On the other side of the Tiber there are still some “sponsors” of Giuseppe Conte. The mouths are sewn up: the Catholic Church, with this Pope, has closed in a hedgehog. Opinions have stopped circulating outside. Some draft, however, passes. One of these says: “Conte continues to be considered reliable.” Because the grillino, unlike others, “can be addressed”. The source remains under cover but says that “a discharge” of Conte, from the parts of the Leonine walls, “is impossible”.
The reason lies in ancient relationships, complete with “influence acquired in the secretariat of state”. Let’s understand: not all the clergy look to the former premier. Pope Francis has appointed Mario Draghi to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, while Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti spoke of the former ECB summit in terms of a “man of providence”: these are signs. The trust is no longer what it used to be, but a piece of the Holy See remains clinging to the former “advocate of the Italians”. The front that tried to throw a lifesaver towards the Giallorossi, perhaps by phoning some Catholic parliamentarian to avoid the fall of the Count bis, is still firm on its positions. If the institutional cardinals are confident in the birth of a “great center” around Draghi’s pragmatism, the cardinals and the movementist prelates think that the Giallorossi formula can be replicated. It is a fringe that, in some Catholic circles, they call the “Chinese lobby”. This is the high diplomacy that worked on the China-Holy See agreement, an ecclesiastical hemisphere which was structured in Villa Nazareth, the college where the young Count spent his university years.
Cardinal Achille Silvestrini, who died on the principle of the Conte bis, Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, who received the Movement before the 2018 election campaign, moreover in the United States, and Monsignor Claudio Celli, president of the Domenico Tardini Onlus Community Foundation, that is Villa Nazareth: it is around this triptych that Contismo made its way into the Vatican. Then the current widened, involving Father Antonio Spadaro, who on La Civiltà Cattolica promotes an agreement with China, but also the papal battle for a universal income: another link with contismo. A necessary distinction: Parolin, who attended the last Roman summit of the EPP, is now described as lukewarm about Conte but completely convinced by Draghi. The obvious problem is «the now famous instability of the Movement». However, a geopolitical concordance remains and concerns both the line on China and the attitude held towards Venezuela: diplomatic multilateralism permeates both grillism and sacred buildings. Celli, who the Pope sent to Venezuela in 2016 during the Maduro-Guaidò crisis (which the Vatican, like Conte’s Italy, did not recognize as a legitimate president), is a well-known pro-Chinese. Italy, the only one out of twenty-eight, with the position taken on the European resolution, has effectively blocked the EU on Venezuela, which is also the country from which the 3.5 million euro loan to grillini would have originated. What was confirmed by Hugo Chavez’s ex 007 to a Spanish judge. Let’s go back to the Vatican. Monsignor Celli, first of the Contiani among the high ecclesiastics, was at the side of Spadaro, of the superior general of the Jesuits Father Arturo Sosa and of the former prime minister himself in an aperturist conference on China. Headquarters? That of La Civiltà Cattolica. It was March of 2019, but those beliefs are intact. This is true both for the “Chinese lobby” of the Holy See and for the 5 Star Movement. So much so that Luigi Di Maio, at the end of the month, will meet the ambassador of the «dragon». Those in the Vatican who think that Conte could be the center-forward of a post-Christian but pro-Chinese center has not abandoned Cardinal Silvestrini’s favorite pupil.