Last Sunday, December 10, during an interview with the online media Brut, the Minister of the Interior announced that he wanted to request the dissolution of the Academia Christiana movement.
A day later, in another interview given to the CNews channel and Europe 1, the minister clarified a little more the reasons for this dissolution: “You saw it this summer, they notably advocated anti-Semitism Your television shows have talked about it a lot: people who considered that the Jews were obviously not people like the others; very great support for collaboration and for Marshal Pétain. So, it is not an association which corresponds, it seems to us, to the values of the Republic.”
Is the minister expressly referring to the summer university of this movement where speakers from the most conservative circles were able to express this type of opinion? Did they do it in their own name or did they engage the association that gave them the floor? Some also wonder if Gérald Darmanin is not confusing the attribution of these remarks with those made in other groups in the identity nebula, such as the Civitas movement dissolved last October.
The minister continues: “We are going to dissolve it in the Council of Ministers and the Council of State will give its opinion. (…) The intelligence services mention the first threat: it is radical Islamism. But there is also a threat from the ultra-right and the ultra-left. So we must fight it. When we are republicans and democrats with a desire for firmness – and I think the French have it – all those who attack democracy and the Republic must be dismissed from an administrative point of view and prosecuted criminally.”
The request for dissolution should be presented to the Council of Ministers “in the coming weeks”. Academia Christiana’s reaction was not long in coming on social networks. Presenting themselves as “honest fathers and mothers”, its representatives want to challenge the procedure before the Council of State.
What is this “Christian academy”?
Founded ten years ago, this organization presents itself as both “a training institute”, a “laboratory of ideas” and a “network of initiatives” to “train a generation in the service of the common good”.
In fact, it is first of all a network bringing together a certain number of identity activists, combining both a political ambition of nationalist reconquest and a rooting in an intransigent Catholicism.
On the political side, we find in this movement the usual positions of this “third way” claimed by ultranationalist circles, rejecting in the same movement liberal globalism, alter-globalization socialism, immigration, the demands of gender ideology, political ecology without forgetting a frontal opposition to political (and religious) Islam.
Julien Langella, who launched this movement, is also the founder of the Aix branch of Jeunesses identitaires and co-founder of another close movement, called Génération identitaire. The current president of Academia Christiana, Victor Aubert, teaches French and philosophy in a private school outside of contract run by the Fraternité Saint-Pierre, in Sées (Orne).
The movement organizes a summer university every year for training and conviviality times. The organizers specify that these meetings are open to young people under the age of thirty “of any origin”. The Catholic framework is very precise: mass in Latin, references to the catechism and the philosophical theology of Thomas Aquinas, etc.
As the European elections loom, this decision by the government demonstrates a toughening of the authorities towards movements which show signs of radicalization. This is the case for small Islamist groups which have been under surveillance for a long time. This is also the case for radical environmental activists, for often controversial reasons. This is finally the case for extreme left and extreme right political groups.
The ultranationalist movement has made itself known during recent incidents, notably during the murder of young Thomas. According to the government, some of these groups calling for violence disseminate ideas that are often racist and identitarian. Gérald Darmanin also suggested that there was “at least three other ultra-right groups” who are currently in the sights of the intelligence services.
The hardening of speeches and public operations (marches, rallies, calls for confrontation) testifies to a political radicalization of these groups in the name of a “threat” which would weigh on the future of the French community. Since 2017, at least seven planned attacks inspired by the far right have been foiled, one of which envisaged the assassination of the current President of the Republic.