Vatican City, Sep 6, 2011 / 14:45 pm America/Denver (CNA).
A WikiLeaks release of leaked State Department cables has drawn criticism for exposing sensitive diplomatic information. However, the massive release did not reveal confidential Vatican phone numbers but contained information already available in the city state’s public directory.
A December 27, 2004 unclassified cable from the U.S. Embassy at the Vatican contained contact information for figures in the Vatican government. It included numbers for the papal office and residence and for the residence of then-Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
The number for the papal office reaches the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, the office which maintains the Apostolic Palace and organizes events such as the general audiences. The phone number listed for the papal residence is in fact a direct line only to the Vatican’s telephone operators, who are religious sisters.
The 2004 phone number for Cardinal Sodano’s residence is still the same and a call to it reaches his secretary. He resigned as Secretariat of State in 2006 and is now Dean of the Colleges of Cardinals.
The BBC noted the release of the telephone numbers of “key figures at the Vatican” in a Sept. 2 report on worries the WikiLeaks cables could put sources at risk. However, the Vatican’s telephone directory lists the phone numbers of the same offices and residences. The directory can be purchased in a bookstore near St. Peter’s Square.