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House Weaponization Committee Subpoenas FBI Director Over Agency Targeting Catholics

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Traditional Catholics can count themselves with concerned parents among those targeted by the FBI as domestic extremists.

On Monday, the House Select Committee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government issued a subpoena for FBI Director Christopher Wray over the agency’s targeting of Catholics as “white supremacists” who warrant investigation. In February, former Special Agent Kyle Seraphin blew the whistle on the FBI’s Richmond, Virginia, field office infiltrating Catholic parishes.

“The FBI’s Richmond Division would like to protect Virginians from the threat of ‘white supremacy,’ which it believes has found a home within Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass,” Seraphin wrote.

Seraphin published leaked documents dated Jan. 23, 2023, on “Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVE) and their interests in ‘Radical-Traditionalist Catholics’ or RTCs.”

“The document assesses with ‘high confidence’ the FBI can mitigate the threat of Radical-Traditionalist Catholics by recruiting sources within the Catholic Church,” Seraphin reported.

The FBI rescinded the memo after public discovery made headlines. House Republicans Jim Jordan of Ohio, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, and Mike Johnson of Louisiana, who chairs the Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government, demanded answers from the FBI director days later.

[READ: FBI Retracts Memo Labeling Traditional Catholics ‘Violent White Supremacists,’ Pushing Infiltration Of Christian Communities]

“In the wake of the backlash against the FBI’s anti-Catholic document, the FBI withdrew the document and blamed the local level field office for its creation and dissemination,” lawmakers wrote in a Feb. 16 letter. “However, there remain many questions about the genesis, review and approval of this document, as well as the FBI’s commitment to upholding First Amendment protected activity.”

The silent response from the FBI led lawmakers to send a follow-up letter on March 20. Three days later, the FBI sent the House chairmen an 18-page response that Jordan called in Monday’s subpoena cover letter “partial” and “substandard.”

“The limited information that was provided to the Committee makes clear that we must possess all responsive material without redactions,” Jordan wrote. “From this selective production, we know that the FBI, relying on information derived from at least one undercover employee, sought to use local religious organizations as ‘new avenues for tripwire and source development.'”

Despite the targeting of faithful Catholics by the premier U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agency, U.S. bishops remained silent.

“The U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops is a powerful organization, with a 2018 budget of more than $200 million, much of it from federal grants and contracts,” The Federalist’s Evita Duffy-Alfonso reported in February. “What has the Catholic Church hierarchy had to say in the seven days since the slanderous leak? Nothing.”

[READ: U.S. Bishops Silent After FBI Claims Conservative Catholics Are ‘White Supremacists’]

“The Federalist even reached out to the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops to ask for comment on the illegal targeting of innocent and devout Catholics, but never received a response,” Duffy-Alfonso added.

A week after the whistleblower report surfaced, Bishop Barry Knestout appeared to be the only U.S. bishop to speak out on the issue.


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