I can't figure this one out! It comes from a comment on the way in which Catholic teaching sometimes differed sharply from Fascist policy and practice (e.g., violence), yet sometimes ran parallel to it (e.g., birth control). CONTEXT: Sembra quasi che gli acuti antifascistio afascisti del vertice vaticano siano diventati, nel controcanto di Gemelli, stecche clericofasciste, o variate nel timbro o smorzate nel tono (non perché fosse stonatissimo tantoché, quando si voleva ridere alle sue spalle, bastava fargli emettere qualche nota). ATTEMPTED TRANSLATION: It seems almost that the intense antifascists and afascists at the top level of the Vatican became, in harmony with Gemelli, off-key clericofascists, varied in timber or muffled in tone (not because they were extremely out of tune so much that, when one wanted to laugh behind their back, it was necessary to emit some note). I am confused by the meaning of the last part of this sentence. Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated! Thank you!