The US National Security Agency allegedly eavesdropped on cardinals before the conclave in March to elect a new pope, Italian weekly magazine Panorama claimed on Wednesday.
“The National Security Agency wire-tapped the pope,” the magazine said, accusing the United States of listening in to telephone calls to and from the Vatican, including cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio before he was elected Pope Francis.
The allegations follow a report on surveillance website, Cryptome, which said the US intercepted 46 million telephone calls in Italy in December last year and early January this year.
Among those, “there are apparently also calls from and to the Vatican”, Panorama said.
“It is feared that the great American ear continued to tap prelates’ conversations up to the eve of the conclave,” it said, adding that there were “suspicions that the conversations of the future pope may have been monitored”.
It was previously reported that the Obama administration considered ending diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.
Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.