAL SYSTEM: AN INTRODUCTION 281-313 (Stanford: Stanford University
Press 1967).
5 Costituzione [Constitution] art. 19 (Italy) [hereinafter COST.].

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