Catholicism is under attack by the FBI

Published 7:30 am Sunday, February 19, 2023

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Did you know that traditional Catholicism is under attack by the FBI for being extreme, and festering terrorism?  That’s right! The FBI issued a memo warning of extremists who are infiltrating “radical – traditionalist Roman Catholic organizations known primarily for the love of the Latin Mass.”  I thought this was a joke when I first heard about the FBI’s latest blunder.  But I kid you not. Such a memo was actually issued by the organization that is supposed to be there to protect, and not to intimidate.

So according to the FBI, if you practice traditional Catholicism and enjoy attending a traditional Mass in Latin, you could be considered a criminal or even a potential terrorist.  How absurd and how dangerous.

I studied Latin in high school and college, and really love the language. And although I am not Catholic, I do from time to time enjoy attending the Mass in Latin at St. Agnus Catholic Church in Baton Rouge. Louisiana has a large Catholic population. The traditional Latin Mass is performed in cities throughout the state including many churches in New Orleans, as well as other churches in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Thibodeaux – Houma, Lacombe and Covington just to name a few locations.

Performing a traditional Mass in Latin has been the norm from early Christian church history based in Rome, and reflects ancient roots of rich symbolism that originate at the very foundation of Western culture.  But the FBI apparently thinks that there is something sinister an evil in those who prefer the more tradition Mass.

The FBI memo goes on to say: “Among those beliefs which distinguish the bad Catholics from the good ones are a preference for ‘the Traditional Latin Mass and pre-Vatican II teachings.’” (Isn’t that the language of white supremacists in the past who talked about the good ones and the bad ones?)

The good news is that attorney generals all across America, including Louisiana’s Jeff Landry, have stepped in to challenge the anti-Catholic bigotry of the FBI. Twenty state attorney generals have demanded the FBI ceased and desist: “the investigating and surveilling Americans who have done nothing more than exercise their natural and constitutional right to practice their religion.”  This group goes on to charge that “anti-Catholic bigotry appears to be festering in the FBI, and the Bureau is treating Catholics as potential terrorists because of their beliefs.”

Three cheers for this group of attorney generals. They have stated that if they are forced to, they will bring lawsuits against the FBI and the Justice Department.  “We are the chief legal officers of our respective states, charged not only with enforcing the law, but also with securing the civil rights of our citizens.  The FBI must immediately and unequivocally order agency personnel not to target Americans based on their religious beliefs and practices.”

If the FBI can target citizens who enjoy and participate in traditional Catholic Latin Mass, then you wonder who’s next? What about traditional Baptists, particularly in the South, as well as conservative evangelicals?  Where does the illegal meddling of the FBI end?

The good news, at least for the short term, is that because of a major outcry by those who believe in religious freedom, the FBI has rescinded their memo.  Let’s just hope it’s not temporary. It became obvious that this entire investigation was a witch-hunt and a pretext to persecute law-abiding citizens whose only crime is to practice their choice of religious expression. There is a strong statement here. We have witnessed a testimony as to just how corrupt the FBI has become.

Peace and Justice

Jim Brown

Jim Brown’s syndicated column appears each week in numerous newspapers throughout the nation and on websites worldwide. You can read all his past columns and see continuing updates at You can also listen to his regular podcast at