Earlier this month, pope Benedict XVI announced his historical decision to action down indigenous his office top top February 28, 2013. This renders him the first pope come resign because 1415! Therefore, a good moment to take a look at the telephone equipment, i beg your pardon is used by this leader of practically 1.2 billion catholics.

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Pope Benedict XVI, assisted by his exclusive secretary, indicators a papal bull.

In this snapshot we watch pope Benedict XVI at work-related in his personal study in the papal apartment the the Apostolic royal residence in Vatican City. In ~ the far right we have the right to see two white telephones sitting on a next table: an older one v a rotating dial and a more recent one with a keypad. The same combination of a rather older rotary dial phone and also a more recent keypad telephone deserve to be viewed at the table the the guard, next to the main entrance door of the papal apartment:

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Swiss safety soldier garding the doorto the papal apartment, ca. 1989

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Three rotating dial phones in different colors ~ above a side tablenext come the desk of pope john Paul II in the early 1980"s.

To prevent human being from directly calling the pope, the extension number of the papal apartment is provided nowhere, not also in Vatican call books. Only a grasp of civilization chosen by the pope himself have his number, which additionally changes with each new pope. Pope Benedict XVI had no a beeper or cabinet phone, but he might be reached through the mobile of his personal secretary, msgr. Georg Gänswein. The Vatican receives almost 2000 phone call a day, and also there are always a grasp of civilization saying they should speak with the pope for whatever reasons. Among them to be Steve Wozniak, the co-founder the Apple, who once dialed Vatican City, using a so dubbed blue box. He established himself together Henry Kissinger through imitating Kissinger"s German accent and asked to speak come the pope. However due come the various time zone, the was sleeping at the time.*

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A really rare photo of pope Benedict XVI making use of a telephone

The papal telecommunications began in 1886, at the starts of telephony, many thanks to Giovanni Battista Marzi who invented the world"s an initial automatic telephone exchange, which linked 10 different phones, however could only make internal calls. A couple of decades later, Guglielmo Marconi effected the first Italian connect via radio, connecting the Vatican and also the papal summer residence in ~ Castel Gandolfo.After the 1929 Lateran Pacts agreement with Italy, by which the Vatican City State was created, the Vatican was finally enabled to send and also receive calls to and from the rest of the world. Therefore, in 1930 a new central telephone exchange was donated by the international Telephone & Telegraph (ITT). It was installed in the Belvedere structure and provided telephone solutions for around 360 end users in the assorted Vatican offices and also residences. The phone call exchange to be consecrated by pope Pius XI ~ above November 19th, 1930.

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The very first Vatican phone call switchboard,with the upper left lines 2 and also 3 room for the popeThe book is the Annuario Pontificio, the catalog of the divine See(Photo: David Seymour, 1948)

The Bell rotary Telephone-system was state that the arts at the time and had the following functions:1. Dial a direct phone collection inside the Vatican2. Gain a link with any phone with only two numbers3. Obtain an automatic connection with someone in Rome by just dialling the number and adding a "0" in front because that an exterior line4. Answer call from outside the Vatican in ~ a article with 2 seating areas5. Priority for part telephone sets because that emergencies and important callsTogether v the new exchange, catholics in the United claims donated pope Pius XI the first papal telephone: an supposedly solid yellow phone set, inlaid through mother-of-pearl, emblazoned with the papal arms and decorated v blue enamel. The phone call is currently for display screen at the Vatican State Telecommunications Department:

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The an initial papal telephone, donated to pope Pius XI by catholics in the unified States.(Photo: Dancejill
TripAdvisor)

This gold papal call was used by numerous popes, till the end of pope john XXIII"s pontificate in 1963. Later, the call in the pope"s apartments to be a standard phone in "papal" white.In 1957 the international Telephone and Telegraph (ITT) additionally presented a (less elaborate) ceremonial gold telephone come the Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. This was depicted in the 1974 movie The Godfather part II, where "United Telephone and Telegraph" and also American industrialists present a solid golden telephone to the Cuban dictator.

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Pope Pius XI sitting at his desk, through the gold telephone.

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Postcard mirroring pope Pius XII composing a letter. In the background us cansee the golden phone the Pius XI and another white call set,probably make by the Italian manufacturer Olivetti.

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In the forties and fifties it was very special as soon as the pope was calling. Because that example, when Pius XII choose up the phone and said "que Pacelli" (his original family name), the receiving finish would kneel come hear the papal message.In 1960 the Bell telephone device was changed by an ITT Pentaconta exchange v a capacity of 1500 numbers, which was later expanded to 3000. In June 1992 the Vatican"s third central telephone exchange to be inaugurated, giving the Vatican v an advanced technical interface, qualifying the Vatican State amongst the very first to have actually a fully numeric telephone network. The new telephone tree was set up in a forepart the the Belvedere building and consists the a contemporary numeric telephone exchange with 5120 terminations. The exchange is likewise equipped with a numeric switch because that operator contact management and it is attached via radio to the san Giovanni in Laterano, the Palazzo di san Callisto and also the Palazzo della Cancelleria. This Roman structures are extra-territorial area under jurisdiction the the divine See. Because 1948, the Telephone business of the Vatican State has actually been run by members the the religious order of the society of St. Paul. It employs over 30 laymen, a few priests and also a dozen nuns, who space members the the Pious practical worker of the divine Master. Top top account the their detailed knowledge of foreign languages, they job-related for 24 hours a day in six-hour move as operators of the manual switchboard:

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Two nuns operating the Vatican call exchange(Photo: 30giorni, date unknown)

The Vatican Telephone business is the telecommunications provider the Vatican City, which is component of the Governorate’s department of Telecommunications because 2002. The Telephone company maintains a complex infrastructure the telephone and data networks, designed and maintained by its very own personnel. In 2005, the Vatican telephone service handled 8.5 million outgoing calls. In November 2005 the telecommunications department moved into a brand-new three-story brick building, with sleek, comfortable and contemporary facilities. They also include historic items, such together papal telephones and also early technical equipment, on screen in glass cases.

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A far better look in ~ the present-day keypad telephone, here in a room offered by the cardinal secretary the state, Bertone

After the resignation the pope Benedict XVI, the cardinals that the roman Catholic Church came together to elect a brand-new pope. The classic election was done in the famous Sixtine Chapel, but the cardinals remained in the Casa di Santa Marta, through over 120 rooms. This guesthouse was build in 1996, and also got a cutting edge Voice end IP (VoIP) call network, through Cisco 7911G combined IP phone sets, as deserve to be viewed in the snapshot below:

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A Cisco 7911G unified IP phone on a side table in the Vatican(Photo: Orbis Catholicus Secundus, December 2010)

After the Argentinian archbishop and cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio SJ was elected to it is in the brand-new pope on march 13, he named himself Francis. Shortly later on he spoke to previous pope Benedict by call - the first time ever before a pope call his predecessor!In the days come follow, pope Francis personally dubbed quite a variety of other human being (including his dentist), probably with the Cisco phone indigenous his Santa Marta suite, yet maybe he is likewise the very first pope making use of a mobile cell phone. We will see.Sources and also Links- internet page the the Vatican call Service- comprehensive article: On contact 24/7: Vatican phone system directs thousands of call each day- Blog posting: "Cept for the Pope perhaps in Rome- Wikipedia article: gold TelephoneSee also:- Bruce Schneier"s blog about Hacking the Papal Election- Article around Vatican admits privately bugging its own clergy- During people War II: The Pope’s codes