Nino Lo Bello, The Vatican Empire, “The Vatican in Politics X:”
The Vatican’s role during this period merits review. If the Vatican had not wanted its Christian Democratic party to work with the left-wing, Marxist politicians, then there would never have been an “opening to the left” in Italian politics; as members of a Catholic party, the democristiani were obliged to maintain their Vatican- approved principles, but the first law of all successful politicians is to retain a position of power. The apertura a sinistra became possible, thanks to a change of climate within the Vatican itself. Much of the change was attributable to Pope John XXIII, whose policies were in strong contrast to the stiffly anti-Communist ones of his predecessor, Pius XII.