This is the article that appeared in the June 2024 edition of Catalyst, our monthly journal. The date that prints out reflects the day that it was uploaded to our website. For a more accurate date of when the article was first published, check out the news release, here.

On April 18, a report on the FBI’s internal probe of Analysts involved in the investigation of Catholics was published. The next day, Bill Donohue wrote a letter to Rep. Jim Jordan, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He read Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on this issue, and while he was satisfied with some aspects of it, serious issues remain. Here is an excerpt of Donohue’s letter.

Horowitz begins by noting that the Richmond Field Office examined “a purported link between Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVEs) and ‘Radical Traditionalist Catholic (RTC)’ ideology.” He then cites the conclusion reached by the FBI Inspection Division.

While there was no evidence of malice, the probe of Catholics “lacked sufficient evidence” to establish a relationship between the aforementioned extremists and RTC ideology. The report also concluded that the FBI Analysts “incorrectly conflated the subjects’ religious views with their RMVE activities….”

This begs the question: Why did the Analysts think there was a relationship in the first place?

It is as revealing as it is disturbing to note that the probe of Catholics was based on one person, namely, Defendant A. That he is clearly a violent, bigoted thug—he hates everyone from Jews to cops—is uncontested. But where are the others? There isn’t even a Defendant B.

More disturbing is the admission that Defendant A does not attend a Catholic church. The report admits that he attended a church “with an international religious society that advocates traditional Catholic theology and liturgy but it is not considered by the Vatican to be in full communion with the Catholic Church (my italics).”

Later in the report we learn that “there was no evidence that Defendant A was being radicalized” at the church he attended, and that “he had been on the radar ‘as an unstable, dangerous individual’ before ‘any association with any Catholic related entity whatsoever.'” That being the case, why was it necessary to investigate his fellow churchgoers? Since when does the FBI conduct an investigation of a world religion on the basis of one miscreant whom they admit was not radicalized by it?

To make matters worse, the report says that when those who attended church with Defendant A were questioned about him, they confessed that he “displayed ‘unusual’ and ‘concerning’ behavior.” In fact, the report does not note a single person who attended church with him who found him persuasive—they knew he was odd. Thus does this admission undercut the rationale for a further probe of Catholics.

We know from previous disclosures that “mainline Catholic parishes” were targeted by the FBI. Yet we now know that the Analysts couldn’t even identify radicals within this breakaway Catholic entity, never mind rank-and-file Catholic men and women.

The judgment of both Analysts was more than flawed—it was totally irresponsible. Even more mind-boggling is what the FBI HQ Analyst had to say.

The FBI HQ Analyst said she was “really interested in this resurgence of interest in the [C]atholic [C]hurch from our [DVEs].” The latter refers to Domestic Violence Extremists.

What occasioned this “resurgence of interest” in the Catholic Church? Was it something that someone did? Or does this reflect the ideological predilections of the Analyst? Notice she wasn’t referring to a “resurgence of interest” in breakaway Catholic entities. She was referring to the Roman Catholic Church.

There are many issues left outstanding. Moreover, if we are to believe that what happened was nothing of a serious nature, why was it necessary for the FBI to delete files? That suggests a cover up.

When the Catholic Church is subjected to scrutiny by the FBI because of the beliefs and behavior of one maladjusted individual—who does not attend a Catholic church—it cries out for a much more detailed response than what the Horowitz report affords.

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