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Former Trump adviser Steve Bannon wins the case to set up the Italian political academy

ROME (REUTERS) – Steve Bannon, the former adviser to US President Donald Trump, has won the final stage of a legal battle with the Italian Ministry of Culture to establish a right-wing Catholic political academy.

The ministry said to appeal the regional court’s decision.

The court ruled before the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, which supports Bannon, against an earlier decision that blocked the school’s start in an 800-year-old monastery south of Rome.

“We were at the monastery, the community and Italy during this pandemic, while it would have been easy to get there,” Bannon said in a statement by institute founder Benjamin Harnwell on Wednesday (May 27) in response to Tuesday’s ruling.

The Ministry of Culture, which owns the property, said on Wednesday it would appeal the decision to a higher tribunal, the State Council.

Bannon, a Catholic, helped draft the curriculum for a leadership course aimed at right-wing Catholic activists at the Academy of Judeo-Christian West in the city of Trisulti.

Many residents were against the school, and last year the ministry revoked a 19-year lease for violations of contractual obligations. The institute appealed to the regional tribunal and said the move was politically motivated.

Harnwell said he hoped to resume recovery plans and that registration would begin for an online program run from the United States.

While they still enjoy the support of Italian right-wing politicians such as former Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, Bannon and Harnwell have lost important supporters within the church.

Last year, American Cardinal Raymond Burke, who for many years stood behind Bannon and was honorary president of the institute, tore off his support after Bannon said he wanted to make a movie from a book claiming that homosexuality was widespread in the Vatican.

Cardinal Renato Martino, an Italian, also stepped down as honorary president last year.

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