Mainstream media has been having a field day on the Wikileaks cache today. One of the leaks reveals that U.S. Intelligence was thrown off the Ratzinger scent leading up to his election as Pope Benedict by believing Italian news reports that a South American cardinal would be next in line:
Apparently, not even the sophisticated U.S. intellegence services were able to penetrate the walls of the Sistine Chapel. According to sensitive U.S. documents fed to the Wikileaks website and deemed illegal by the State Department, Joseph Ratzinger’s papal election came as a total surprise.
The report was among a cache of a quarter-million confidential American cables over the past three years.
The not-so-top-secret documents show that the United States was expecting the first South American to rise to the throne of St. Peter’s.
Italian right-wing newspaper il Giornale said on its website that American diplomats were thrown off by news reports.
Some top US Vatican correspondents said Ratzinger was an obvious candidate but wouldn’t pass the first round of votes in the 2005 Conclave. [Rome Reports]