Since the classic 1961 comedy “Divorce Italian Style” in which a Sicilian man played by Marcello Mastroianni desperately seeks a lover for his wife so he can catch them in the act, kill both in an “honor crime”, get a light prison sentence, and marry his younger cousin. Divorce did not become legal here until nine years after the Oscar-winning film. As a concession to the Church, the 1970 law imposed a mandatory five-year separation period intended to make couples reconsider. In 1987, this was reduced to three years.
Italy has slashed the time it takes to get a divorce to six months from three years in the latest sign of the Catholic Church’s waning influence over life and politics here.