CV NEWS FEED // Attorneys general from 20 states on Friday wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI director Christopher Wray confronting the Biden administration officials over a leaked FBI memo targeting “radical” Catholics.
“We write with outrage and alarm to address the anti-Catholic internal memorandum produced by the FBI’s Richmond Field Office on January 23, 2023, which was released to the public this week,” stated the letter, which was led by Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares:
The FBI must immediately and unequivocally order agency personnel not to target Americans based on their religious beliefs and practices. We also demand that the FBI produce publicly all materials relating to the memorandum and its production.
“Anti-Catholic bigotry appears to be festering in the FBI, and the Bureau is treating Catholics as potential terrorists because of their beliefs,” the letter argued.
The letter came less than a week after the internal document in question was released to the public by a whistleblower. As CatholicVote reported last week:
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) whistleblower Kyle Seraphin published a document from the agency’s Richmond office that ties “radical-traditionalist Catholics” to violent white supremacist movements. The revelation elicited strong condemnations from Catholic leaders across the country.
The document, released Wednesday, includes a list of nine “Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Hate Groups” published by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC), a disgraced left-wing activist group.
“The memo implies that the FBI under the Biden administration has infiltrated Catholic groups and is already spying on their activities,” stated CatholicVote President Brian Burch. “How do they justify this? They cite the SPLC as their primary source in claiming that ‘radical’ Catholics could soon become violent – and thus the FBI should begin a surveillance program on Catholic organizations.”
The SPLC keeps a searchable list of “hate groups” on its website. In 2012, gunman Floyd Lee Corkins II opened fire at the offices of the Family Research Council (FRC) in Washington, DC., and later told law enforcement that he found the group and gained inspiration for the attack through the SPLC’s website.
Burch last week also confronted the Biden administration over the FBI document. “We demand answers. The recent leaked FBI memo on the targeting of Catholics represents an outrageous escalation in the weaponization of the federal government against religious believers,” Burch said. “The FBI’s partnership with a discredited left-wing activist organization directly violates agency guidelines and makes a mockery of the Department of Justice’s claims to fairly and impartially apply the law.”
Burch also wrote a letter to Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, asking for an investigation of the FBI. Readers who would like to read and cosign that letter can click here.
Burch called the leaked document an example of “the growing pattern of hostility toward Catholics by the Biden administration, from its failure to properly address violence against Catholic churches, to the relentless persecution of innocent pro-life advocates, deserves far more scrutiny by this Congress.”
The FBI rescinded the leaked memo less than a day after it was leaked, but Burch said the move was insufficient. “Retracting this memo isn’t nearly enough,” he said. “It only raises more questions and underscores how wrong the FBI was. We demand Congress investigate this abuse of power.”