Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat from Virginia, has defended the FBI’s memo that targeted “radical-traditionalist” Catholics. He says that the agency was acting in the best interests of Catholics and that he himself had helped facilitate communication between the FBI and bishops. Kaine, who identifies as Catholic but supports legal abortion, drew parallels between the FBI’s actions and past efforts by federal law enforcement to prevent radicalization among young Muslims by working with mosques.
He told ABC13, “If the FBI has a concern like that, then go to the church leaders and say ‘Hey look, we have a concern and we don’t want your members to get unwittingly caught up in something.'”
Kaine’s comments come at a time when the FBI is facing increased scrutiny over its apparent targeting of both “radical-traditionalist” and “mainline” Catholic parishes. The memo, which has sparked controversy, has raised concerns among Catholic communities across the country.
Kaine defended the FBI’s actions, stating that they were aimed at preventing radicalization within the Catholic community, just as efforts have been made in the past to prevent radicalization among young Muslims. He claimed that the FBI was acting in the best interests of Catholics and that he had personally facilitated communication between the agency and bishops.
“We’ve done the same thing for years working in tandem with mosques because there have been groups that have tried to target or radicalize, especially young people,” said the senator.
However, Kaine’s stance has been met with criticism from some members of the Catholic community who view the FBI’s actions as intrusive and unnecessary. They argue that the agency’s targeting of Catholic parishes based on the label “radical-traditionalist” is vague and potentially discriminatory, and that it raises concerns about religious freedom and privacy.