“The priest’s tunic is just a longer blackshirt.”
That observation about the similarity of ecclesiastic and Fascist attire came from Giulio Tam, a Roman Catholic priest in
According to La Repubblica, Father Tam’s marching companions sang Fascist anthems and shouted threatening slogans. Some even chanted “Sieg heil.”
Tam was proud to be in their company. As he told La Repubblica, “I will always stand at the side of the young people of Forza Nuova. Mussolini is a martyr and I am in favor of his beatification. The Roman salute? The kids asked me to bless them and I performed my function.”
Italian media described Tam as a “lefebvriano,” meaning, that he belongs to the ultra right-wing St. Pius X Society founded by the renegade French priest Marcel Lefebvre.
The convergence of ultra-conservative Pius X adherents and Italian ultra-rightists isn’t exactly a new development. “Traditionalist” Catholics long have openly supported the far right. Tam, for example, celebrates an annual mass at Mussolini’s tomb and regularly attends Forza Nuova meetings. But the “lefebvriano” movement and its reactionary politics have come under heightened scrutiny lately, ever since Joseph Ratzinger aka Pope Benedict XVI announced his intent to lift the longstanding excommunication of four of its leaders, including the notorious Holocaust denier, “Bishop” Richard Williamson.
Williamson has denied that the Third Reich planned to exterminate
The pope’s initiative, purportedly undertaken to repair a schism in Roman Catholicism, has blown up in his face, earning him near-universal condemnation. The
Whatever headaches Williamson and his colleagues are causing the
But Forza Nuova doesn’t limit itself to anti-immigrant rhetoric; its bullyboys also physically attack them. And not only immigrants: FN also has it out for leftists and gays, and has assaulted both and vandalized their property and meeting places. At
Forza Nuova, using classic Fascist language, calls for a return to the values of “God, Fatherland and Family.” Its ideology has strong roots in traditionalist Roman Catholicism -- hence the Lefebvre/Pius X connection.
Forza Nuova doesn’t do especially well at the polls. But unimpressive election results don’t mean this group isn’t a threat. The economic, social, and political climate in
Moreover, though Forza Nuova originated in northern
But the Forza Nuova phenomenon isn’t restricted to
The British National Party, a far-right group led by Nick Griffin, also belongs to the European National Front. The British daily The Guardian recently revealed that
Fiore arrived in
Fiore returned to
One of the main aims of this poisonous “flower” is to overturn
Part of the problem is that