This is the article that appeared in the March 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 three occasions in the first two months of this year, we have been mobilized to respond to a series of decisions made by elites in the federal government that are hostile to religion in general, and to Catholics, in particular. This is unprecedented.

On January 19, Bill Donohue sent a letter to Rep. Jim Jordan, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, regarding decisions reached by Noah Bishoff, the former Director of the Office of Stakeholder Integration and Engagement in the Strategic Operations Division of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Under his tutelage, FinCEN investigators asked financial institutions to provide them with customer transactions of an “extremist” nature. Such terms such as “MAGA” were flagged as problematic. Of interest to the Catholic League was earmarking “the purchasing of books (including religious texts)” that might the meet the test of “extremism.”

Donohue asked Jordan, “which kinds of religious books were of interest to Bishoff’s team of investigators? For example, those written by orthodox Catholics, or those written by Catholic bashers? I doubt it was the latter.”

On February 6, Donohue wrote to Rep. Chip Roy, Chairman of the House Security Committee, asking him to keep the pressure on the Biden administration’s Justice Department for selectively targeting non-violent pro-life protesters for violating the FACE Act, while letting violent abortion-rights protesters skate.

This becomes especially important given the admission of FBI Director Christopher Wray last November that 70% of FACE offenses have been committed by abortion-rights activists. Moreover, we know from Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta that pro-lifers are being disproportionately targeted. We also know why: the Biden administration is angry that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

On February 15, Donohue wrote to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking him to settle the issue of the agency spying on Catholics. Wray was supposed to have answered several questions, posed by U.S. Senators, about this issue but did not reply on time.

We have been actively engaged in this FBI issue dating back to February of last year. That is why we treated this as the most serious of the three matters. Donohue’s letter is on p. 5.

We are well aware that most federal employees are good men and women who are doing their best to serve the public. But we are also well aware of too many recent examples where the elites in charge have either failed themselves to act in a just manner, or have allowed those below them to do so.

Anti-Catholicism, stemming from any source, must be taken seriously. But when it emanates from the federal government—it is alarming.

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