Portrait of Tyler O'NeilThe FBI appears, at least briefly, to have joined the Southern Poverty Law Center’s attempt to demonize Roman Catholics who follow the church’s teachings on marriage and who celebrate the Latin Mass, in a move one traditional Catholic leader calls both embarrassing and foreboding.

Michael J. Matt, editor of The Remnant newspaper and producer of Remnant TV in Forest Lake, Minnesota, said he was surprised to see his organization on a leaked FBI memo in February, alongside other groups he described as “defunct.”

The memo demonstrated the “FBI phoning it in,” he told The Daily Signal in a phone interview Friday. He said the list of “radical-traditional Catholic hate groups” in the FBI memo reminded him of the SPLC’s list tracing back to 2007, when Heidi Beirich, then head of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, and Rhonda Brownstein, then an SPLC lawyer, discovered his newspaper. …

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