Most Holy Trinity by Ermes Dovico

FBI actions against Catholics “not malicious” on principle

The inspector general of the Justice Department’s report leaves grey areas: Actions taken against Catholics violated FBI standards but lacked "malicious intent". But, FBI looks the other way for pro-Hamas protesters.

World 29_04_2024
Michael E. Horowitz (set 2021, photo Pool via AP/LaPresse)

The hypocrisy or, rather, the blatant partisanship with which the FBI and the Justice Department under the leadership of the Biden administration act, is increasingly in the public eye. Recently, the Justice Department's Inspector General, Michael E. Horowitz, finally sent Congress his awaited report on the abuses, intimidating behaviour, infiltrating agents of the FBI, and the related 'filing' of Catholics who follow the traditional liturgy, the Roman Catechism, and recite prayers dear to God's people.

The new report leaves plenty of grey areas on the political will to persecute and intimidate Catholics, while the FBI's complacency towards the pro-Hamas university students who have been prominent in recent weeks, opens up new certainties about the politically oriented double standards of a particular justice and of certain police officers. Apparently, according to the Justice Department report, the actions taken by the FBI on the possible threats posed by 'radical-traditionalist' Catholics violated professional standards, but had 'no malicious intent'.

The FBI memorandum was drafted by the feds' Richmond office in late 2022, completed by other authors in January 2023, and inspired by the work of the far-left organisation Southern Poverty Law Center. It described as potential threats so-called 'Catholic extremists' who participate in Old Rite celebrations, recite rosaries, and demonstrate their opposition to the pro-abortion and pro-transgender legislation of Joe Biden and colleagues, including those appearing more likely to support the pro-life proposals of the Republicans and Donald Trump.

Since the beginning of 2023, the Republicans have rightly wanted to investigate and denounce this totalitarian attitude against Catholics. Thanks to congressional investigations, the memorandum was then quickly withdrawn, with top law enforcement and FBI officials repeatedly distancing themselves from it, sometimes in a blatantly grotesque manner.

Suspicion and controversy was stirred up by the report of the Justice Department's oversight body, which found that agents in the FBI office in Richmond, Virginia, had improperly 'confused the activists' religious convictions with the likelihood that they would engage in domestic terrorism', giving the idea that they were being targeted for their faith.

Nevertheless, no evidence was to be found that 'anyone ordered or mandated' others to investigate Catholics because of their religious faith and practice. But, who could have reasonably expected that, well over a year after the discovery of the internal memo and the Congressional investigation, and perhaps even more since the start of the vetting and filing practices, the FBI would leave evidence of written orders on the true reasons for the anti-Catholic initiative?

Obviously, the FBI director, Christopher Wray, who has been put under the microscope several times by Congress for these behaviours and these improper political investigations, was pleased that the inspector general's review was in line with the internal FBI review, namely that 'there was no intention or action taken to investigate Catholics or anyone else on the basis of religion'. The Republicans, led by Congressman Jim Jordan, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Senator Charles E. Grassley, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, nevertheless demanded further and exhaustive answers from Wray and other Justice Department officials, because the report left some important questions unanswered, including the bureau's decision to delete the files associated with the memo, that is all the evidence of political will to prosecute Catholics who respect the Catechism.

For these reasons, too, the FBI director is accused of hypocrisy for allowing the investigation and intimidation of parents concerned about their children's education, Trump supporters, and American Catholics, yet doing nothing, let alone 'monitoring' pro-Hamas rallies and protests on university campuses. Indeed, Christopher Wray himself dismissed this idea, merely saying that the FBI does not monitor anti-Jewish 'protests' on university campuses but only shares 'information only on specific threats of violence'. This is a disturbing confirmation of the political and asymmetrical use of the 'Democrat-inspired' FBI, which has turned a blind eye to who knows how many sinister vandals who have so far destroyed hundreds of pro-life centres and churches and, at this rate, will not intervene against the same terrorists who now threaten Jews and synagogues.