FBI warns against ‘radical traditionalist Catholic ideology’ in leaked memo

The FBI warned against ‘radical traditionalist Catholic ideology’ in a memo posted on UncoverDC.com by former FBI Special Agent Kyle Serafin.

Serafin was suspended indefinitely without pay last year after six years at the FBI’s Richmond office.

The FBI believes that ‘white supremacy’ found in the homes of Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass, according to an internal memo:

The FBI’s Richmond Division seeks to protect Virginians from the threat of “white supremacy,” which it believes has found a home among Catholics who prefer the Latin Mass. An intelligence analyst at the FBI’s Richmond Field Office released a newly completed intelligence report. Product dated January 23, 2023 on Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists (RMVE) and their interest in “Radical-Traditionalist Catholics” or RTC. The document assessed with “high confidence” that the FBI could mitigate the threat posed by radical-traditionalist Catholics by recruiting sources within the Catholic Church.

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The acronym, new to many in the domestic counterterrorism field, comes with an author’s footnote explaining that RTCs are “generally characterized by rejection of the Second Vatican Council.” The author makes an unproven leap that a preference for Catholic Masses in Latin rather than the vernacular and many more traditional approaches to other world religions can lead to an “anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ and anti-white bias”. hegemonic ideology.” This author draws an important distinction between “traditional Catholics,” who prefer only the traditional Latin Mass and pre-Vatican II teachings, and the RTC, who “advocate more extreme ideological beliefs and violent rhetoric.”

A discerning reader may wonder why the author believes such divisions exist and if there is evidence of extremist and violent rhetoric within the Catholic church. Analyst notes do not provide specifics. When the FBI develops an intelligence product, it is important to note the sources analyzed. Generally, rigorous source verification eliminates bias and bias, so a product can both comply with federal law and add value to the FBI’s overall mission. Note that this document was reviewed and approved for release by the FBI Richmond Division Chief Counsel, who is the Office’s top lawyer.


The piece ends with the incredible jump that RMVE or white supremacists threaten to use “RTC social media sites” (no examples) or “places of worship as convenient platforms to promote violence.” This intelligence product indicates a permissive tolerance within the FBI for left-leaning ideological actors who use academic-sounding rhetoric to mask a lack of personal experience. The weaponization of the FBI against conservative Americans can be seen in the way such documents are published and distributed. The product of poorly sourced and highly speculative intelligence prompts poorly articulated foreclosure investigations of Americans violating their God-given, First Amendment-protected civil liberties.

Click here to read more from Kyle Serafin.