By FOIA Research
on September 27, 2023 - Last updated: November 22, 2023

Academia Christiana

Academia Christiana (AC) is a Catholic Identitarian association founded in 2013, which brings together Catholic fundamentalist and neo-Nazi constituents. Founded and directed by Victor Aubert,1 AC is guided by a group of fundamentalist clerics who hail predominantly from the Institute of the Good Shepherd (Institut du Bon Pasteur) and the Faternité Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre (FSSP).2 Several priests identified within AC celebrate the Latin (Tridentine) Mass, embraced by the far-right fringe of the Catholic church.

AC focuses particularly on ideological and militaristic youth training, often in the framework of summer camps and lecture series. Special emphasis is put on physical excercise, such as boxing and martial arts, marches, and hiking trips. The ideological training includes bible classes, masses, and Catholic fundamentalist lectures by priests, which go hand in hand with speaking events by Identitarian and neo-Nazi figureheads.

AC's website lists over 50 lecturers, including nine priests and one bishop; alongside far-right ideologues, such as Renaud Camus, one of the champions of the Great Replacement theory; François Bousquet, editor-in-chief of the French far-right journal Éléments and director of the far-right bookstore, La Nouvelle Librairie; or Jean-Yves Le Gallou, founder of the neo-Nazi Institut Iliade. AC has collaborated with two Identitarian neo-Nazi organizations prohibited in the meantime, Bastion Social and L'Alvarium.3

The AC leadership consists of the president Aubert, who also serves as "Director of Apollon Communication ... and professor of French and philosophy at the Institut Croix des Vents," according to his LinkedIn page.4 The vice-president is Julien Langella, co-author of the book Catholic and Identitarian: from Manif pour tous to Reconquête (Catholique et Identitaire: De la Manif pour tous à la reconquête), which is distributed by AC. According to an online biography, "an activist since he was 18 (at Action Française then at Jeunesses Identitaires), co-founder of Génération Identitaire in 2011 and vice-president of the Academia Christiana association which he joined in 2013."5

Ever since its foundation, AC has constantly enlarged and broadened its activities, according to AC president Victor Aubert:6

Initially, Academia Christiana organised an annual summer university for students and young workers, and then over the years we have developed colloquia and training sessions in several large cities in France. For the past three years, we have been organising festive days bringing together all generations around our culture (Oktoberfest, St. John's fires). Academia Christiana could be described as a conservative "think tank", a training institute and a network of initiatives. We offer courses in philosophy, history and practical training as well as political reflection in the form of lectures and open forums. Today, more than 4000 young people have passed through our training courses, and we usually receive between 200 and 500 people per event.

As pictures and posts on AC's website and social media profiles show, almost every AC event includes priests—from summer camps to conferences; and that, under the auspices of priests, neo-Nazis are visiting shooting ranges or doing martial arts training. For example, there are pictures on AC's Facebook page from a larger meeting in Sées, France, in August 2017. Their succession indicates that the attendees were visiting a shooting range, but also attended lectures involving AC priests.

Screenshot of the picture section of Academia Christiana's Facebook page, showing teaser images from an AC meeting Sées, France in August 2017. Their succession indicates that the participants were visiting a shooting range, but also attended lectures involving AC priests.

The French La Horde has done some reporting on AC, particularly its weapons-affine priest, Matthieu Raffray, who can be seen with weapons on various occasions on his social media accounts.7

The pictorial evidence leaves no doubt that the organization aims to merge Catholic fundamentalist and neo-Nazi constituents into a Catholic Identitarian movement. For example, a series of pictures on Twitter show a traditional mass including a Mantilla-wearing Catholic woman as well as a tattooed neo-Nazi.8

The priests present at AC events perform masses and offer confessions to the participants. The event description of a 2018 summer camp mentions:9

Our chaplain, Abbot Nicolas Télisson of the Fraternité Saint Pierre, is present on site all week and is available to confess on request. Every morning a mass takes place in the extraordinary form of the Roman rite (in Latin). Participation in this service is obviously on a voluntary basis.


AC makes no fuzz about where it ideologically situates itself, for example by hosting events such as “The Thought of the Right.”10 Frequently, the anti-Semitic Charles Maurras is commemorated,11 a figurehead of the far-right monarchist Action Française.

One of the frequently evoked buzzwords on social media and AC's website is "reconquest" (reconquête). Incidentally, Reconquête is the name of a far-right party in France founded in late 2021 by Éric Zemmour; one of whose vice presidents is Marine Le Pen's niece, Marion Maréchal. The closeness to the concept of the Reconquista - the over 700-year period in which Christians fought Muslims on the Iberian peninsula that went along with the forced conversion and expulsion of Jews, and culminated in the looting and slaughtering in South America - is likely intended, given AC's Catholic fundamentalist pedigree.12

That the organization has a strong monarchist and neo-feudalist bent becomes evident from the banners present on joint marches, summer camps or lectures.

But there are also certain völkisch elements, with countless pictures of dances around bonfires, and of fair heathen maiden with complicated woven hairdos, willing to sacrifice themselves for the nation and their family.

The propaganda reaffirming gender stereotypes is omnipresent. And there seems to be a strict separation of male and female realms, whereby the female role is pretty much reduced to being to the service of the family and childrearing.


The European Conservative

AC regularly hosts speakers of the far-right journal The European Conservative (TEC) at its events, such as David Engels of the Oswald Spengler Society, one of TEC's senior editors. AC has co-hosted events with TEC, and has placed ads in the journal.

TEC's editor-in-chief, Alvino-Mario Fantini, seems to be such as fan of AC that he prominently attached a sticker with its logo on his laptop.

Alvino-Mario Fantini appearing at an event organized by the Danube Institute, reading his speech from his laptop sporting the logo of the French ultra-Catholic and Identitarian Academia Christiana.

TEC's history goes back to 2008, when it first appeared as a newsletter of the Center for European Renewal (CER). Since 2021, TEC appears in a revamped edition published in Hungary, and outside the framework of CER. According to its masthead, as of 2023, TEC is published in collaboration with the Berlin-based Library of Conservatism (Bibliothek des Konservatismus, BdK), a far-right think tank and library; the Italian think tank and journal Nazione Futura, affiliated with the Italian far-right party Fratelli d'Italia; as well as an unidentified organization called CEDI/EDIC (Vienna).13 However, TEC collaborates closely with other like-minded organizations, such as the Danube Institute of John O'Sullivan and Rod Dreher, established 2014 in Budapest; or the far-right Institut Iliade in Paris. Furthermore, TEC has run political smear campaigns in conjunction with Project Veritas, a US far-right group which is using illegal means, such as entrapment and wiretapping, to discredit political enemies. Project Veritas’s former board member Matthew Tyrmand sits on TEC’s editorial board since late 2015.

Behind the nifty surface, TEC has a neo-Nazi underbelly. For example, it runs a video/podcast series that is often hosted by Karl-Gustel Wärnberg, editor-in-chief of Fighter Magazine and director of communications for the Svenska MMA Förbundet, the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation (SMMAF).14 15

Institut Iliade

The Institut Iliade (Iliade Institute) was "symbolically founded at the summer solstice 2014 at the top of Mount Olympus," in response "to the ultimate wishes of Dominique Venner.”16 Venner, arguably the most influential neo-Nazi ideologue in France in the past decades, had committed suicide in 2013 in the Cathedral of Notre Dame, according to Libération "to warn of the dangers of the 'great replacement.'"17 The institute's founder, Jean-Yves Le Gallou, is also listed as AC lecturer. Le Gallou had been a leading member of the Club de l’Horloge, founded in July 1974, as well as of the far-right think tank GRECE. “A former Front National executive and former right-hand man to [Bruno] Mégret, whom he followed when the party split in 1999, Le Gallou is as brilliant as he is radical,” according to Libération.17

Although Iliade has a direct New Right pedigree, it has revised its stance on Christianity, from an anti-Christian neo-paganism to Christian (Catholic) fundamentalism. According to Iliade's spokesman Bastien Frimas:18

The New Right, radically anti-egalitarian and anti-universalist, nourished by Nietzsche, sometimes violently attacked Christianity. We are still anti-egalitarian, anti-universalist and Nietzsche remains a reference, but we no longer carry this anti-Christian discourse for two reasons: firstly, we give Christianity its rightful place in the history of our civilisation, with the reservation that we consider that it is the European soul that has expressed itself through the strongest, most beautiful and noble aspects of Christianity, and not Christianity per se which could single-handedly have given any people the Gothic cathedrals and medieval chivalry; Secondly, we see clearly, and they do too, that we are much closer to identitarian Christians or traditionalist Catholics than we are to any liberal. Spiritual antagonism is fading, especially among the younger generation, in favour of a common struggle for the preservation of our civilisation. Our close relation with the traditionnalist [sic] youth movement Academia Christiana embodies that.

... our manifesto is both in direct line with the GRECE manifesto and a new, lucid, pragmatic vision of current challenges with actualized proposals to face our ennemies [sic], to resist the decadence and surge again, true to who we are as Europeans.

La Nouvelle Librairie

La Nouvelle Librairie (LNN) is a far-right bookstore, founded in July 2018 by François Bousquet at 11 rue de Médicis in the 6th arrondissement of Paris.19 Formerly, at the same address, the Nouvelle Librairie Nationale was located, which was the bookstore of the far-right monarchist Action Française from 1900 onward; and directed until 1932 by Georges Valois, creator of Le Faisceau, a party close to Italian fascism. Together with AC, LNN publishes as an "Academia Christiana" series (see "Publications").

Bastion Social

On Facebook, Academia Christiana has posted pictures of events by the Identitarian Bastion Social (Social Bastion). Bastion Social was founded in 2017 by former members of the defunct far-right student association Groupe Union Défense (GUD), and banned by an official decree in 2019 after several racist attacks by its members.20


Besides Bastion Social, Academia Christiana has been supportive of another, in the meantime prohibited, organization called L'Alvarium.

L'Alvarium became known for occupying a building in 2018, and several instances of violent and racist attacks. Accused of inciting racial hatred and involvement in acts of violence, it was dissolved by the French Government in 2021, but continues its activities.

The organization was founded in 2017 by Jean-Eudes Gannat,21 former member of the National Front, for which he ran as a candidate in 2014 and 2015.22 He is the son of Pascal Gannat, former regional advisor and former chief of staff to Jean-Marie Le Pen. Formerly close to the GUD, and a member of the far-right NGO SOS Chrétiens d'Orient,23 Gannat was the North-West manager of Frédéric Chatillon's Riwal company. In 2020, he claims to have maintained “good relations with some [of] the activists or executives” of the National Front, but criticizes the party for its “conformism.”22 The programmatic booklet of L'Alvarium by Gannat is still being offered on AC's web shop.24

Clerics involved

Academia Christiana is guided by a group of Catholic fundamentalist clerics. They hail predominantly from the Institute of the Good Shepherd (Institut du Bon Pasteur) and the Faternité Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre (FSSP).

Several priests identified, such as Nicolas Télisson9 or Charles Gauthey,25 celebrate the Tridentine Mass, traditionally held in Latin with the back to the audience, which had been largely abolished following the Vatican II council. However, it has been embraced by the far-right fringe of the Catholic Church as a symbol of reaction. AC's director, Victor Aubert, is a staunch supporter of the Latin rite. He has co-signed an open letter rallying against the restrictions put in place by Pope Francis in an apostolic letter (Traditionis custodes) regarding the Latin Rite, alongside a long list of French and international "Catholic lay leaders," including editor-in-chief of The European Conservative, Alvino-Mario Fantini.26

Fraternity Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre (FSSP)

According to the Fraternity Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre website, it was27

... founded on July 18, 1988 at the Abbey of Hauterive (near Fribourg, Switzerland) by a dozen priests and a few seminarians. Shortly after its foundation and thanks to the help of Cardinal Ratzinger, it was welcomed by Mgr Joseph Stimpfle, Bishop of Augsburg (Germany) at Wigratzbad, a Bavarian Marian sanctuary. This is where the European seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter is located today. It now has 279 priests and 150 seminarians. … The Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter has two houses of formation: the first in Wigratzbad, in Germany, the second in Denton, in the United States (State of Nebraska).

The clerics identified so far are:

  1. Laszlo Kiss-Rigo*; Hungarian Bishop
  2. Guillaume de Tanoüarn* (Institute of the Good Shepherd)
  3. Louis-Marie de Blignières* (Fraternity of Saint-Vincent-Ferrier, renegade Dominican)
  4. Thierry-Dominique Humbrecht* (Dominican)
  5. Matthieu Raffray* (Institute of the Good Shepherd)
  6. Olivier de Nedde* (Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre, Bordeux)
  7. Vincent Bauman* (FSSP, then Institute of the Good Shepherd)
  8. Nicolas Télisson* (priest, Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre, district of France)
  9. Vincent Ribeton* (Saint Peter Seminary Rector (Wigratzbad, Europe) of the Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre)
  10. Charles Gauthey* (priest, Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre, district of France)
  11. Sébastian Dufour (priest, Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre, district of France)
  12. Roch Perrel (priest, Fraternité Sacerdotale Saint-Pierre, district of France)

*listed on the AC website.3

Louis-Marie de Blignières

A senior role has Louis-Marie de Blignières who can be seen on various pictures, i.a. holding a copy of Catholique et Identitaire, co-authored by Guillaume de Tanoüarn and Julien Langella.28

Louis-Marie de Blignières, born 1949 in Madrid, was ordained by none other than Marcel Lefebvre of the Catholic fundamentalist Society of St. Pius X. Blignières broke with Lefebvre in 1988; nonetheless, he adheres to extreme positions in the Catholic context, such as sedevecantism. In 1979, Blignières, wearing a Dominican garb, founded the Fraternity of Saint-Vincent-Ferrier, and is currently its prior. Saint Vincent Ferrier is a Catholic traditionalist religious community of Dominican inspiration, but not affiliated with the order.

Another FSSP priest, Olivier de Nedde, is also very present at Academia Christiana events.


On its website, Academia Christiana sells a distinct choice of books, some of which are published by AC itself, others in collaboration with affiliated publishing houses. In its publication efforts AC notably collaborates with La Nouvelle Librairie, Paris' most notorious far-right book store and publishing house. LNN had published one of AC's most reference texts by Julien Langella in 2021, Refaire un peuple "Remake a people") (Paris: La Nouvelle Librairie éditions, 2021)29 30

This seems to have kicked off a joint "Academia Christiana" series published by LNN, which was launched in 2022. As of 2023, four publications appeared in the series:

  • Programme politique d’une génération dans l’orage ("Political program of a generation caught in the storm"), preface by Jean-Eude Gannat, Academia Christiana series (Paris: La Nouvelle Librairie éditions, 2022).31 The authors of the book include: Jean-Eudes Gannat, Victor Aubert, Thibaud Gibelin, Guillaume Travers, Anne Trewby, Guillaume Bernard, Jean-Yves Le Gallou, Dr. Michel Pareti, and Anne Brassié.
  • Bréviaire pour Une génération dans l'orage ("Breviary for a generation in the storm") (Academia Christiana, undated).32 Authors gathered in this brochure: Victor Aubert, Julien Langella, Charles Maurras, Stéphanie Bignon, Nicolas Pralude, Alain de Benoist, Arnaud Daniou, José Antonio Primo de Rivera, Xavier Eman, Martin Heidegger, Dominique Venner, Gustave Thibon, Louis-Marie de Blignières, Christiana Campo, and Leon Bloy.
  • Sylvain Durand, La fin du sacré ou le retour du sacrifice humain, Academia Christiana series (Paris: La Nouvelle Librairie éditions, 2022)33
  • Victor Aubert, Une aventure catholique et enracinée, Academia Christiana series (La Nouvelle Librairie éditions, 2023).

Two books of the series are named in reference to Une génération dans l'orage by the Nazi-collaborationist Robert Brasillach.

AC also distributes books and pamphlets by other publishers, some of them without imprint:

  • Julien Langella, Catholiques et identitaires: de la Manif pour tous à la reconquête (Poitiers: Dominique Martin Morin, 2017).
  • Jean-Eudes Gannat, L'Alvarium (no publisher, undated)24
  • Raphaël Pomey, Danser l'effondrementLes églises à l'ère du cool ("Dancing the collapse: Churches in the Age of Cool") (no publisher, no date)34

Major events

On November 5, 2022, The European Conservative co-hosted an event together with AC in Paris, alongside the Iliade Institute, La Nouvelle Librairie,, TVLibertés, and Le Nouveau Présent Hebdo. The speakers were:

  • Olivier de Nedde
  • Xavier Eman
  • David Engels
  • Jean-Eudes Gannat
  • Thibaud Gibelin
  • Julien Langella
  • Romain Petitjean

The event titled "Secession or Reconquest," was advertised on Facebook as follows:35

An exciting event not to be missed! Secession or Reconquest? A central question that every conservative must keep in mind today. Should we run for elections or start a family? How to be in the world without being of the world?

In November 2022, The European Conservative co-hosted an event, Academia Christiana, together with the Iliade Institute, La nouvelle Librairie,, TVLibertés, and Le Nouveau Présent Hebdo, titled "Secession or Reconquest?"

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