Another wrinkle to the meaning of your phone’s “location services”.

From The Pillar….

No… wait…

Firstly, Fr. Altman is from the Diocese of La Crosse.  He got hammered into the ground by his bishop for doing… I’m not quite sure what required that treatment.   Msgr. Burrill – late of the USCCB – was doing Grindr stuff (a hookup app) and has resigned his USCCB post.  He is from the Diocese of La Crosse.  He got hammered into the ground by… no wait… that didn’t happen.  The bishop’s letter says, “we doooon’t know aaaanything for suuuuure”.

Back to The Pillar

Location-based apps pose security risk for Holy See

The use of location-based hookup apps by officials or employees of Church institutions could present serious security problems for the Church, even at the level of the Holy See’s diplomatic and international relations.

The use of such apps within the Vatican City State could be a point of vulnerability in the Holy See’s efforts to defend itself from cyberattacks and other intelligence-gathering exercises in recent years.

Analysis of commercially available signal data obtained by The Pillar, which was legally obtained and whose authenticity The Pillar has confirmed, shows that during a period of 26 weeks in 2018, at least 32 mobile devices emitted serially occurring hookup or dating app data signals from secured areas and buildings of the Vatican ordinarily inaccessible to tourists and pilgrims.

At least 16 mobile devices emitted signals from the hookup app Grindr on at least four days between March to October 2018 [October 18… wasn’t there a Synod(“walking together”)] within the non-public areas of the Vatican City State, while 16 other devices showed use of other location-based hookup or dating apps, both heterosexual and homosexual, on four or more days in the same time period.

The data set assessed by The Pillar is commercially available and contains location and usage information which users consent to be collected and commercialized as a condition of using the app.

Extensive location-based hookup or dating app usage is evident within the walls of Vatican City, in restricted areas of St. Peter’s Basilica, inside Vatican City government and Holy See’s administration buildings including those used by the Vatican’s diplomatic staff, in residential buildings, and in the Vatican Gardens, both during daytime hours and overnight.

Signals emitted from most of the Vatican’s extraterritorial buildings, which house the offices of several key Curial departments were excluded from analysis because of the proximity of tourists, pilgrims, and the general public to those buildings on a daily basis.

The use of any hookup app within the Vatican City State’s secured areas could pose a security risk for the Holy See. And use of the Grindr app among Vatican residents and officials and within the non-public areas of Vatican City State could present a particular diplomatic security risk for the Holy See in its dealings with China.




Also, certain activities summon demons and permit them to attach to places, things and persons.

I won’t name any names, … like Pachamama or … not I… I won’t mention the “peace tree” when in the Vatican Gardens the imam read the part of the Koran meant to claim territory for Allah.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Si vis pacem para bellum!, Sin That Cries To Heaven, The Coming Storm, The Drill, The future and our choices. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. FranzJosf says:

    Which declension would Grindr be?

    Grindris custodes?

    I know this is puerile, but there it is.

    [Sometimes you just have to shrug and laugh. And then get back to the prayer and fasting.]

  2. Bthompson says:

    Technology imitating theology: with GPS, the sins were literally calling out to the heavens!

  3. Danteewoo says:

    Father, keep mentioning the things you aren’t going to mention. It’s been fifty-four years since studying Cicero in high school Latin, but I recalled the technical term right away: praeteritio.

  4. While I’d be the last to condone priests who violate their vows, and I’d love to see a full purge of the lavander mafia, I did see some legitimate ethical questions raised, starting with why Flynn and Condon started this investigation in the first place. I don’t think that they explained that part much at all, really. I keep in mind that the Australian police basically went out of their way to “get” Cardinal Pell. I also start to wonder if anyone has any privacy at all. I just fired off an email to the Chesterton Society for this that I found in my email today concerning the next conference: “Participation, whether in person or online, is through the app we are using called Whova.” “Whoa!” I said. “Why?” Why does this require an app? What will be done with the information? What information is being collected? These days, we can’t trust anyone– and we never know when the tables will be turned against us.

  5. majuscule says:

    There is no privacy on the internet. Remember, even an email has the privacy of a postcard.

    I have been watching a privacy guy on YouTube. (That’s not his channel name but google “privacy guy” and you’ll find him.)

    His videos deal with a lot of privacy issues of course. Lately he’s had a few on Big Tech (Facebook, Google and Apple) compiling our information. If you have a smart phone “they” can track you even if you don’t have a hookup or location app installed. And even if you do not do social media they know when your device has been around someone who does and they can fit you into your little niche by who you fraternize with. Our devices talk to each other. Your WiFi router and your device each have a unique ID. Even if they don’t know your name, they can figure out where you live.

    It’s later than we think!

  6. Josh Beigs says:

    Whoa, what is this unmentioned “peace tree” business?

  7. TonyO says:

    Wow. Synod, “walking together” takes on a new, more sinister meaning than it used to have. Also known as “hooking up”. Is it a mere accident that “synod” starts with “syn”?

    On a serious note: on the chance (whether you consider it likely, unlikely, or incredibly unlikely) that a pope wanted to ACTUALLY clean out the Augean Stables that (apparently) infests the Vatican, and was willing to make as hard choices as it took, and get a reasonably clean workplace (not perfect, mind you, just relatively clean)…would it be possible? What could he do that would WORK, and would not be undone by machinations behind his back, such as (the easiest) planting into positions of trust, people he THOUGHT were clean, but were secretly were compromised and were being intimidated / controlled by the pink mafia. Would an isolated pope, without (just for example) tapping ONLY those people he knows from his own home diocese for all positions of power, be able to rectify the mess? And would that too fail? (What pope would personally and intimately know enough qualified people to staff all the congregations, the bank, the commissions, etc?)

  8. Toan says:

    On the privacy question: we generally have privacy when we’re doing things in private…not when we’re broadcasting our location to find sex partners. Nor when we accept an agreement to the sale and commercialization of such activity.

    Personally I think this data has the ability to help speed up the cleaning house needed in our Church. We’ve already seen results in the USCCB…their top operational guy, gone.

    Such reporting will also help encourage people to stay off of hookup apps, which would be a very good thing, inside the Church and outside.

    It’s probably a matter of time before someone less friendly than JD Flynn and Ed Condon gets the data though, who is much more loose about publishing personal accusations. Then things will become messy.

  9. Chrisc says:


    I will weigh in. See St. Gregory VII and St. Peter Damian. I imagine it would be like this. You need a wartime consigliere, probably from a small but strong religious community or a hermit, that the pope would trust unwaveringly but who has no ambition other than holiness. That consigliere may be tasked with cleaning out the curia directly or could do so indirectly by indicating the popes priorities in fixing other situations. Of course, you have to make sure that they are removed without being eccentric. They can play the game and not be a distraction, while also being as tough as steel. There can be no gap between the consigliere and the pope except in personality and charisma. Personally, I think the contrast between this man and the ‘softness’ seen in Rome today would be so stark.

  10. Pingback: VVEDNESDAY EDITION – Big Pulpit

  11. Adelle Cecilia says:

    Do they exorcise the Vatican with any sort of frequency?

  12. aam says:

    “da qualche fessura sia entrato il fumo di Satana nel tempio di Dio”
    29 giugno 1972

  13. jaykay says:

    majuscule: when you say “And even if you do not do social media they know when your device has been around someone who does and they can fit you into your little niche by who you fraternize with”…

    (showing the depths of my ignorance – or innocence – here) but is it possible that they could also “fit you” into a totally fabricated niche, in order to put pressure on/blackmail you? “Fit you” as in “fit you up”? Fabricated “evidence”, in other words – of involvement in some foul activity you never actually did?

    Maybe not – I hope not! As I say, I really don’t know much about these devices, despite using one for 20 years now.

  14. JustaSinner says:

    You can shut off your gaydar if they’re using Grindr. Just saying…

  15. JonathanTX says:

    The now-US-based shell company that owns Grindr is still controlled by the Chinese, just sayin’.

  16. bartlep says:

    Privacy issues aside… what about priestly celibacy? Chastity?

  17. JonPatrick says:

    If I was working at the Vatican I would worry that God may get tired of all this and subject it to what He did to Sodom. Well perhaps he is holding back because there are still at least 10 innocent people left there.

  18. Not says:

    People left to their own “devices”??? I have heard good Priest say that most Priest don’t say their Breviary. Father Z inspires us with the very necessary go to confession! Please Father Z start a say your Breviary.

  19. Semper Gumby says:

    In the good ‘ol days Ernestine worked the switchboard at Ma Bell:

    Jim Caviezel, going about his day in the big city, is briefly interrupted by his cell phone:

    “Life moves pretty fast.” – Ferris Bueller

  20. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Just encountered this:

    including ” In 2020, Google fired at least 36 employees for issues relating to data abuse, and 86 percent of all allegations involving security included exploitation of confidential information, like sending personal information to outside actors.”

    And, “On Thursday, Google revealed new security cameras, including a video doorbell, a floodlight camera to assist people will monitoring driveways or dark areas around users’ homes and a new camera that was made to monitor the inside of a person’s home […]

    “‘Google Nest’s mission is to create a home that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it… All of this starts with helping you understand what’s happening within the walls of your home and outside of it,’ the company said in a blog post”.

    Riiight…. ‘take care of the people’.

Comments are closed.