Thursday, July 30, 2015


This is the latest installment from Frenchie on "The incredible adventures of Carmen and Kiko." The full version with all the installments can be found here

Continued: the incredible adventures of Carmen and Kiko.

The idea that sold Archbishop Casimiro Morcillo to contact his good friend and vicar general of Rome Archbishop Angelo Dell'Acqua (the representative of the Pope as Archbishop of Rome) under Pope Paul VI, was that Carmen and Kiko could work the "miracle" they had achieved in Madrid.

Archbishop Morcillo took Carmen along in 1967 for the ceremony of elevation of Dell'Acqua to the Cardinalate, and they worked out the when and how, Carmen and Kiko would be able to start their Venture in Rome.

After the ousting of Mussolini in Italy by the King and Marshal Badaglio, the German had invaded Italy, which led to extremely hard fighting with the allies for the liberation of Italy.

There was still hard fighting in Northern Italy when the German signed their unconditional surrender in May of 1945.

After that Italy was administered by an American military government who put in place "christian democrats" allied to the USA. At the same time the communists were very active all over Italy, as they had taken a large responsibility in the resistance to Mussolini and the Germans from 1943 to 1945. As strong allies to Stalin in the USSR, they saw the church as a direct enemy.

Italy in the mid 1960s was still very much a place fraught with political and economical upheaval.
The North was mostly industrialized, and with a rich agriculture. The South (mezzagiorno) was extremely poor, rural and corrupted with strong mafia presence.

Rome, the eternal city, was in fact two cities. One of beauty and palazzos, the other of awful slums in the scarred ruins left by the war and the effect of poverty brought on by internal immigration from the south of Italy.

The Vicar General decided then, that the best place for Carmen and Kiko would be the shanty town of the Borghetto Latino, an old publican neighborhood of Rome which was made of illegal buildings strawn around without planning, and often without running water and/or electricity.

This was a place the good Cardinal felt needed a special effort. 

Many poor people living there were from Abruzzo, Puglia, Calabria, Sicily, Sardinia.
Carmen had her bridgehead and was authorized to bring her companion and their dog and pony show to Rome.

History was ready to be made once more . 

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