Alexander Tschugguel
Alexander Tschugguel in 2019
Born (1993-06-24) 24 June 1993 (age 30)
Vienna, Austria
Occupation(s)Catholic activist, conservative activist
ParentWalter Tschugguel
Relativesvon Tschugguel

Alexander Tschugguel (born 24 June 1993 in Vienna)[1] is an Austrian conservative political and Traditionalist Catholic activist. He was a founding member of The Reform Conservatives, a defunct Austrian conservative political party that set out to abolish the European Parliament.

Tschugguel received international attention in 2019 for stealing the statuettes of the indigenous American goddess Pachamama displayed in a church in Rome during the Amazon synod and throwing them into the Tiber.

Personal life and family

Coat of Arms of the Tschugguel family

Alexander Tschugguel is a descendant of the Barons von Tschugguel zu Tramin, a Tyrolean family. The Tschugguels were raised from the rank of Ritter to the status of hereditary barons by the House of Habsburg in 1705.[2] The Barons von Tschugguel remained Roman Catholic until Tschugguel's great-grandfather converted to Lutheranism.[3] Alexander's father, Dr. Walter Tschugguel, works as a physician in Vienna.[4]

Tschugguel left the Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Austria and converted to Roman Catholicism at fifteen.[5] He is a member of the Traditionalist Catholic movement.[6]

Tschugguel was married in 2019 in a wedding celebrated by Bishop Athanasius Schneider, the auxiliary of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Mary Most Holy in Astana, Kazakhstan.[6]

Activism and views

Tschugguel joined the anti-Communist Traditionalist Catholic network Tradition, Family and Property in 2009. He has worked with far right politicians Ewald Stadler (formerly of the Freedom Party of Austria,[7] later legal counsel for Pegida[8]) and Beatrix von Storch (Alternative for Germany), as well as the Catholic activist Hedwig von Beverfoerde (formerly of CDU) in opposing abortion, same-sex marriage in Austria and Germany, and the inclusion of gender studies and sex education in schools in Germany and Austria.[6]

Tschugguel is an anti-immigration activist who declares particular concern with the influx of Muslim refugees into Austria and Germany. He describes his political stance as patriotic and monarchist.[9] He acts as a spokesperson for the Young European Student Initiative, a conservative Christian association originating from the Paneuropean Union.[10] In 2013 he assisted Ewald Stadler with the founding of The Reform Conservatives, a short-lived Austrian conservative political party that aspired to reverse the Maastricht Treaty and abolish the European Parliament.[11][9][12]

In 2014 Tschugguel co-organized a bus tour in Germany with von Beverfoerde to campaign against same-sex marriage. In 2018 and 2019, he was the co-organizer of the Vienna March for Life.[13][14] In May 2019 he organized Rosary for Austria, a Latin Mass and prayer event at the Karlskirche.[6]

On 21 October 2019 Tschugguel and an accomplice stole five statues, reportedly of the Inca fertility goddess Pachamama, from the Church of Santa Maria in Traspontina and threw them from the Ponte Sant'Angelo into the Tiber.[15][16] The statues were on display as part of the Amazon Synod taking place in the Vatican.[17] He came forward on 4 November 2019 in a YouTube video.[18][19] Tschugguel, who had removed the statues believing them to be a violation of the First Commandment, received support from various high ranking Church officials after the incident, including Bishop Anthanasius Schneider, Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, and Cardinal Walter Brandmüller.[20][21] Tschugguel's actions were criticized by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna, who called the act "scandalous and outrageous."[22] Since coming forward, Tschugguel went on a speaking tour in the United States organized by LifeSite News, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, and Taylor Marshall.[23]

In 2019 Tschugguel founded St. Boniface Institute, a Traditionalist Catholic organisation with the stated goal of fighting paganism and globalism within the Church and to "rally those who do not want to bow down to 'Mother Earth'."[24] Saint Boniface is invoked as an anti-environmentalist figure who cuts down the Donar's Oak to build a church.[25] The institute aims to connect Traditionalist Catholic communities in Europe.[4]

In a public address in 2019, Tschugguel alleged that the United Nations and the European Union overstated climate change and branded it an item of communist agenda. He praised Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement and attacked Pope Francis over his concern with the Amazon.[23]

In December 2019 Tschugguel organized a prayer protest outside of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna against the hosting of the Life Ball, an LGBTQ-friendly annual charity event to raise money for HIV and AIDS awareness, by the cathedral. He received support from the retired Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.[26][27]

On 18 January 2020 Tschugguel protested alongside von Beverfoerde, Viganò, Roberto de Mattei, and Gabriele Kuby in Munich, demanding "clarity and coherence" and an end to "dissimulation and deception" in the Catholic Church in Germany from Pope Francis and the German Bishops' Conference. Among the organisers, named as Acies Ordinata, were 130 members of Catholic laity from Germany, Austria, Italy, Brazil, Chile, Canada, and the United States.[28]


  1. ^ Royal and noble titles, and the use of nobiliary particles, were abolished in Austria and made illegal by the Adelsaufhebungsgesetz of 3 April 1919.[1]
  2. ^ von Müehlfeld, J.G.M. (1822). Österreichisches Adels-Lexikon des achtzehnten u. neunzehnten Jahrhunderts enthaltend alle von 1701 bis 1820 von den Souveranen Österreichs ... in die verschiedenen Grade, des deutsch-erbländischen oder Reichs-Adels, erhobenen Personen. Morschner. Retrieved 2020-01-05.
  3. ^ "Die Tagespost". November 7, 2019.
  4. ^ a b K, Daniel (27 March 2020). "387: He Had Corona Virus and Recovered: Alexander Tschugguel talks to Dr. Taylor Marshall [Podcast]". Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  5. ^ "Pachamama-Held Tschugguel im Interview: "Ich gehe nur noch zur Alten Messe"". November 4, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c d "Who Is Pachamama-Killer Alexander Tschugguel? –". Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  7. ^ Keine Konkurrenzpartei geplant, Österreichischer Rundfunk, 7 March 2007
  8. ^ Leitner, Dominik (17 February 2015), fischundfleisch nimmt Stellung zur Kritik über Stadler-Pegida-Bericht
  9. ^ a b "Forget About Pachamama, The Guy Who Threw The Idol Into The Tiber Has Directly Worked With Germanic Nationalists In Europe". November 10, 2019.
  10. ^ "Ewald Stadler stellt neue Partei vor: Die Reformkonservativen (REKOS) | | Alexander Tschugguel, Christen, CPÖ, Die Reformkonservativen, ewald stadler, JES, Partei, Reformkonservative, REKOS, Rudolf Gehring". December 23, 2013.
  11. ^ "Ewald Stadler stellt neue Partei vor: Die Reformkonservativen (REKOS) | | Alexander Tschugguel, Christen, CPÖ, Die Reformkonservativen, ewald stadler, JES, Partei, Reformkonservative, REKOS, Rudolf Gehring". December 23, 2013. Archived from the original on 10 November 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  12. ^ "Stadler-Kandidat arbeitete für Stronach-Klub". Die Presse. December 27, 2013.
  13. ^ "Alexander Tschugguel's Bid to Save the Church in Europe".
  14. ^ Müller-Meiningen, Julius. "Ein Mann stiehlt Figuren aus einer Kirche - und wird dafür gefeiert". Augsburger Allgemeine.
  15. ^ "Die Tagespost". November 7, 2019.
  16. ^ Joyce, Kathryn. "How QAnon and Trumpism Have Revealed a Deep Church Schism Among Catholics". Vanity Fair.
  17. ^ "Hero Explains to How He Removed Pachamamas –". 4 November 2019. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  18. ^ "Austrian man claims he threw 'Pachamama' statues into the Tiber". Catholic Herald. November 4, 2019. Archived from the original on December 21, 2019. Retrieved December 21, 2019.
  19. ^ Edward Pentin (2019-11-04). "Austrian Catholic: Why I Threw Pachamama Statues into the Tiber". Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  20. ^ "Letter #60, 2019: Viganò: "He is a hero"". November 5, 2019.
  21. ^ Ross Douthat (9 November 2019). "Opinion | What Will Happen to Conservative Catholicism? - The New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  22. ^ "Österreicher stahl Indigenenstatue aus Kirche in Rom". November 4, 2019.
  23. ^ a b Christopher White (2019-11-19). "Controversial 'Pachamama thief' goes on U.S. tour". Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  24. ^ "Our Mission". St. Boniface Institute. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 21 December 2019.
  25. ^ The Life of Saint Boniface by Willibald. Translated by Robinson, George W. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. 1916. pp. 62–64.
  26. ^ Edward, Kevin (2013-07-18). "Message from His Excellency Archbishop Viganò to Alexander Tschugguel". Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  27. ^ "Vatican Envoy Who Invited Kim Davis to Papal Meeting Retires". The New York Times. Associated Press. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  28. ^ Pentin, Edward (18 January 2020). "Munich Protest Requests 'Clarity and Coherence' From Pope Francis, German Bishops". National Catholic Register. Retrieved 29 January 2020.