15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi was kidnapped in 1983. And now in a controversial statement, Father Gabriele Amorth has claimed that the girl's kidnapping was a "crime of a sexual nature."
Emanuela Orlandi was the daughter of a Vatican employee. She was believed to have been kidnapped after a music lesson in Rome on June 22, 1983, when she was 15-years-old.
On May 15, 2012, Digital Journal reported that the remains of her reported kidnapper, mobster Enrico De Pedis have been exhumed in hopes of finding her body.
De Pedis was a member of the Roman Magliana mob and was killed in 1990. The mobster's girlfriend apparently informed prosecutors that Orlandi had been kidnapped by De Pedis. An anonymous phone call in 2005 said that "all the answers to the teen's disappearance lay within De Pedis' tomb".
Bones were recovered from the tomb but are yet to be identified as belonging to Emanuela Orlandi.
The Telegraph reports that other clues in the girl's disappearance had included a Turkish gunman who had attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II. Shortly after the Emanuela disappeared on June 22, 1983, several telephone messages were received, linking her disappearance to Mehmet Ali Agca, who made an assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in May 1981.
The messages stated that they were holding Emanuela as a "bargaining counter" to force authorities to release Ali Agca. The calls finally stopped, although Agca did subsequently claim that Emanuela was being held in an enclosed convent in eastern Europe and that she was alive and well.
Now other information has come to light via 85-year-old Father Gabriele Amorth. Amorth is the Catholic Church's leading exorcist and was appointed by Pope John Paul II. He is said to have performed more than 70,000 exorcisms. In the past, Amorth has denounced Harry Potter and yoga as the ”work of the Devil” and two years ago claimed that sex scandals in the Catholic Church were evidence that ”the Devil was at work in the Vatican.”
According to the Telegraph, Amorth is claiming that Emanuela Orlandi's kidnapping was a "crime of a sexual nature."
He told La Stampa (Italian language translated by the Telegraph), that, "Parties were organized, with a Vatican gendarme acting as the 'recruiter' of the girls. The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up a victim of this circle."
“It has already previously been stated by (deceased) monsignor Simeone Duca, an archivist at the Vatican, who was asked to recruit girls for parties with the help of the Vatican gendarmes."
”I believe that Emanuela ended up in this circle."
"I have never believed in the international theory (overseas kidnappers) and I have motives to believe that this was just a case of sexual exploitation, which led to murder and then the hiding of her body."
Pietro Orlandi, brother of Emanuela Orlandi.
Video screen capture
"Also involved are diplomatic staff from a foreign embassy to the Holy See,” Amorth continued.
Pietro Orlandi, the teenager's brother, has been waiting for an answer for almost three decades. His family have continued to hope that Emanuela, who disappeared in Rome in 1983, would come back to them. He says, "All these years without any explanation is absurd. We have been waiting and waiting for an answer, but still it hasn’t come.”
Orlandi has organised an online petition in an appeal to make the Catholic Church's world headquarters reveal all that it knows about the case.
It can only be hoped that the mystery is solved and the Orlandis can finally have peace.