(LifeSiteNews) — FBI whistleblower Kyle Seraphin has warned that the recently leaked bombshell FBI memo identifying “Radical Traditionalist Catholic Ideology” as a magnet for “violent extremists” is an “open door” to target all Christians in the U.S. as criminals.
The eight-page memo, written by an FBI analyst in Richmond, Virginia, asserts that “increasingly observed interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVE) in Radical Traditionalist Catholic (RTC) Ideology almost certainly presents new opportunities for threat mitigation” via “tripwire and source development.”
The document identifies “Radical Traditional Catholics” as typically rejecting Vatican II as a “valid council,” and often holding “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist ideology.” It further claims that RMVEs have “sought out” traditional Catholic worship and use RTC ideology language on social media.
Seraphin weighed in on the disturbing implications of the memo, which he published on Wednesday, on Tucker Carlson Tonight.
🚨Check out my appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight👇 pic.twitter.com/6RU8yId0KD
— Kyle Seraphin (@KyleSeraphin) February 10, 2023
“I think it’s appalling,” said Seraphin. “It doesn’t seem reasonable, but it is the state of the FBI at this point that they are so desperate to find white supremacists that they’re going to look at the Catholic Church.”
Seraphin and Carlson agreed that, in maligning a particular set of religious beliefs, the memo was at odds with the Constitution. “The Bill of Rights prohibits the government from weighing in on sectarian or religious questions. They don’t get to decide whether your religion is good or bad. They have to be agnostic on it,” Carlson pointed out.
Seraphin said he believes the document and ideas behind it ultimately pose a threat not only to traditional Catholics, but to all Christians in the country.
“I think if we’re realistic about it, they have found a gateway in what they think is fringe Catholicism in order to move into Christians in general and declare them to be the actual criminals in this country, or potential terrorists,” he told Carlson.
The whistleblower observed that the document was written by someone with views “antithetical to Catholicism,” including a belief in abortion “rights” and in “an LGBTQ agenda that needs to be pushed down the American people’s throats.”
According to the document, an alleged “increase in hostility” toward pro-abortion people online showed a “convergence” between RMVEs and RTCs, and its mention of “anti-LGBTQ” RTC beliefs appears to vilify the vast majority of traditional Catholics as well as the majority of conservative Christians, since the biblical belief that marriage only exists between a man and a woman is interpreted by “LGBTQ” advocates to be “anti-LGBTQ.”
In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), cited by the memo in question, even identifies legislation that prevents males from participating in women’s sports as “anti-LGBTQ.” On its website, the SPLC rejects “religious liberty” as a “guise” for what it claims are anti-LGBTQ beliefs.
“It’s an open door to all the Christians in this country, which is pretty much all of the country,” Seraphin concluded.
He pointed out that the anonymous FBI whistleblower who shared the memo with him is not Catholic, but believes that “if they’re going to go after ‘radical’ traditional Catholics, then ‘radical’ traditional Baptists are next, and radical traditional evangelicals, and anybody that espouses what is ‘radical,’ which is just a Christian faith.”
Following intense backlash, the FBI has now released a statement saying it is not only retracting, but also investigating why the anti-Catholic memo was issued by its Richmond, Virginia, office last month.
“While our standard practice is not to 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 reads.
In its statement, the FBI claims that “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 continues: “The FBI is committed to sound analytic tradecraft and to investigate and prevent 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.”
A years-old “study” conducted by the SPLC on the purported dangers of “Radical Traditional Catholicism” was included in the FBI memo as a primary resource in order to justify the agency’s monitoring of certain traditional Catholic groups.
The memo refers to nine traditional Catholic organizations as “RTC hate groups,” as identified and defined by the SPLC: Catholic Family News, The Remnant, The Fatima Center, Tradition in Action, Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Culture Wars, In the Spirit of Chartres, Christ or Chaos, and Catholic Apologetics International. These groups were all listed in the SPLC report.
Seraphin responded on Twitter to news about the FBI’s about-face, suggesting the agency only backed off because it had been held to account. “The FBI doesn’t confirm information, but they confirmed this,” he wrote. “Because they were called out. Not because they would NEVER approve it. They approved it, and are embarrassed. This is the only way.”
Catholic Family News editor-in-chief Brian McCall remarked to LifeSiteNews that the memo’s release “confirms the dystopian state of the country in which we sadly live.”
McCall continued, “The FBI is spying on and infiltrating traditional Roman Catholic groups and even parishes for simply exercising their First Amendment Rights. The absurdity of the outrageous allegations of the FBI memo are blatant.”
Although the author acknowledges that white supremacists are and have always been violently anti-Catholic (the KKK burn crosses specifically to show their hostility to Catholics), the author believes these white supremacist groups are now deeply attracted to strongly Catholic parishes and groups that they despise.
Traditional Catholicism has never had anything to do with racial bigotry or hatred. In fact the white supremacist groups that have been active throughout US history (such as the Know Nothing Party) have targeted Catholics because Catholics have always sought the salvation and improvement in this world of the lot of those races and ethnicities despised by the White Protestant elitists.
Ironically every traditional Latin Mass parish I have ever attended is more ethnically diverse than liberal Catholic parishes that segregate attendees by linguistic, and hence ethnic, lines (i.e., Spanish Masses, Vietnamese Masses, etc.).
Traditional Catholics seek the conversion of everyone regardless of race, color, ethnicity, or any other attribute, to the Kingship of Christ. They seek to bring the love of Christ and His Church to all races and ethnicities.
The memo’s prominent reliance on the utterly discredited and bigoted Southern Poverty Law Center, which is not a law center at all but merely a radical political leftist front, further discredits this memo and its author.
The Department of Justice in its continued persecution of pro-life advocates and now simple Traditional Catholics should be renamed from its Orwellian title to the more accurate Department of Injustice.
LifeSiteNews reached out to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Diocese of Richmond for comment, but has not received a response as of publishing.