An alt-right compound being developed with conservative Catholics

An alt-right compound in the foothills around Rome is being developed by former Trump White House adviser Steve Bannon.

Bannon is helping establish the institute in collaboration with conservative Catholic organization Dignitatis Humanae Institute.

Bannon, who was in Rome last weekend meeting with Benjamin Harnwell, director of the Dignitatis Humanae, confirmed the purpose was to focus on “Christendom” across Europe and invite leaders with similar priorities to attend seminars and events.

Benjamin Harnwell, director of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, says Bannon has been helping build up the institute.

Cardinal Raymond Burke, a leading Vatican conservative, is president of the Institute’s board of advisers.

Since Francis’ election in 2013, Burke and other conservatives have criticised the pope.

Burke says Bannon would be playing a leading role at Dignitatis Humanae.

He says he is looking forward to working with Harnwell and Bannon “to promote a number of projects that should make a decisive contribution to the defense of what used to be called Christendom”.

Bannon’s increased engagement with the Institute demonstrates how his involvement in Europe extends beyond electoral politics to an effort to build a populist faction inside the Catholic Church.

He says after the 6 November Congressional elections in the United States, he will spend “80-90 percent” of his time in Europe building up his Brussels-based populist “Movement”.

Bannon has visited the Institute’s home at the 800-year-old Monastery of Trisulti and addressed the organisation by video link.

Harnwell says Bannon is helping to draw up the coursework for a training programme for conservative Catholic political activists and leaders.

He is also raising funds for the institute in both Europe and the United States.

Harnwell, a former European Parliament staffer, is also advising Bannon on his campaign to build a populist Movement across Europe that will support far-right parties in next year’s European Parliament elections.


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