Jim Jordan Criticizes FBI’s Handling of Catholic Surveillance

Rep. Jim Jordan | commons.wikimedia.org

Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, expressed concerns about the FBI’s alleged surveillance of Catholics in the United States. Jordan’s comments were prompted by a report released by his panel which suggests that the FBI planned to monitor Catholics from its office in Richmond, Virginia, due to suspicions of domestic terrorism.

According to sources within the House Government Weaponization Committee, the FBI interviewed a priest and a choir director, despite there being no substantial justification for the memorandum that would permit federal involvement in religious institutions. Jordan had previously investigated the possibility of the FBI labeling some Catholics as potential domestic terrorists.

The Ohio representative revealed that the FBI had initially stated that the issue was isolated to Richmond, but further investigation has indicated that this scrutiny of pro-life Catholics is more widespread. FBI Director Christopher Wray responded to these claims by stating that the memo was immediately rescinded and withdrawn upon discovery by the headquarters.

Jordan drew attention to the case of Mark Houck, a pro-life activist from Kintnersville, Pennsylvania, who was arrested in front of his family for actions outside a Philadelphia abortion clinic. Though Pennsylvania authorities had previously declined to prosecute, Houck was acquitted in federal court. Jordan criticized the FBI’s handling of the situation, suggesting it was an overreach of their power.

President Biden’s 2022 address in Philadelphia, where he labeled “MAGA Republicans” as a “threat to democracy,” was also referenced by Jordan. The congressman inferred a connection between this sentiment and the alleged targeting of Catholics, implying that being pro-life or a traditional Catholic could be perceived as radical or extreme under the current administration.

The controversy surrounding the proposed relocation of the FBI headquarters to Greenbelt, Maryland is also playing into the narrative. The General Services Administration’s inspector general is currently investigating the site selection process. Virginia officials, including Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin and Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, argue that Springfield, Virginia would be a more suitable location due to its proximity to other similar agencies like the CIA and Department of Defense.

As the story unfolds, it remains to be seen how these allegations and their implications will impact the FBI and the Catholic community in the United States.