Vatican clergy and employees will be issued an identity card complete with microchip-tracking devices in sweeping new security measures designed to prevent another “Vatileaks” scandal, according to an article from The Telegraph.
Already, tighter controls have been introduced for anyone seeking access of photocopies of the Holy See’s archives, dossiers and documents, the article notes. The Papal Apartments, which include the living quarters of Pope Benedict XVI and the offices of his personal staff inside the Apostolic Palace, are off limits to anyone without strict authorization.
Mitja Leskovar, a Slovenian priest and anti-espionage expert nicknamed ‘Monsignor 007,’ is in charge of implementing the new security procedures with the ID cards expected to be introduced January 1, 2013, The Telegraph reports.
Leskovar is responsible for the transmission of confidential documents between the Vatican and its papal nuncios or diplomats inside the Secretariat of State and also supervises all requests for document photocopying within the secretariat, the article says. Leskovar grew up in the former Yugoslavia under Communism.
Thousands of clerical and lay staff working inside the Vatican walls will be affected by the tighter scrutiny, which will also enable their superiors to monitor when they clock in and out, the article notes.
The security shake-up was revealed when Claudio Sciarpelletti, the computer expert convicted of aiding and abetting the pope’s former butler Paolo Gabriele in the Vatileaks scandal, dropped his appeal on Saturday. The move came as three judges assessing the case raised doubts about Sciarpelletti’s credibility and the friendship between the two men, The Telegraph reports.
Both men were convicted after Gabriele stole the pontiff’s private documents and leaked them to an Italian journalist earlier this year.