New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan has sharply criticized the now-retracted FBI report targeting “radical traditionalist” Catholics and their possible ties to the “far-right white nationalist movement.”
As Breitbart News reported, the internal document was leaked last week by an FBI whistleblower and subsequently published by Kyle Seraphin, who had been a special agent at the bureau for six years before being indefinitely suspended without pay in June 2022.
In response to the report, Cardinal Dolan, chairman of the Bishops’ Committee for Religious Liberty, said the leaked memorandum was “troubling and offensive,” due to its “religious profiling and reliance on dubious sourcing,” in reference to the report’s dependence on information from the thoroughly discredited Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
I am “glad it has been rescinded,” the cardinal declared. “We encourage federal law enforcement authorities to take appropriate measures to ensure the problematic aspects of the memo do not recur in any of their agencies’ work going forward.”
Dolan also noted that anyone who espouses racism or promotes violence is “rejecting Catholic teaching on the inherent dignity of each and every person,” adding that the bishops “roundly” condemn such extremism.
After considerable backlash, the FBI said it was removing 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.
“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 scandal-ridden SPLC 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 said.
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