Acton Institute Powerblog

The Great Gaetano Rebecchini: Italy’s hero succumbs to the coronavirus

Gaetano Rebecchini was a great Italian, an extraordinary witness to our traditional national values, while challenging politically correctness and representing the best of our country. Today, Italy lost a good, honest, courageous person, an example for present and future generations to come. […]

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Today was the first time I learned of someone I know and respect who lost his battle to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). He was a 95 year-old political warrior and defender of freedom: Gaetano Rebecchini. He returned home to his Lord late yesterday, April 2 in his native city of Rome. Together with his son, Salvatore, he had been a loyal supporter of the Acton Institute’s work in Rome.

Gaetano was one of the founders of the Allianza Nazionale (AN) political party. His platform was based on principles of individual liberty, entrepreneurship, and limited government. The AN party enjoyed its heyday during the 1990s and early 2000s. It was the last prosperous decade Italy has had before falling into a 20 year economic and political slump defined by caretaker governments,  9 prime ministers, a growing sovereign debt crisis, and parliamentary mayhem.

Gaetano Rebecchini learned la buona politica (honest politics) from his father, the mayor of Rome immediately following World War II whose good administration ushered in a fast and efficient rebuilding process for the Eternal City. The following two decades proved to be an unprecedented economic boom and were characterized by widespread political peace.

In an Italian HuffPost article, we read a heartfelt tribute to Rebecchini (translation my own):

“The political right owes unending gratitude to Gaetano Rebecchini. In the early nineties…he led the growth and maturation of the Italian political right, contributing significantly to its reputation among institutional, business and religious sectors…His personal generosity and fairness, his great human and moral depth, his initiatives in many fields, made Gaetano Rebecchini an unforgettable role model…[He] was a great Italian, an extraordinary witness to our traditional national values, while challenging political correctness and representing the best of our country. Today, Italy lost a good, honest, courageous person, an example for present and future generations to come.”

Requiescat in pace, Gaetano.

 

Photo: Centro studi Rosario Livatino

Michael Severance

Michael Severance earned his B.A. in philosophy and humane letters from the University of San Francisco, where he also studied at the university's St. Ignatius Institute, a great books program. He then pursued his linguistic studies in Salamanca, Spain where he obtained his Advanced Diploma in Spanish from Spain's Ministry of Education before obtaining his M.A. in Philosophy and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford. While living in Italy, Michael has worked in various professional capacities in religious journalism, public relations, marketing, fundraising, as well as property redevelopment and management. As Istituto Acton's Operations Manager, Michael is responsible for helping to organize international conferences, increase private funding, as well as expand networking opportunities and relations among European businesses, media and religious communities, while managing the day-to-day operations of the Rome office.