The spy game

The spy game

The provisions put in place by Pope John Paul in 1996 for the conclave require bug sweeps and a ban on all electronic devices. There’s been several articles about the work to ensure electronic secrecy. Why would someone need to bug the conclave? You’re going to find out who the next pope is soon enough.

Of course, some people might like to know exactly how that decision comes about. What geopolitical issues are raised? Where will the Church turn her attention in the future? The election of Karol Wojtyla was harbinger of doom for the Soviet empire. Could the election of the next pope be the beginning of the end of the Chinese Communists? Or the end of Communist Cuba or another regime that represses practice of the Catholic faith?

You can also add that there might be some who want to know how certain cardinals vote or their debating points, in order to put outside pressure on them to vote a certain way or to try to gain their influence after the conclave. And then there’s the normal desire of the news media to scoop everyone else.

In any case, it’s a big job requiring the most sophisticated techniques capable of defeating whatever spy equipment is out there today. They’re even using countermeasures against laser microphones that pick up the vibrations on windows. Of course, there are many ways to get surreptious access to information. It’s an interesting battle that will be waged out of sight this week, much different from the one they had to contend with in 1978. I can’t imagine what types of spying techniques they’ll have to deal with in the next conclave.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli