Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan Confronts FBI Director for Targeting Pro-Life Catholics

National   |   Josh Mercer   |   Feb 20, 2023   |   9:54AM   |   Washington, DC

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH, sent a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray about a recently-leaked memo from the Bureau’s office in Richmond, Virginia, that linked “radical-traditionalist Catholics” with threats of domestic extremism.

The news came days after CatholicVote President Brian Burch sent a letter to Jordan asking him to further investigate the FBI over the “anti-Catholic” memo.

Chairman Jordan’s letter demanded answers about the FBI’s “targeting of a set of Catholic Americans for their religious beliefs,” Fox News reported:

“The Committee on the Judiciary is continuing to examine the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s handling of domestic violent extremism [DVE] investigations,” Jordan wrote. …Jordan said he and committee Republicans have written to the FBI “several times” over the last year about “startling allegations that the FBI is misusing DVE resources for apparent political purposes.”

Jordan’s letter was co-signed by House Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government Chairman Rep. Mike Johnson, R-LA.

The FBI’s memo on “radical-traditionalist Catholics” was leaked by former agent Kyle Seraphin (who is also a Catholic) on January 23 and elicited denunciations from numerous Catholic leaders. Last week, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) spoke out against the memo when their religious freedom chairman, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, accused the FBI of “religious profiling.”

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Chairman Jordan’s letter echoed the USCCB’s assessment.

“In this document, the FBI purported to distinguish what it called ‘traditional Catholics’ from the disfavored RTC [radical-traditionalist Catholic] adherents, who the FBI characterized as embracing ‘anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist ideology,” Jordan wrote in his letter to FBI Director Wray. The Bureau “even identified certain public policy issues — such as immigration and life issues — that it believed would ‘catalyze’ RTC adherents.”

“Jordan said the memo not only attempts to ‘separate and categorize Catholic Americans based on theological distinctions,’ but said the FBI ‘underscored the political nature of its actions,’” Fox reported:

The memo stated that “FBI Richmond assesses RMVE [racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists] interest in RTCs is likely to increase over the next 12 or 24 months in the run-up to the next general election cycle.”

Jordan said the FBI’s document cites “biased and partisan sources, including the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), Salon, and The Atlantic, to support its assessment.”

Jordan said the SPLC “identifies the broad term ‘Christian identity’ as a hate group — a term that could arguably encompass millions of Americans with sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“The fact that the FBI would blindly accept and regurgitate the SPLC’s spin is highly concerning and undercuts the FBI’s assertion that it is unbiased and politically neutral,” Jordan wrote.

The FBI rescinded the memo less than a day after the document was revealed to the public. But the retraction did nothing to quell the backlash from prominent Catholics, many of whom expressed anger and alarm at what they viewed as a revelation that federal law enforcement had been surveilling Catholics due to their religious beliefs.

“This isn’t even a slippery slope,” said CatholicVote President Brian Burch. “This is opening the door to a coordinated government-sponsored war on Catholics – and anyone who continues to speak out against the new progressive religion.”

“This isn’t about ‘rad trads’… And it’s certainly not about violence… or anything else the FBI should be working on,” Burch added:

This memo is about silencing Catholics like you and me because we are part of the peaceful resistance pushing back against Joe Biden’s abortion extremism, attacks on parents, and radical trans and LGBT agenda.

LifeNews Note: Josh Mercer writes for CatholicVote, where this originally appeared.