The FBI has pulled a leaked internal document announcing an investigation into “radical traditionalist” Catholics and their possible ties to the “far-right white nationalist movement” following vocal backlash.
As Breitbart News reported, the text was leaked this week by an FBI whistleblower and subsequently published by Kyle Seraphin, who had been a special agent at the bureau for six years before he was indefinitely suspended without pay in June 2022.
Commenting on the leaked document, Seraphin noted an unsubstantiated assumption that “a preference for the Catholic Mass in Latin instead of the vernacular and a number of more traditional views on other world religions can amount to an ‘adherence to anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ and white supremacist ideology.’”
In response to an inquiry from the Catholic News Agency (CNA), the FBI said it would remove the document because “it does not meet our exacting standards.”
“While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, this particular field office product — disseminated only within the FBI — regarding racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI,” the statement read, while begging the question of how targeting a faith group relates to “racial” or “ethnic” discrimination.
“Upon learning of the document, FBI Headquarters quickly began taking action to remove the document from FBI systems and conduct a review of the basis for the document,” the statement continued. “The FBI is committed to sound analytic tradecraft and to investigating and preventing acts of violence and other crimes while upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans and will never conduct investigative activities or open an investigation based solely on First Amendment protected activity.”
The FBI report relied heavily on analysis from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a far-left, scandal-ridden organization, and even included a direct copy of the SPLC list of “Radical Traditional Catholicism Hate Groups” as an appendix to its text.
According to former Attorney General Jeff Session, the SPLC has used the “hate group” designation as a weapon and has “wielded it against conservative organizations that refuse to accept their orthodoxy and choose instead to speak their conscience.”
“They use it to bully and intimidate groups like yours which fight for the religious freedom, the civil rights, and the constitutional rights of others,” he told the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
On Thursday evening, Kyle Seraphin appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight, asserting that the FBI is “so desperate to find white supremacists that they are going to look at the Catholic Church.”
“They have found a gateway in what they think is fringe Catholicism in order to move into Christians in general and to declare them to be the actual criminals in this country or the potential terrorists,” Seraphin said.
“The whole document basically is written from the perspective of somebody who thinks there are significant abortion rights that need to be defended and also an LGBTQ agenda that has to be pushed down the American people’s throats and these are antithetical to Catholicism,” he added.
For his part, Tucker Carlson insisted that the FBI “has joined in the hunt for Christians” and had “tried to manufacture crimes against sincere Catholics,” an indictment apparently sufficient to move the Bureau to remove the offensive report from its files.