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30/10/2013 12:12 GMT

Vatican Says It's Not Fussed About Reports The NSA Spied On Pope Benedict

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VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - FEBRUARY 27: Pope Benedict XVI delivers his blessing during his final general audience in St Peter's Square, on February 27, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The Pontiff attended his last weekly public audience before stepping down tomorrow. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He cites ailing health as his reason for retirement and will spend the rest of his life in solitude away from publ

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The Vatican doesn't seem too worried about reports the US secret services allegedly monitored the phone calls of the former Pope, Benedict XVI in the run-up to Pope Francis' election.

Italian magazine Weekly Panorama claims that among the 46 million phone calls hoovered up by by the NSA in December 2012 and January 2013 were communications to and from the Vatican.

"It is feared that the great American ear continued to tap prelates' conversations up to the eve of the conclave on March 12 2013," the weekly magazine said, adding that there were "suspicions that the conversations of the future Pope may have been monitored".

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The information gathered by the US was then reportedly divided into four categories – “leadership intentions”, “threats to financial system”, “foreign policy objectives” and “human rights," the Telegraph reported.

A Vatican spokesman said: Vatican had nothing to say to the claims of eavesdropping story "as far as we know".

"In any case, we have no concerns about the matter," a spokesman told IBTimes UK.