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Report: NSA Eavesdropped on Vatican's Phone Calls, May Have Done So Leading Up to Papal Conclave

"The NSA would monitor and track some conversations to and from the Vatican."

Pope Francis attends his weekly General Audience at St. Peter's Square on October 30, 2013 in Rome, Italy. During the audience the pontiff continued his series of catechetical reflections on the Creed, focusing this week on the Communion of Saints. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

The National Security Agency eavesdropped on the Vatican's phone calls, even possibly doing so leading up to the Papal conclave, an Italian magazine reported on Wednesday.

"The NSA would monitor and track some conversations to and from the Vatican," Panorama Magazine said.

"Panorama reveals that there is a suspicion that even the conversations of the future pontiff may have been monitored," the report continued.

Pope Francis attends his weekly General Audience at St. Peter's Square on October 30, 2013 in Rome, Italy. During the audience the pontiff continued his series of catechetical reflections on the Creed, focusing this week on the Communion of Saints. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

The Italian news outlet added that the NSA sorted calls they "captured and tracked" into four categories: "Leadership intentions," "Threats to financial system, "Human Rights" and "Foreign Policy Objectives."

The Vatican released a statement reacting to the news Tuesday, appearing to downplay the allegations.

"We don't know anything about this, and in any case we don't have any concerns about it," Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said, according to The Huffington Post.

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Follow Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) on Twitter

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