RELIGION

Mitja Leskovar, 'Monsignor 007,' To Introduce New Protocols For Pope's Security, Confidential Documents

12/10/2012 01:03 pm ET

He probably won't be drinking martinis -- shaken or stirred -- anytime soon, but that doesn't mean the Vatican's head of security can't have a title worthy of the position.

Known as "Monsignor 007," Mitja Leskovar, the Pope's new right-hand man is a Slovenian priest and anti-espionage expert in charge of reforming security procedures at the Vatican by Jan. 1.

The move comes on the heels of the "Vatileaks" scandal earlier this year, when Pope Benedict XVI's butler at the time was arrested and charged for allegedly leaking papal documents to an Italian journalist.

According to the Telegraph, the new protocols will affect thousands of staffers at the Vatican who will now face much more scrutiny in their daily work.

So far, Leskovar's efforts include adding microchips to security badges that monitor and restrict staffers' movements, as well as greatly reducing access to the papal apartments. But perhaps "Monsignor 007"'s most important (and least glamorous) duty, Catholic Online reports, is supervising the copy and delivery of confidential documents.

Copies of those documents provided by Leskovar's predecessor, Paolo Gabriele, to the media set the Vatican in a state of turmoil earlier this year. The private letters offered a rare look at the sordid inner workings of the Catholic church, including what the Associated Press termed "intrigue, petty infighting and allegations of corruption and homosexual liaisons."

"If you wrote this in fiction you wouldn't believe it," Carl Anderson, a member of the board of the Vatican bank, told the Associated Press, regarding the content of the leaks. "No editor would let you put it in a novel."

Gabriele's actions ultimately earned him an 18-month prison sentence, handed down in October. There were also rumors the pope may pardon his formerly trusty aide, who had served in the position for six years prior.

"The thing I feel strongly in me is the conviction that I acted out of exclusive love, I would say visceral love, for the church of Christ and its visible head," said Gabriele, defending his actions the court during his hearing. "I do not feel like a thief."

Earlier on HuffPost:

Pope's Butler, Paolo Gabriele, Arrested

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