Rick Robinson: What Father Guido Sarducci Knows About Vatican Wiretapping
It has been reported in a Vatican newspaper that the NSA tapped the Vatican’s telephone lines just like they did German chancellor Angela Merkel. Rare has obtained an exclusive interview with man who knows more about church security than anyone, the former Associate Editor for the Vatican Enquirer, Father Guido Sarducci.
Sarducci took time away from his latest project, a song for the Christmas Holiday Season called “Frosty the Snow.” According to Father Sarducci, “it’s about Frosty before he was a snowman.”
RICK ROBINSON for Rare: Father Guido Sarducci, thank you for agreeing to this Rare interview.
FR. GUIDO SARDUCCI: Yeah, please don’t call me by my real name. I’m in line for a big promotion at the Vatican and if they find out I was Deep Throat on this NSA thing, it could put the whole thing in jeopardy. I know a lot of stuff. Just call me Father X.
ROBINSON: Okay Father X. What’s the promotion?
SARDUCCI: Well there’s an opening for Acting Director of the Vatican Zoo. I have a real shot.
ROBINSON: I didn’t know there was a Vatican Zoo.
SARDUCCI: Well, there isn’t right now. There used to be one but it closed in 1936 after Bruno the gorilla escaped and drowned trying to swim across the Tiber River. It was pretty sad.
ROBINSON: That’s horrible.
SARDUCCI: Yeah. Bruno. He was no Mark Spitz.
SARDUCCI: But I know how to play the game. I have some innovative ideas for saving money that put me a leg up on the other priests in the running.
ROBINSON: For instance?
SARDUCCI: We could trap our own. I’m gonna have reassigned priests trap animals in their dioceses – but only small animals – five or ten pounds maximum – nothing bigger than a poodle. The only cost is the traps and bait. We already have the personnel. It saves money and keeps the priests out of trouble. And I’d work with Amazon to have the animals delivered by drones.
ROBINSON: Those are certainly big plans.
SARDUCCI: Besides, they’ll give me the job to keep me quiet. I know too much.
ROBINSON: That’s true. You’ve worked for the Vatican Enquirer for decades. I assume you know the inside scoop on the NSA calls.
SARDUCCI: Oh the things I could tell you. There’s some really embarrassing stuff on those tapes. One of those calls the NSA tapped was really embarrassing for Pope Benedict.
ROBINSON: Pope Benedict was tapped?
SARDUCCI: Oh sure. The NSA listened in when Benedict called Tab Hunter to sing him Happy Birthday.
ROBINSON: Tab Hunter, the actor from Damn Yankees?
SARDUCCI: He sang “Young Love.” I didn’t know he played baseball too. It was Tab Hunter’s 80th birthday and Benedict tried to sing him Happy Birthday eighty times straight. Then he lost count on fifty-two and had to start over. It was real embarrassing. Benedict was a real bad singer and pronounces “birthday” like “bird-day.” I don’t know how long those NSA guys had to listen to him singing Happy Bird-day, but they should all get bonuses. They all probably have Post-Traumatic Bird-day Syndrome.
ROBINSON: That’s amazing.
SARDUCCI: And then right after he quit, Benedict called Berlusconi to recommend a tailor to get some new Pope Emeritus threads. That was Berlusconi’s secret to success. He surrounded himself with good tailors. But then he called Benedict back like a dozen times. He wouldn’t leave him alone. One of the things on the tape is Berlusconi saying: “of course I thought she was older than sixteen. She was dressed as a nurse.”
ROBINSON: Did the people at the Vatican know they were being listened to?
SARDUCCI: Oh yeah. It got so bad they devised a code where they would tap Morse Code on wine glasses with forks. They knew the NSA was listening so they tapped code in a mix of Latin and Esperanto.
ROBINSON: And they knew the NSA was listening?
SARDUCCI: One night, Cardinal Fungi started tapping old Henny Youngman jokes on his water glass. You’d hear tink, tink, tink and then only the Cardinals would laugh. It was a whole lot of fun.
ROBINSON: Any other embarrassing calls?
SARDUCCI: Donald Trump kept calling Benedict about building an office building on top of St. Patrick’s. Trump said he wouldn’t change a pew and said he wanted to make it the tallest building in America by putting an antenna on top of the building shaped like a big mitre hat. The Pope was kind of skeptical, but Trump kept saying “We’ll get away with it Your Holiness. The mitre hat will be an integral part of the design.” It all fell apart over naming rights. He wanted to call it Trump Cathedral Towers, but the Pope though St. Patrick’s name should be in there somewhere.
ROBINSON: Off the subject a bit, but we’ve heard there was a Vatican office pool on the Conclave. Who did you have in the Sweet Sistine?
SARDUCCI: I was for Cardinal Fungi. One title Fungi will never be is Pope … or designated driver.
ROBINSON: Thank you, Father Guido Sarducci – I mean Father X – for enlightening America about this growing scandal.
(Thanks to Don Novello for arranging this interview and to red-headed altar-boy Bob Brennan for his writing assistance)