The FBI believes that “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” are drawn to “radical traditionalist Catholic ideology,” according to a leaked internal memo.
The document, which was leaked by a whistleblower from the FBI field office in Richmond, warns that such extremism will likely increase in the run-up to the next general elections.
According to the whistleblower, the memo was distributed among agents last month.
The FBI’s Richmond field office allegedly published a document on January 23 titled: “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”
The document stresses: “UNCLASSIFIED/FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY” and “FBI INTERNAL USE ONLY — DO NOT DISSEMINATE EXTERNALLY.”
The purported FBI internal memo was leaked to UncoverDC.com.
The documents were supplied by Kyle Seraphin – a former FBI special agent who was indefinitely suspended without pay in June 2022.
Seraphin was suspended after being at the bureau for six years, according to National Review.
The FBI’s Richmond field office allegedly claims it had “increasingly observed interest of racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists in radical traditionalist Catholic ideology.”
The memo adds that this “presents opportunities for threat mitigation through the exploration of new avenues of tripwire and source development.”
“In making this assessment, FBI Richmond relied on the key assumption that [racially or ethnically motivated extremists] will continue to find [radical-traditionalist Catholic or RTC] ideology attractive and will continue to attempt to connect with RTC adherents, both virtually via social media and in-person at places of worship,” the document states.
The FBI field office in Richmond reportedly anticipates interest in “radical traditionalist Catholic ideology” by “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists” will “likely increase in the next 12 to 24 months in the run-up to the next general election cycle.”
According to the document, the FBI made the assessment with “high confidence,” based on “FBI investigations, local law enforcement agency reporting, and liaison reporting.”
An analyst note reads, “RTCs are typically categorized by the rejection of the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) as a valid church council; disdain for most of the popes elected since Vatican II, particularly Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II; and frequent adherence to anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, and white supremacist ideology.
“Radical-traditionalist Catholics compose a small minority of overall Roman Catholic adherents and are separate and distinct from ‘traditionalist Catholics’ who prefer the Traditional Latin Mass and pre-Vatican II teachings and traditions, without the more extremist ideological beliefs and violent rhetoric.”
The FBI internal memo cites the Southern Poverty Law Center and notes that the SPLC identified nine “RTC hate groups” operating in the United States in 2021.
The SPLC claims, “‘Radical traditionalist’ Catholics, who may make up the largest single group of serious antisemites in America, subscribe to an ideology that is rejected by the Vatican and some 70 million mainstream American Catholics.”
Seraphin, a U.S. Air Force veteran and Catholic, told the Daily Signal that the “SPLC is not an appropriate source.”
He added that “a real intelligence product would quote” the Southern Poverty Law Center and deem it “unsubstantiated.”
Seraphin said if an FBI analyst cited the far-left Salon, then they would also need to cite another “source on the other side.”