PopeWatch this morning is not about Pope Francis but rather about allegations that the NSA spied on the Vatican during the recent conclave:
An Italian magazine is reporting that the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on internal communications at the Vatican and phone calls at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the church residence where cardinals lived during the papal conclave and the pope’s current home.
The weekly magazine, Panorama, reports in an issue that hits the streets on Thursday that the NSA labeled calls in and out of Vatican offices as “leadership intentions,” “threats to the financial system,” “foreign policy objectives,” and “human rights.” It says calls regarding this year’s election of the new president of the Vatican Bank, Ernst von Freyberg, were also intercepted.
The magazine does not cite a source for the wiretapping allegations, but it does refer to WikiLeaks to suggest that Francis was being watched as far back as 2005 when he was the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.
You may not know a company called [x+1] Inc., but it may well know a lot about you.
From a single click on a web site, [x+1] correctly identified Carrie Isaac as a young Colorado Springs parent who lives on about $50,000 a year, shops at Wal-Mart and rents kids’ videos. The company deduced that Paul Boulifard, a Nashville architect, is childless, likes to travel and buys used cars. And [x+1] determined that Thomas Burney, a Colorado building contractor, is a skier with a college degree and looks like he has good credit.
Adolph Hitler’s evil twin in terror, Joseph Stalin, once remarked “How many divisions has the Pope?”. This was done in response to the future saint Pope Pius XII’s disapproval of his policies.
Well it wasn’t a mocking tone nor was it a sarcastic remark in reference to the Vatican. It was a serious concern to the ‘meddling’ of the Catholic Church in thwarting Communism’s attempt at world domination. Stalin was well aware of the tremendous moral power that the Vatican wielded and Vladimir Lenin implemented the full power of the KGB and the eastern bloc spy agencies to monitor and undermine the mission of the Catholic Church.
A new non-fiction book by John Koehler titled, Spies in the Vatican, has recently come out that documents the final twenty years of the Cold War and how it played out as the Soviet Union and their allies infiltrated the Vatican.