Evidence is growing that multiple FBI offices were involved in an effort to monitor and infiltrate Catholic churches. Here’s what happened.
Back on February 8, 2023, an FBI whistleblower released a memo written by the bureau’s Richmond, Virginia office that was shocking in its implications. The FBI in Richmond had decided that Catholics with orthodox views on issues including sanctity of life would pose a risk of violence.
JDFI was furious at the news. It seemed to us to fit into a growing trend of multiple federal law enforcement agencies criminalizing main stream Christian theology and the sanctity of life movement.
Many members of Congress shared our concerns and asked FBI Director Christopher Wray for a full explanation. After months of stalling by Wray, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-OH) demanded answers on who was responsible for the directive, and what steps were taken to discipline the agents involved.
In one particularly heated exchange, Director Wray told the Judiciary Committee that the Richmond directive targeting Catholics was a “single product by a single field office.” Chairman Jordan gave Wray a deadline to release the whole memo, without redactions, or be held in contempt of Congress.
That uncensored memo was finally provided to Congress and its contents have stoked greater controversy and calls for accountability. The memo shows that far from acting alone, the Richmond FBI also worked with agents in Portland, Oregon, and Los Angeles, California. Given the FBI’s resistance to congressional oversight, some members of Congress are concerned that even this latest information does not fully expose the problems. They want answers and accountability.
Chairman Jordan and Congressman Johnson (R-LA) have fired off another letter to Wray because they believe he misled or lied to them under oath when he claimed only one FBI office was involved. We encourage Congressman Jordan to aggressively get to the bottom of this outrage.
We also call for an investigation of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) that is implicated in this scandal. In spite of their innocuous name, the SPLC is a radical leftist group. Their specialty is smearing Evangelicals and Catholics by putting them on “hate lists” of actual hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Not long ago, the SPLC also labeled parental rights groups, who were fighting to protect their children from sexualization in the classroom, as extremist. Multiple federal government agencies rely on this far-left group for information on “extremism,” in spite of the evidence that the SPLC is in fact a hate group.