NSA Spying on Vatican.Vatican Says "Whatever."

I kinda' get a kick out of this story. It's big news that the NSA may be spying on the Vatican. But when asked about it, the Vatican was all like "Whatever."

Catholic Culture reports:
An Italian magazine has reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA) monitored the phone conversations of Vatican officials. But the director of the Vatican press office has told reporters that “we have nothing to worry about.”

“There are no concerns on this matter,” said Father Federico Lombardi, in a statement released to reporters after the magazine Panorama reported that the NSA had eavesdropped on conversations at the Vatican. The magazine claimed that the NSA monitoring included the conversations of cardinals who gathered in Rome in March for the conclave that elected Pope Francis.
The aims of the Church are stated plainly and clearly. No secret aims.

It's pretty hilarious that the Church in many popular novels and movies is portrayed as the most secretive and ruthless of all world organizations. But in real life, they say about being spied on, "we have nothing to worry about."

Now, of course, you may think the Vatican thinks they have nothing to worry about because they are so confident in their subterfuge, the capabilities of their albino monk assassin squads, and their ruthless nunjas and their nocturnal apostolic visitation, if you know what I mean. But I'm pretty sure that's not the case. Or is it?



  1. NSA probably wants to keep track of Vatican troop movements.

    And considering the level of education in this country, I say that only partly in jest.

  2. The Church has the most extensive and long lasting avenues of information gathering in the world, this is simple fact and not to be understated, there's a reason why most countries have embassies in Rome, its a diplomatic hotspot for picking up intel, rumours and secrets from around the world, the vast majority of which aren't the Church's, they aren't even Italy's. So of course the paranoid, overbearing and deceitful American government would want to spy on the phone calls and emails and other means of communication the Vatican uses. The Vatican however, no matter how you view it, really does have nothing to worry about because most of its 'secrets' are blindingly useless to secular governments, and the ones that are useful aren't talked about over phones or emails but instead are transferred in incredibly low tech ways: letters. This is the same as how Russia infamously uses typewriters to this day to type up secret documents, none of Russia's real secrets come within fifty digital feet of a wifi connection. Sometimes low tech really does trump high tech.

  3. I'm not convinced that a cavalier attitude to this story is the proper reaction to have. Even a cursory view of what our mendacious government has been up to should give one pause.

  4. NSA isn't equipped to track Vatican Troop movements; they can't wiretap Heaven.

  5. The "whatever" attitude is probably because the Vatican placed HIGH electronic security devices in place before the conclave: http://www.catholic.org/international/international_story.php?id=50089
    There really was nothing to worry about.

  6. Spying on the Conclave does strike me as sort of a big deal, given the heavy penalties for any participant who blabs about its deliberations. But it's all water under the bridge now and by the time there's another conclave to spy on, the people who perpetrated this will be long out of office. so, in the big scheme of things (which is what the Church looks at), meh.

  7. Other than "I thought it'd look cool", what was Dan Brown thinking with his albino assassin?

    Seriously, aside from "a very visible condition that only 1 in 1000 have" being a no-no for assassinations, especially if it also complicates working outdoors in daylight, I'm pretty sure "multiple congenital vision impairments including several that completely impede depth perception" is also generally considered a minus for an agent.

    Then again, I suppose if he did research before writing books he wouldn't be Dan "try the kanji" Brown, and we wouldn't call that trope Dan Browned.


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