Report: NSA Listened to Pope’s Calls, Spied on Vatican

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Oct. 30 2013 7:28 PM

Report: NSA Listened to Pope’s Calls, Spied on Vatican

163598609
Black smoke billows from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel.

Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

The papal conclave is a much anticipated event for Catholics around the world. Devotees can wait for days in all types of weather to witness the white smoke billowing from the Sistine Chapel, indicating a new Pope has been chosen. During the selection process, speculation is rampant as the world looks for any indication of how the church’s cardinals might lean. The NSA, however, according to the Italian magazine Panorama, may have already had the inside scoop, because it had tapped the Vatican’s phones.

Panorama, according to the Independent, “says US secret services monitored the phone calls of Pope Benedict XVI, as well as those of his successor Francis I. NSA staff listened in on cardinals before the conclave to elect the Pope in March this year, it says.” The magazine claims, as Reuters reports, that the NSA’s cataloguing of Vatican phone calls was divided into four categories: “leadership intentions, threats to the financial system, foreign policy objectives and human rights.”

Advertisement

Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, told Reuters: "We are not aware of anything on this issue and in any case we have no concerns about it."

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Justice Ginsburg’s Crucial Dissent in the Texas Voter ID Case

The Jarring Experience of Watching White Americans Speak Frankly About Race

How Facebook’s New Feature Could Come in Handy During a Disaster

The Most Ingenious Teaching Device Ever Invented

Sprawl, Decadence, and Environmental Ruin in Nevada

View From Chicago

You Should Be Able to Sell Your Kidney

Or at least trade it for something.

Space: The Next Generation

An All-Female Mission to Mars

As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.

Terrorism, Immigration, and Ebola Are Combining Into a Supercluster of Anxiety

The Legal Loophole That Allows Microsoft to Seize Assets and Shut Down Companies

  News & Politics
Jurisprudence
Oct. 19 2014 1:05 PM Dawn Patrol Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s critically important 5 a.m. wake-up call on voting rights.
  Business
Business Insider
Oct. 19 2014 11:40 AM Pot-Infused Halloween Candy Is a Worry in Colorado
  Life
Outward
Oct. 17 2014 5:26 PM Judge Begrudgingly Strikes Down Wyoming’s Gay Marriage Ban
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 17 2014 4:23 PM A Former FBI Agent On Why It’s So Hard to Prosecute Gamergate Trolls
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Oct. 17 2014 1:33 PM What Happened at Slate This Week?  Senior editor David Haglund shares what intrigued him at the magazine. 
  Arts
Behold
Oct. 19 2014 4:33 PM Building Family Relationships in and out of Juvenile Detention Centers
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 17 2014 6:05 PM There Is No Better Use For Drones Than Star Wars Reenactments
  Health & Science
Space: The Next Generation
Oct. 19 2014 11:45 PM An All-Female Mission to Mars As a NASA guinea pig, I verified that women would be cheaper to launch than men.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 16 2014 2:03 PM Oh What a Relief It Is How the rise of the bullpen has changed baseball.