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RICHMOND, Virginia (ChurchMilitant.com) - Major news outlets are lampooning Biden's FBI for targeting Catholics across America.
This week, both The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post blasted the Biden administration over a leaked anti-Catholic FBI memo. The FBI document singled out "radical-traditionalist Catholics" as a possible threat for adhering to "anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist ideology." In its Wednesday article, the WSJ editorial board didn't mince words:
The intellectual sloppiness — and danger — of the report is its embrace of the false leftist political narrative that religiously inspired support of traditional marriage or pro-life views amount to a rising domestic terror threat. The document is notable for its lack of evidence that "radical" traditionalist Catholics have done anything to warrant targeting... .
Washington Post columnist Hugh Hewitt revealed his Catholic faith and tore into the FBI's woke warnings:
The memo — withdrawn amid a storm of criticism last week — warned of extremists being drawn into "radical-traditionalist" Roman Catholic organizations known primarily for their love of the Latin Mass and the relatively few churches where it is celebrated. I know many "Rad Trads" and find the idea that they might be dangerous so laughable that at first I didn't believe the report.
A distinction the FBI author draws in the memo, however, focuses on a subtle difference in the Catholic community not understood by many. The FBI notes that "radical traditional Catholics" — those who reject Vatican II and harbor animosity towards recent popes — are distinct from Catholics who simply prefer the Traditional Latin Mass. The memo's author even recognizes the important distinction between the SSPX, a schismatic group, and the FSSP, which is in full communion with the Catholic Church.
The memo lists nine organizations that it proposes as an example of so-called RTC groups. Most of the organizations on the list have no formal status in the Catholic Church, despite their "Catholic" name.
The WSJ author points out that almost one-third of America's population is Catholic and exposes the FBI's sloppy sourcing for the irreligious memo:
The document's 'open source' reporting comes from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has spent years branding mainstream conservative groups as 'hate' organizations and has no credibility outside progressive circles. The FBI gumshoes also point to articles in Salon and The Atlantic, which shows they need to expand their reading lists.
In recent years, the radical Southern Poverty Law Center, Salon and The Atlantic have all targeted American Catholics, including Church Militant. Church Militant is listed as an "LGBTQ hate group" on SPLC's hate map. Salon has posted a series of articles erroneously connecting Church Militant with white supremacists. Last fall, The Atlantic posted an infamous article that likened the Rosary to assault rifles and traditional Catholics to terrorists. In the article, The Atlantic even linked a source that directs to Church Militant.
Church Militant is listed in the FBI memo, and its author attempts to use questionable sources to tie CM to the nationalist "groyper" movement known as America First. Church Militant categorically rejects the FBI's characterizations.
Meanwhile, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has issued no response to the anti-Catholic FBI memo. The Federalist published an article blasting the bishops for their silence: "What has the Catholic Church hierarchy had to say in the seven days since the slanderous leak? Nothing." The Federalist author fields an educated guess on why the prelates are silent:
The FBI's association between Church Militant and so-called violent white supremacists was unfounded and embarrassingly badly sourced, and it would be easy for the Catholic hierarchy to come to their defense. But Church Militant is known for stridently reporting on the corruption, sexual abuse, and wokeism infecting the USCCB. Anyone familiar with the USCCB's disdain for Church Militant knows the bishops are more likely to revel in its slander than to rebuke it.
Church Militant is the only media outfit listed in the FBI report.
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