Europe’s far right seems determined to hijack Christianity in its bid for power

Today Catholic fundamentalism is fully mixed with anti-Muslim feeling, disguised antisemitism, racism and a narrow anti-EU nationalism

Andrea Mammone
The Independent Voices

An 800-year-old monastery in Italy’s Apennine mountains has become the latest battleground in a bitter war of ideas.
The imposing buildings of Trisulti to the east of Rome have been leased by the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, a think tank led by Benjamin Harnwell, a British former political aide linked to the US right-wing ideologue Steve Bannon.

It is part of a Europe-wide effort to legitimise far-right and xenophobic forces; to teach a new generation how to deliver hate and demagogy into the mainstream. And they are hijacking Christianity to do it.

Bannon’s relevance is usually overplayed by many commentators (he still counts for very little in Europe), but the creation and aims of this monastery-based “Academy for the Judeo-Christian West” are symptomatic of a wider trend.

Support has come from Cardinal Burke, an ultra-conservative US figure who represents a group of ultra-Catholic and traditionalist “anti-Popes” which is close to some influential conservative voices in the Vatican. They are challenging Pope Francis’s progressive agenda and his pro-immigrant and refugee policies.



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