“I agree with my brother Bishop Barry Knestout that the leaked memorandum was nonetheless ‘troubling and offensive’ in several respects — such as in its religious profiling and reliance on dubious sourcing — and am glad it has been rescinded,” Dolan said. “We encourage federal law enforcement authorities to take appropriate measures to ensure the problematic aspects of the memo do not recur in any of their agencies’ work going forward.”
Since the document was leaked, many Catholics have criticized the FBI, but in a statement to CNA Feb. 9, the bureau said it would remove the document because “it does not meet our exacting standards.”
The FBI’s national press office confirmed to CNA that the document came from the Richmond office but stated that it would “remove the document from FBI systems” because it “does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI.”
“While our standard practice is to not comment on specific intelligence products, this particular field office product — disseminated only within the FBI — regarding racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism does not meet the exacting standards of the FBI,” the statement read.
“Upon learning of the document, FBI Headquarters quickly began taking action to remove the document from FBI systems and conduct a review of the basis for the document. The FBI is committed to sound analytic tradecraft and to investigating and preventing acts of violence and other crimes while upholding the constitutional rights of all Americans and will never conduct investigative activities or open an investigation based solely on First Amendment protected activity,” the statement from the FBI National Press Office concluded.
The document, dated Jan. 23, claims that racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists will likely become more interested in “radical-traditionalist Catholic ideology” within the next 12 to 24 months “in the run-up to the next general election cycle.”