As further revelations detail the extent of the FBI’s plans to send agents into Catholic churches for the purpose of infiltrating and spying on them, the bureau is now facing greater backlash from Republicans, Catholics, and FBI whistleblowers.
Just The News reports that Congressman Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) released a statement reacting to the latest revelations, voicing his support for the possibility of defunding the FBI.
“This was one of the most shocking things that I’ve seen,” said Congressman Biggs on Wednesday. “When you start finding out that they were trying to actually move in, to infiltrate, etc., you go, ‘What is their purpose?’ Do they think that if you’re an orthodox, believing and practicing Catholic, somehow that’s anti-American?”
“[I]f we’re not going to totally defund it and eliminate it — and then keep only those areas that truly support state and local law enforcement — then you’ve got to do a wholesale cleaning out of the FBI,” Biggs continued.
The latest in the ongoing FBI scandal was revealed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who explained the latest evidence in a press release. Through a series of documents handed over to the committee by the FBI after an information request, Congressman Jordan said that “the FBI relied on information derived from at least one undercover employee and sought to use local religious organizations as ‘new avenues for tripwire and source development.'”
“In light of this information and the serious consequences for the free exercise of Americans’ First Amendment rights,” Jordan’s statement continued, “Chairman Jordan issued a subpoena today to FBI Director Wray for all documents related to the FBI’s actions.”
This is only the latest confirmed instance of the FBI attempting to infiltrate and spy on Catholic churches. Earlier this year, an internal FBI memo was leaked out of the Richmond Field Office revealing that the bureau was considering designating those who attend the Traditional Latin Mass as “extremists,” and again considered planting agents within certain churches.
“The FBI was definitely not honest with the American people,” said FBI whistleblower Steve Friend on Tuesday. “This was not just a low-level analyst who was acting on their own and maybe just considering sources from one side of the political spectrum. This was something that was actually put into an operational status.”
“It involved an undercover agent and a type five assessment, which you have to understand is a recruitment tool,” Friend explained further. “It’s where you would put somebody into a parish and have them assess if anybody there might be worthy of maybe pursuing as a paid informant, or a voluntary informant.”
“The idea that the FBI is using Catholic parishes and dioceses to continue to weaponize its power against patriotic believers is indeed disturbing, but not at all surprising,” said Father Frank Pavone, the national director of Priests for Life. “What should disturb people even more is that this news is completely consistent with the behavior of many diocesan officials and Catholic bishops in the United States, and in the Vatican. They are Democrats at prayer, and radical Democrats at that.”
The FBI released a statement in response to the Judiciary Committee’s subpoena request, while refusing to specifically acknowledge the Catholic scandal.
“The FBI recognizes the importance of congressional oversight,” the spokesman said, “and remains fully committed to cooperating with Congress’s oversight requests consistent with its constitutional and statutory responsibilities.”