FBI Targeting of Catholics Went Beyond Single Office, Redacted Documents Show

FBI Targeting of Catholics Went Beyond Single Office, Redacted Documents Show

Judicial Watch has received 98 pages of heavily redacted FBI files in response to a Freedom of Information request seeking to delve into the agency’s attitudes toward investigating Catholics.

“These documents disprove the FBI’s narrative that the spy operation against Catholics and churches was limited to one field office. In fact, the operation seems to have been approved by top lawyers in the FBI,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, according to Judicial Watch.

“These documents should trigger a criminal inquiry into this Biden FBI scandal,” he said.

A leaked FBI intelligence document indicated that the FBI was suspicious of Catholics whom it called “radical-traditionalist Catholics.”

Although FBI Director Christopher Wray said the document, which was leaked in February, was simply a “single product by a single field office,” Judicial Watch said the records show that it was “Reviewed by: OGC/CDC [Office of General Counsel/Chief Deputy Counsel].” The records also indicate coordination with officials from Portland and Milwaukee.

In August, a House Judiciary Committee news release said that “the FBI Richmond Field Office coordinated with multiple FBI field offices across the country to produce the memo targeting traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.”

It said the memo “explicitly shows that both FBI Portland and FBI Los Angeles field offices were involved in or contributed to the creation of FBI’s assessment of traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.”

Judicial Watch said the Jan. 23, document labeled “Domain Perspective — Threat Target/Facilitation Platform, FBI Richmond” and includes a section titled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities“ was issued to it in highly redacted form.

The version released to the House Judiciary Committee in August said that racially motivated violent extremists can have “a persistent Catholic-oriented base with which to interact.”

The version released by the House also said that “Ultimately, there may be limits to the level of engagement between RTCs and other far-right white nationalists.”

“For example, many RTCs consider other forms of Christianity to be heretical and an over-emphasis on white US nationalism may be off-putting to RTCs of different ethnicities and countries of origin. Conversely, deep-seated anti-Catholicism remains a characteristic of many far-right white nationalists,” it said. RTC is the acronym used for radical traditionalist Catholics.

The document said that the Southern Poverty Law Center identified nine radical traditionalist Catholic groups as hate groups — Catholic Apologetics International of Greencastle, Pennsylvania; Catholic Family News/Catholic Family Ministries, Inc. of Niagara Falls, New York; Christ or Chaos of Corsicana, Texas; Culture Wars/Fidelity Press of South Bend, Indiana; The Fatima Crusader/International Fatima Rosary Crusade of Buffalo, New York; In the Spirit of Chartres Committee of Glenelg, Maryland; The Remnant/The Remnant Press of Forest Lake, Minnesota; Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary of the Town of Richmond, New Hampshire; and Tradition in Action of Los Angeles.

The document also said that FBI agents should reach out to churches visited by “radical traditionalist Catholics” in order to “sensitize these congregations to the warning signs of radicalization and enlist their assistance to serve as suspicious activity tripwires.”

“Since last February, we have worked to expose this unconstitutional targeting of faithful Catholics by the FBI and the results are stunning, unprecedented, and should concern all Americas.,” former congressman Tim Huelskamp, Senior Advisor to CatholicVote said.

“Contrary to statements under oath by Director Wray and Attorney General Garland, this flagrantly anti-Catholic program by the FBI was widespread, fully supported by senior officials, authorized undercover agents to infiltrate Catholic parishes, attempted to influence elections, and may be ongoing. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has stood idly by as Catholic churches have been attacked more than 200 times since May of 2022,” he said.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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