Paris, 10 February 2022

Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr Shimon Samuels, commented this week’s French court sentence of “Fr. Abbot” Olivier Rioult, author of “The Jewish Question – Synthesis” (under his own publishing house “Saint Agobard” – in honour of the vehemently antisemitic 8th century Archbishop Agobard).

Together with his neo-Nazi friend, Hervé Lalin (a.k.a. Ryssen), he was tried for posting a 2019 video on YouTube, calling the Jews “snakes... a problem whose solution requires continued combat and extermination.”

The judgment views this as “incitement to violence.”

Hervé Lalin, known Holocaust denier and antisemite, has been convicted fifteen times for “defamation and hate based on race or religion... and antisemitic insults.” These cost him six months home arrest wearing an electronic bracelet. Incarcerated in September 2020, he was released from prison last April.

Olivier Rioult was ordained in 2001 by the then excommunicated extreme traditionalist “Fraternity of St. Pius X” of Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. In 2014, he was excluded from the Fraternity following their negotiations for reconciliation with the Vatican. At the time, his positions were allegedly “too radical.” Last week, he was sentenced to a suspended fine of 1000 Euro, for “inciting to violence against Jews.”

“These sentences, though important but inadequate, require a response also from within the Church. Just as the Vatican had excommunicated followers of Lefebvre, likewise the Catholic Church of France should express a clear condemnation of Olivier Rioult, and confirm that he carries the titles of ‘Father’ and ‘Abbot’ abusively,” urged Samuels.