FREE Catholic Classes
("It is not expedient").
Words with which the Holy See enjoined upon Italian Catholics the policy of abstention from the polls in parliamentary elections. This policy was adopted after a period of uncertainty and of controversy which followed the promulgation of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Italy (1861), and which was intensified by laws hostile to the Church and, especially, to the religious orders (1865-66). To this uncertainty the Holy Penitentiary put an end by its decree of 29 February, 1868, in which, in the above words, it sanctioned the motto; "Neither elector nor elected". Until then there had been in the Italian Parliament a few eminent representatives of Catholic interests–Vito d'Ondes Reggio, Augusto Conti, Cesare Cantù, and others. The principal motive of this decree was that the oath taken by deputies might be interpreted as an approval of the spoliation of the Holy See, as Pius IX declared in an audience of 11 October, 1874. A practical reason for it, also, was that, in view of the electoral law of that day, by which the electorate was reduced to 650,000, and as the Government manipulated the elections to suit its own purposes, it would have been hopeless to attempt to prevent the passage of anti-Catholic laws. On the other hand, the masses seemed unprepared for parliamentary government, and as, in the greater portion of Italy (Parma, Modena, Tuscany, the Pontifical States, and the Kingdom of Naples ), nearly all sincere Catholics were partizans of the dispossessed princes, they were liable to be denounced as enemies of Italy ; they would also have been at variance with the Catholics of Piedmont and of the provinces wrested from Austria, and this division would have further weakened the Catholic Parliamentary group.
By the Grace of God, with the help of Montana Ranch and Cattle, Catholic Online School has become one of the fastest-growing, online K-Adult schools in the world. The school now has over 915,000 student enrollments from 193 countries. Click to Save 25% Now >
As might be expected, this measure did not meet with universal approval; the so-called Moderates accused the Catholics of failing in their duty to society and to their country. In 1882, the suffrage having been extended, Leo XIII took into serious consideration the partial abolition of the restrictions established by the Non Expedit, but nothing was actually done (cf. "Archiv für kathol. Kirchenrecht", 1904, p. 396). On the contrary, as many people came to the conclusion that the decree Non Expedit was not intended to be absolute, but was only an admonition made to apply upon one particular occasion, the Holy Office declared (30 Dec., 1886) that the rule in question implied a grave precept, and emphasis was given to this fact on several subsequent occasions (Letter of Leo XIII to the Cardinal Secretary of State, 14 May, 1895; Congregation of Extraordinary Affairs, 27 January, 1902; Pius X, Motu proprio, 18 Dec., 1903). Later Pius X, by his encyclical "Il fermo proposito" (11 June, 1905) modified the Non Expedit, declaring that, when there was question of preventing the election of a "subversive" candidate, the bishops could ask for a suspension of the rule, and invite the Catholics to hold themselves in readiness to go to the polls. (See M ARGOTTI, G IACOMO ).
Help Now >
Join the Movement
When you sign up below, you don't just join an email list - you're joining an entire movement for Free world class Catholic education.
Mysteries of the Rosary
Saint of the Day for Tuesday, Aug 9th, 2022
St. Edith Stein
Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary
St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr
Unfailing Prayer to St. Anthony
Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, Aug 9
The Apostles' Creed
Saints & Angels
- Daily Readings for Wednesday, August 10, 2022
- St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, August 10, 2022
- Prayer to Our Guardian Angel: Prayer of the Day for Wednesday, August 10, 2022
- Daily Readings for Tuesday, August 09, 2022
- St. Edith Stein: Saint of the Day for Tuesday, August 09, 2022
- Prayer for Choosing a State of Life # 2: Prayer of the Day for Tuesday, August 09, 2022
Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.
Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.