FBI Director Christopher Wray has seemingly been caught lying to Congress about the extent of his agency’s surveillance of Traditional Catholics in the United States, particularly the Priestly Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) released a letter addressed to Wray earlier today announcing that documents he obtained from the FBI last month indicate that its field office in Richmond, Virginia, coordinated with two other offices across the country to spy on Traditional Catholics.
The finding stands in contrast to Wray’s previous testimony that an FBI memo describing Traditional Catholics as potential domestic terrorists was only utilized at the one location in Richmond.
“On July 25, 2023, the FBI produced a version of the Richmond document with fewer redactions than the two previous versions it had produced,” Jordan’s letter begins. “This new version shows that the FBI’s actions were not just limited to ‘a single field office,’ as you testified to the Committee. The document cited reporting from an ‘FBI Portland liaison contact with indirect access’ who informed on a ‘deceased [Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremist (RMVE)] subject’ who had ‘sought out a mainline Roman Catholic community’ and then ‘gravitated to [Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX)].’”
The FBI is planning to intensify its “assessment” and “mitigation” of “Radical Traditionalist Catholics” over the next 12 to 24 months according to an explosive document from a former agent turned whistleblower.
The bombshell 8-page memo was released by former FBI agent Kyle Serpahin on his website UncoveredDC Wednesday. The report, written by an FBI analyst in Richmond, Virginia, was published for internal agency use only on January 23, is titled, “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical-Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”
Seraphin describes the briefing as an “intelligence product” that, though not being exhaustive, can be used as an initial reference point for the agency to “prop up” future investigations on the subject. He says he obtained the document from an anonymous Baptist employee for the agency.
“This is the first FBI Richmond domain product to focus on the interest of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists in the Radical Traditional Catholic movement,” the document states. “A search of FBI databases indicates this is also the first FBI finished intelligence product to specifically address this environmental variable.”
Among the most controversial aspects of the memo is that it directly cites a defamatory study conducted by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) on the subject “Radical Traditional Catholicism.” The SPLC has long been rejected as a legitimate resource for the FBI, Seraphin says, but in this instance, it is being relied on as a primary source to justify its efforts. The memo also references three anti-Catholic smear articles (here, here, and here) published by leftwing websites Salon and The Atlantic to defend its monitoring.
The report alleges that its real motivation is a concern that “Radical Traditionalist Catholic Ideology” possesses an “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBT, and white supremacy” outlook, and that this presents a threat to the US’s domestic well-being. The report further claims that adherents to RTC ideology “frequently share language and symbolism, such as crusader references or anti-Semitic discourses” online that pro-life white nationalists also support….