VATICAN clergy and employees will be issued with an identity card containing a microchip tracking device in security measures designed to prevent a repeat of the Vatileaks scandal.
Tighter controls have also been introduced for anyone seeking access to or photocopies of the Holy See's archives, dossiers and documents. The Papal Apartments, which include the living quarters of Pope Benedict, are off-limits to anyone without authorisation.
Slovenian priest Mitja Leskovar, an anti-espionage expert nicknamed Monsignor 007, is in charge of implementing the new security procedures, with the identity cards expected to be introduced from January 1.
Thousands Vatican staff will be affected by tighter scrutiny that will also enable superiors to monitor when they clock in and out.The security shake-up was revealed after Claudio Sciarpelletti, the computer expert convicted of aiding the Pope's former butler Paolo Gabriele in the Vatileaks scandal, dropped his appeal.
The move came as the three judges who assessed the case raised doubts about Sciarpelletti's credibility. Sciarpelletti was convicted in November of aiding and abetting Gabriele, who was convicted of stealing the Pope's private documents and leaking them to an Italian journalist. (©Daily Telegraph, London)