The Biden White House has been targeting a number of Catholic churches, according to civil rights attorney Leo Terrell and one prominent member of Congress. Now, FBI Director Christopher Wray has been subpoenaed to testify in front of the House Judiciary Committee over a controversial memo that tied together traditional religious practices with potential extremism.
The controversy opened in February 2023 after an internal FBI memo was leaked that targeted traditional practices of the Catholic church. The January memo stated that “Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVE)” were linked to what the agency called “‘Radical-Traditionalist Catholics.’”
The memo cited the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a left-wing activist group. Included within the memo, Catholics who prefer the traditional Latin-language mass or used the rosary were linked to right-wing extremist groups.
The memo attempted to link such traditional practices to attacks against abortion facilities.
The memo was later withdrawn by the FBI.
Terrell spoke to Fox News, stating that the targeting is “scary” and that the Biden administration is “launching an investigation into traditional Catholic Churches without criminal activity.”
He added that the process is a “war by the extreme left against religion.”
“This is not the FBI I grew up with,” he said.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) is seeking answers from the FBI director regarding the memo, subpoenaing Wray to testify.
Jordan wrote that the memo was “chilling” and that the House Judiciary Committee “is conducting oversight of the handling” of such investigations “against Catholic Americans and its effect on protected First Amendment activity.”
The Ohio Republican also cited potential FBI efforts to recruit informants within churches to report suspicious activity.
🚨 #BREAKING: We now know the FBI, relying on information derived from at least one 𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐞𝐫𝐜𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 employee, sought to use local religious organizations as “new avenues for tripwire and source development.” pic.twitter.com/97veIGtvq4
— Weaponization Committee (@Weaponization) April 10, 2023
Jordan desires more information regarding developing “sources among the clergy and church leadership to inform on Americans practices their faith.”
Wray testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee last month that the January memo “does not reflect FBI standards.”
He stated that the memo reflected just one of the FBI field offices and not the agency as a whole.
The director said that the agency does “not and will not target people for religious beliefs, and we do not and will not monitor people’s religious practices.”