An Italian magazine is claiming that the US National Security Agency (NSA) had eavesdropped on Vatican phone calls when the successor of Pope Benedict, Pope Francis, was in a conference. The Holy See clearly said that it was unaware of this activity.
According to Panorama magazine, the NSA had followed 46 million phone calls between December 2012 and early January 2013 in Italy. The conversations were recorded both within and outside of the Vatican. Prior to the complete release of the publication, Panorama blamed the NSA and said that the “NSA had tapped the pope” in a press release. However, no source could be found for this information given by Panorama.
When Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, was questioned about the report, he said, “We are not aware of anything on this issue and in any case we have no concerns about it.”
Based on the shocking information given by Edward Snowden, the media reports that spying was done on French citizens by the NSA over a similar time period in December and January. Edward Snowden, the fugitive former U.S. intelligence operative was granted asylum in Russia.
A confirmation was given by the German government that American spies had also monitored the cell phone of Chancellor Angela Merkel. Secret monitoring was also the reason for problems between Washington and China and Brazil.
The Vatican phone calls that had been recorded were catalogued in four categories of interest by the NSA which were human rights, leadership intentions, foreign policy objectives and threats to the financial system, says Panorama.
The magazine also said it is possible the conclave of cardinals who chose the current Pope were also under surveillance.