WASHINGTON (TND) — The FBI is retracting an internal memo from the agency's Richmond field office, shared by whistleblower and former FBI agent Kyle Seraphin, which accused "radical-traditionalist Catholics" of presenting a threat of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism.
"FBI Richmond assesses the increasingly observed interest of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists (RMVFs) in radical-traditionalist Catholic (RTC) ideology almost certainly presents opportunities for threat mitigation," the FBI document read.
Seraphin called the document's discovery "appalling" and said it illustrates that the FBI is "so desperate to find white supremacists that they're going to look at the Catholic Church."
The former FBI agent added that the document shows the agency has found "a gateway in what they think is fringe Catholicism, in order to move into Christians in general and declare them to be the actual criminals in this country, or the potential terrorists."
He also noted the document appeared to be written from the perspective of someone who thinks there are significant abortion rights that need to be defended and also that there is an LGBTQ agenda that needs to be pushed on Americans. Both things are antithetical to the Catholic faith.
The FBI confirmed to The National Desk (TND) that the document did indeed originate from the FBI's Richmond field office, but indicated the agency would be striking the document because it "does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI."
"While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, this particular field office product — disseminated only within the FBI — regarding racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI," the agency said in a statement to TND.
"Upon learning of the document, FBI Headquarters quickly began taking action to remove the document from FBI systems and conduct a review of the basis for the document," the statement continued. "The FBI is committed to sound analytic tradecraft and to investigating and preventing acts of violence and other crimes while upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans and will never conduct investigative activities or open an investigation based solely on First Amendment protected activity."