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FBI – anti-religious enforcement agency

The FBI has turned into an anti-religious enforcement agency, as an anti-Catholic memo from the Richmond, Va. field office clearly shows.

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Has the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) turned itself into an enforcement agency for anti-religious propaganda? So it would appear, if new documents that the House Judiciary Committee uncovered, are what they say they are. Ironically, the two hopeful signs in this disgraceful affair are that a former agent of good conscience shared what he knew about this attitude, and that the Director of the agency felt he had to lie about it. One does not lie about that which one can defend. But the discovery of that lie leads to another question: what else is he lying about?

The FBI anti-Catholic memo

The sordid story begins on February 8, 2023, with a memorandum apparently from the FBI Field Office in Richmond, Virginia. National Review (through Yahoo! News) broke the story. This memo described “radical traditionalist Catholic ideology” as a “potential domestic terrorist” threat, and spoke of “new mitigation opportunities.” About the only part of this memo that is at all credible would be on these points bout traditionalist Catholics. Such persons:

  • Prefer to say the mass, or Sunday church service, in Latin, not in English. This “Latin Mass” is at least 1500 years old and likely dates from shortly after the fall of Rome. Pope Benedict XVI restored the Latin Mass as an acceptable form of Catholic worship before certain influences – we still don’t know what – forced him to resign, the only Pope ever to do so in life.
  • Reject the Second Vatican Council (“Vatican II”), calling it an invalid exercise. Along with that, they might not accept any Pope since Vatican II. Popes John XXIII and Paul VI ran it during its four sessions (1962-1965).
  • Might or might not reject the authority of Popes following Paul VI, if they accept Paul VI at all. (He won election during Vatican II and presided over its second, third and fourth sessions.)

Beyond that, the FBI memo refers to a “radical” faction among traditionalist Catholics. These, in addition to the above, “frequently adhere… to anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist ideology,” according to the memo.

How the memo came to light

On February 8, Kyle Seraphin, former FBI special agent, shared the memo to The memo appears heavily redacted, but does refer to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as its source. The “mitigation opportunity” the memo mentions, refers to recruitment inside that branch of the Church. Which means: recruiting informers – spies, stool pigeons – or provocateurs.

Apart from the SPLC’s labeling of “radical traditionalist Catholics” as a “hate group,” the memo provides no evidence either that:

  • Traditional Roman Catholicism teaches a willingness to spread or defend the faith through violence, or that
  • Violent action in the name of Roman Catholicism is a common problem.

But whoever wrote the memo also cited articles like this in and other unspecified articles in The Atlantic.

This memo has a date of January 23, 2023 and also mentions “Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists,” or RMVEs. The Daily Signal also reported on this memo, which bears markings reading, “Unclassified / For Official Use Only” and “FBI Internal Use Only – Do Not Disseminate Externally.”


Were they the only field office?

We now know the answer: No. Recall that Christopher Wray, Director of the FBI, denied any suggestion that his agency targets Catholics – or parents either – in exhaustive testimony four weeks ago (July 12). But former agent Steve Friend said yes, his agency did target parents who showed up at local school board meetings. That turned out to be only one lie Wray told.

Yesterday at about noon, this latest scandal broke wide-open. The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board published an opinion piece, “The FBI and ‘Radical’ Catholics.” That piece suggested that more than one field office was involved.

Rebecca Downs at Town Hall confirmed this at 2:30 p.m. EDT yesterday.

Moreover the House Judiciary Committee issued a statement concerning its ongoing investigation into this matter. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.), Chairman of its Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government, jointly sent a letter to Wray demanding an unredacted version of the memo, and:

  • Documents and communications between the Richmond and Portland field offices (and also the Richmond and Los Angeles field office) relating to the memo,
  • A list of all other “intelligence products” along this line, and
  • Confirmation of “moles” that FBI Portland and L.A. have placed within a particular church.

The Committee also has a lightly redacted version of the anti-Catholic memo.


All these materials implicate the field offices in Portland, Oregon and Los Angeles, California, as well as Richmond.

The FBI really is a monster

Later in the afternoon, Chairman Jordan summed up what his Committee now knows about the FBI.

Jordan also asked, quite reasonably:

This goes directly to what Darrell L. Castle of the Constitution Party calls “criminalizing dissent.” The FBI would appear to be criminalizing more than dissent. They are criminalizing religious belief itself, in line with typical leftist dogma, going clear back to Karl Marx. After all, Marx called religion “the opiate of the masses.” For that reason, the Bolsheviks who set up and ran the Soviet Union were stone-cold atheists.

Today Christopher Wray prefers to lie about his agency’s activities. He knows he could never defend them by legitimately calling the Roman Catholic Church an enemy of good order. But he would like to do that; hence the Richmond Memo. (Why Richmond? Hard to say – except that Richmond was the center of the worst wholesale destruction of public art in recent memory: the destruction of Monument Avenue.)


At the very least, the FBI has become a political weapon. At worst, it now substitutes for the Second and Third Chief Directorates of the Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti (State Security Committee). It is certainly an arm of the Deep State and as such it is much to be feared – and hopefully dismantled.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.

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