Time To Rein In FBI Over Catholic Probes – OpEd


Dear Rep. Jordan:

On July 17, in your role as House Judiciary Chairman, you said you notified FBI Director Christopher Wray that he had until July 25 to turn over requested documents pertaining to the agency’s probe of orthodox Catholics; he has heretofore not fully complied with two subpoenas issued earlier this year. The deadline is tomorrow at noon. If he does not comply with your request, it is important that you follow through with your pledge and hold him accountable.

On April 11, 2023, I wrote a letter to Wray, copying you, about my concerns over this issue.

“We know from previous disclosures that the FBI was probing ‘Radical-Traditionalist Catholics’ (RTCs). To this day, we have not seen any evidence that they are a threat to anyone. Now the FBI has upped the ante, going after ‘mainline’ Catholics and dioceses.

“On February 9, I made public my concerns about the FBI’s interest in RTCs. ‘What’s next?’ Will it be a war on ‘Catholics who are orthodox?’”

My hunch that there would be a war on orthodox Catholics came true.

This is totally indefensible. It smacks of religious profiling and opens the FBI door to monitoring traditional Catholics, simply because they are loyal sons and daughters of the Catholic Church.

I commend you for your leadership on this matter. If Wray does not meet the deadline, I implore you to “take action” against him, as you said you would do. 


William A. Donohue, Ph.D.


cc: Director Christopher Wray, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Hon. Jim Jordan
2056 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-3504

William Donohue

William Donohue is the current president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights in the United States, and has held that position since 1993.

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