The Bishop of Anagni-Alatri has breathed a “sigh of relief” weeks after the decision of the Italian Government to shutter a planned far-right Catholic “gladiator school” linked to former Trump advisor Steve Bannon.
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“We breathe a sigh of relief and aim at the possibility of asking the Ministry, together with other institutions, that the Charterhouse of Trisulti be entrusted to us”, Bishop Lorenzo Loppa said in comments reported by SIR.
Bannon, through his Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI), had planned on establishing at the thirteenth-century Charterhouse an “Academy for the Judeo-Christian West”.
The plan for the “Academy” was to form the next generation of far-right culture warriors in ultraconservative Catholic understandings of theology, politics, philosophy, history and the economy.
That was until earlier this month, when the Italian Culture Ministry announced it was evicting the DHI from the monastery.
In its decision, the Ministry cited the DHI’s inexperience in managing heritage sites, its refusal to carry out State-mandated maintenance, its forging of bank documents in supports of its lease application, and irregularities in its legal incorporation.
“For 800 years, the Carthusian monastery of Trisulti has been a beacon of faith, prayer, humanity and life and we want this testimony to regain vigor and momentum”, said Loppa, making little effort to hide his joy at the eviction of the DHI.
He said the diocese of Anagni-Alatri had “no right” to the Charterhouse nor wanted the decision on the concession to be pre-emptive, but said the local Church wanted to be considered in the new tender process “in the same way as other institutions and groups”.
Bishop Loppa is hardly the only prelate to have expressed serious reservations over the planned DHI project.
Last May, for example, former DHI honorary president Cardinal Renato Maria Martino objected to “distortions” and “modifications” to the DHI’s original plan for the Trisulti monastery, which was for an apolitical Catholic study centre.
Cardinal Martino further expressed his fears that the DHI Academy would not be “open to everybody” and would not be a place “where the Church’s doctrine is respected”.