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FBI Whistleblower exposes internal memo warning against ‘Radical Traditionalist Catholic Ideology’

Kyle Seraphin
Kyle Seraphin

An FBI whistleblower exposed an internal memo last month which warns against “radical traditionalist Catholic ideology.” The memo was sent by the FBI’s Richmond field office, claiming the radical-traditionalist Catholic ideology, or RTC, “almost certainly presents new mitigation opportunities.”

The whistleblower, Kyle Seraphin, was a special agent at the bureau for six years before being suspended without pay in June of 2022. Seraphin published the FBI’s January 23 internal memo on

The document was titled “Interest of Racially or Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremists in Radical Traditionalist Catholic Ideology Almost Certainly Presents New Mitigation Opportunities.”

“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 from January 23 states.

It adds that “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.”

National Review notes that the FBI’s report relied heavily on information from the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Law Center is a legal-advocacy group that added conservative nonprofits on its list of “hate groups.” Others on its hate groups list included the Ku Klux Klan and the Nation of Islam.