During the last few years the influence of the Catholic Church on law-making and government policies in Italy has dramatically increased. The Italian Episcopal Conference established a solid alliance with the Centre-Right led by the media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi. This political situation favoured the introduction of a number of hyper-conservative policies on ethical matters, from artificial insemination to abortion. In contrast, the influence of the Church was not significant in other key areas such as immigration policy. This article argues that the Church-inspired hyper-conservatism has led to the introduction of considerable restrictions to individual rights and freedoms. This situation is undermining the secular character of the Italian State and the original liberal-democratic inspiration of the Constitution.