Informations and abstract
Keywords: Finance, Church, Diocese, Endowment, Mondovì (Italy).
In the Italian post-unification period, endowments for charitable and religious purposes, together with real estate owned by ecclesiastical bodies, were involved in a large policy of suppression and forfeiture. In order to protect these resources, the Catholic Church established diocesan endowment funds. These also had the objective of enhancing the resources in economic terms by producing income and demonstrating that, by fulfilling the intentions of the donors, they could generate positive externalities. This paper focuses on the case of the diocese of Mondovì (modern-day provinces of Cuneo and Savona) and offers insights into the financial functioning of endowments in the late modern period, the strategies adopted to manage them, and the new relationships that characterized the people and institutions involved in their dynamics. By delving into these aspects, the article sheds light on the creation process of a religious welfare model and provides new interpretative elements for the understanding of social Catholicism.