US intelligence agency denies spying on Vatican
Panorama reports 'not true', says NSA31 October, 12:38
Italian weekly Panorama said Wednesday former pope Benedict XVI's calls and others to and from the Vatican were among those traced in Italy by the NSA between December 10, 2012 and January 8, 2013. It said monitoring may have continued up to the conclave that elected Pope Francis on March 13, two weeks after Benedict became the first pope in over 700 years to voluntarily abdicate.
"The National Security Agency does not target the Vatican," NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines said.
"Assertions that NSA has targeted the Vatican, published in Italy's Panorama magazine, are not true".
The Vatican said Wednesday it was not worried about the Italian newsweekly's report. "We have no evidence of this and in any case we have no concerns about it," Vatican Spokesman Father Federico Lombardi told reporters.
Reports of NSA spying in allied countries, including monitoring the communications of the administration in Rome and eavesdropping on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's calls, have caused a massive international furore.