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Bannon wins legal battle to set up Catholic political academy in Italy

Bannon wins legal battle to set up Catholic political academy in Italy

President TrumpDonald John TrumpJudge rules to not release Russia probe documents over Trump tweets Trump and advisers considering firing FBI director after election: WaPo Obama to campaign for Biden in Florida MORE's former adviser Steven Bannon on Tuesday succeeded in the most recent stage of a legal battle against Italy's culture ministry to establish a right-wing Catholic political academy.

Bannon, who is Catholic, has been helping to create the curriculum for a leadership course targeted toward right-wing Catholic activists, and was criticized last year by Cardinal Renato Maria Martino for using the monastery for political advantages.

According to Reuters, the regional court ruled in favor of the Dignitatis Humane Institute (DHI), which Bannon supports, against a previous decision that prevented the school from starting on the grounds of an 800-year-old monastery south of Rome.

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"We stood by the monastery, the community and Italy during this pandemic when it would have been easy to walk away," Bannon said Wednesday in a statement issued by the institute's founder, Benjamin Harnwell.

The culture ministry, which owns the monastery property, said Wednesday it would appeal the regional court's decision to a higher tribunal, the Council of State.

Last year the ministry withdrew a 19-year lease for the school's monastery location, citing violations of contractual obligations. The institute then appealed to the regional tribunal, calling the ministry's move politically motivated.

Bannon and Harnwell's project has support from right-wing politicians like former interior minister Matteo Salvini, but has lost support from other Catholic Church members, such as the cardinal.

They lost more support last year after American Cardinal Raymond Burke dropped his backing for Bannon following the former White House adviser saying he wanted to make a film based on a book alleging widespread homosexuality in the Vatican.

Harnwell said he hoped restoration plans could resume and that registration could open for an online program taught from the U.S.