It’s hard to imagine that the FBI, the very agency sworn to protect and serve the American people, would stoop so low as to infiltrate churches in an attempt to label Catholics as “domestic terrorists.” Yet, that’s exactly what has come to light. Recent revelations have shed light on the FBI’s disturbing tactics, revealing how they deployed undercover agents to gather information and sow division within Catholic congregations. This is a blatant violation of the Church’s First Amendment rights, and a shocking abuse of power by those entrusted with upholding the law. The question is: How far will the FBI go to target those it deems a threat?
In a stunning revelation, it has been discovered that the FBI has been targeting Catholic Americans and attempting to label them as “domestic extremists.” The Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Jim Jordan, has subpoenaed FBI Director Christopher Wray for documents related to the FBI’s handling of this investigation.
Here’s Tucker when the news broke of the scandal last month.
This investigation included the use of at least one undercover agent to produce a memo of their analysis and engaged in outreach programs to Catholic parishes, including clergy and church leadership. The FBI’s actions not only discriminate against Catholics but also pose a threat to their First Amendment rights.
Representative Jordan’s letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray stated that the FBI document sought to categorize Catholic Americans based on theological distinctions. This attempt to label certain kinds of Catholic Americans as domestic terrorists is not only discriminatory but also deeply concerning. Despite requests for information on a document dated January 23, 2023, and a follow-up letter dated March 20, 2023, they only received a partial response on March 23, 2023. The response contained 18 pages with significant redactions of personally identifiable information and non-public information, which hindered their ability to fully assess the content and context of the documents and obtain the requested information.
Jordan claimed that the FBI attempted to use Catholic churches as potential sources to monitor and report on their parishioners. This is a clear invasion of privacy and a violation of their First Amendment rights. Americans attend church for spiritual and personal betterment, and they should have the freedom to exercise their rights without worrying about the FBI planting informants or “tripwire” sources in their places of worship.
Although the FBI claims to have “numerous” and “rigorous” policies to protect First Amendment rights, the FBI’s proposal to develop sources within Catholic churches was reviewed and approved by two senior intelligence analysts and even the local Chief Division Counsel. This is a blatant disregard for the rights of Catholic Americans and shows the FBI’s willingness to use questionable tactics to achieve their goals.
The FBI disavowed the memo and stated that its assumptions about a potential link between traditionalist Catholics and violent extremists did not meet their standards. The FBI took swift action to remove the document from their systems and is stated they’re committed to upholding constitutional rights while investigating and preventing crimes and that the FBI will not conduct investigations based solely on First Amendment protected activity.
The FBI’s attempt to infiltrate Catholic churches and categorize Catholics as “domestic terrorists” is a clear violation of their First Amendment rights. They have shown a willingness to use discriminatory tactics to target specific groups of people and infringe on their freedoms. This alarming behavior should not be tolerated, and we call on the American people to stand up against these violations of our constitutional rights. We must hold the FBI accountable for their actions, and fight to ensure that all Americans, regardless of their religion or beliefs, can exercise their First Amendment rights without fear of government persecution.
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