FOIA Response Raises Serious Concerns that FBI Is Targeting “Traditional Catholics”

Priests for Life

Publication Date: May 16, 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                

Contact:  Leslie Palma


TITUSVILLE, FL -- As we reported previously, Priests for Life, with the assistance of the American Freedom Law Center, sent multiple Freedom of Information Act requests for documents related to the FBI’s targeting of “traditional Catholics.”

In response to our requests, we only received one batch of heavily redacted documents. Most of the government agencies claimed that no such documents exist.  No real surprise there.

One of the documents we did receive, however, was a transcript of the testimony provided to the Senate by Attorney General Merrick Garland. His testimony was interesting and quite revealing.

First, Garland claimed the Richmond FBI field office memo, which plainly demonstrates that the FBI was targeting “traditional Catholics,” was “appalling,” further asserting that it was his “understand[ing]” that “the FBI has withdrawn it and it’s now looking into how this could have ever happened.”

But contrary to the attorney general’s feigned concern, the documents we received plainly show the FBI was more concerned about “talking points” to the media and how to spin the controversy than it was about fixing it.

Another interesting, and rather frightening, piece of information was found in an exchange between the attorney general and Sen. Josh Hawley.

Hawley: How many informants do you have in Catholic churches across America?

Garland: I don’t know.  And I don’t believe we have any informants aimed at Catholic churches. We have a rule against investigations based on First Amendment activity and Catholic churches are obviously, First Amendment.

Hawley: Well – –

Garland: But I don’t know the specific answer to your question.

The attorney general doesn’t know!?  The answer should be simple and unequivocal: None!

As you can see, there is plenty of smoke here. But the cover-up is underway.

Indeed, the inspector general for the Justice Department recently issued a 10-page report to Congress, finding that the internal memo linking traditionalist Catholics to violent extremists “failed to adhere to FBI standards” but showed no evidence of “malicious intent.”

The report concluded that there was no “underlying policy direction” indicating a link.

In other words, the fox is guarding the henhouse.                                    

Catholics, particularly those involved in the pro-life movement, know otherwise. We have all witnessed Justice’s use of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act (FACE) to prosecute and jail peaceful pro-lifers while turning a blind eye to the rampant violence of pro-aborts.

This weaponization of the government to target conservative people of faith must stop!

We must and we will remain vigilant. And in the meantime, let’s vote out of office those who are weaponizing our government.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: