The green light for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance involving foreign actors or even U.S. citizens comes in the form of a F.I.S.Act warrant at the U.S. F.I.S.Court. When this involves U.S. citizens about U.S. citizens by way of the Holy See, the Vatican, then what we are also talking about involves infringements on the first amendment of the Constitution of these United States regarding the free exercise of religion. After all, this isn’t about criminals or terrorists or bad-actors. These are citizens in good standing.
Some years ago, when Cardinal Ratzinger was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Holy Office of the Holy See, the Vatican – and then when he was immediately followed in that prefecture by the American citizen Cardinal William Levada – yours truly threw a wrench in the F.I.S.A. works, spooking out a U.S. State Department arranged and CIA/USArmy trained and CIA appointed foreign intelligence surveillance officer. The trainer-guy, who I got to know only years later, is a good friend. My spooking out the surveillance guy was confirmed by the head of security for the Vatican just recently, himself a one-time top-level intelligence agent for his country of origin. The spy had worked his way into the most sensitive because most naively trusted low-level position which, however, gave him access for 40 minutes a day to every office, every archive, every shredder, every trash can, every computer, every phone in the massive building. The Holy Office was always subject to spying and thievery and prestidigitations. A computer of my own was the target of one break-in which instigated Tom Monaghan – yes, that one – to beef up the security of the Holy Office. The reason for nefarious activities is because the Holy Office follows every case of every episcopal candidate in the world, having veto powers over against the Congregation for Bishops. The single hard-copy files of candidates can, of course, be manipulated so as to arrange either weak episcopal candidates for countries for whom the spy works, or strong candidates for, say, communist countries. No government wants a Karol Józef Wojtyła to become a Saint John Paul II who brings down regimes at will. These things also happen at the Congregations for Bishops, for Clergy, for Religious. Just sayin’
My questions regard the legality of reach of a FISA warrant:
- If a U.S. citizen works for a foreign government, the Holy See, does he give up his rights not to be surveilled when there is no cause?
- When a priest is a candidate to become a bishop and has a file in the archives of foreign government, the Holy See, does he give up his rights not to be surveilled when there is no cause?
- In these circumstances does a religion have the right not to suffer the interference of a secular government, that is, within the parameters of the law of these United States, that is, when there is no cause?