Pietro Orlandi walks from one side of the room to the other. His sister Emmanuela would have turned 55 on Saturday. Despite everything, there are those in Orland’s family who have not given up hope that The Girl from the Vatican — the title of the Netflix documentary series behind Pope Francis’ decision to reopen her disappearance case — will live on. . Nearly 40 years after her abduction, the remaining Orlandians (her father, Ercole Orland, a Vatican official close to John Paul II, died in 2004 without ever seeing their daughter) believe Bergoglio’s decision, they say, will put an end to it. Unanswered questions for decades.
What happened to Emmanuela Orlandi? In the mysterious disappearance of a teenager (she was 15 at the time) on June 22, 1983, many false leads are mixed up, conspiracy theories bordering on the paranoid, ties to the mafia, sex-trafficking networks and even appearances. Characters like El Americano. , whom some have identified with Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, the all-powerful head of the Vatican Bank under Karol Wojtyla, and who some allude to as Emmanuella’s abducted “monsignor”.
But the connections with the Vatican economy continue to our time: and it is precisely that the “Orlandia case” has reappeared in the interrogations that take place in the macro-trial against Cardinal Bechiu for the sale of the London palace, the alleged “parallel diplomacy”. of the Holy See and which featured the controversial figure of Francesca Chauk, a public relations person convicted in 2016 in the “Vatilix II” case.
Even Benedict XVI’s private secretary, Georg Genswein, devoted a chapter of his controversial memoirs to denying the existence of a dossier on a young woman that could have been leaked through Chauck and a Spanish priest, Lucio Ángel Vallejo Balda, and that an Italian journalist claims it could be protected in Madrid, Banco in a safe deposit box at Santander headquarters. All this is very typical of a mystery film.
But what really happened? Speaking to elDiario.es, Pietro Orlandi recalled that on June 22 he refused to accompany his sister to music lessons at the Tommaso Ludovico da Victoria Institute, near Piazza Navona and the Church of San Apollinare, in a scene that some have linked to her possible appearance. kill. The girl, the fourth of five children, the daughter of Maria Pesano and Ercole Orland, an official of the Apostolic Palace, disappeared without a trace.
At nine o’clock at night, when they saw that he did not return, the family went to the gendarmerie, where they advised him to leave for 24 hours. He later refused to press charges, arguing that he was a Vatican citizen, not an Italian. A few days ago, the girl said someone approached her in an old green BMW and offered to sell her Avon products, her sister Federica said. From there, the trail is lost in the fog.
However, in recent months and as a result of a Netflix documentary, new clues have emerged. A friend of Emmanuela’s claimed that a week before the young woman’s disappearance, she had told him that a “high-status” cleric in the Vatican had sexually assaulted her. Markinkus?
Ten days after her disappearance, following an angelic prayer, John Paul II said he would not lose “hope for the humanity of those responsible for this case.” “John Paul II knew that he was kidnapped, but he was not. done. Nothing,” laments Pietro Orlandi. Two days after Wojtyła’s words, El Americano visited the family and convinced them that their daughter had been kidnapped by a criminal organization that demanded the release of Turkish citizen Mehmed Ali Agca. Convicted of the attack against John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square two years earlier After visiting the Wojtyła family, and the next day, the Turkish terrorist issued a statement refusing to exchange Emanuela. On Christmas Eve, John Paul II visited the Orland family again, and, as revealed in the Netflix documentary, before leaving, he uttered a cryptic phrase: “Emanuela’s case is an international It is a case of terrorism.”
Over the years, Agka has come up with all sorts of conspiracy theories, including one about Orlandi’s fate. Among them, one that the family found plausible: that the young woman was the victim of a sex-trafficking ring that involved several Vatican leaders and that she may have had ties to the Masonic lodge Propaganda Due.
Meanwhile, El Americano continued to communicate with the family, going so far as to show them several audio recordings of the girl, who he said was Emmanuela, screaming during the torture. Shortly after, the mysterious character disappeared without a trace, like Orland.
The family kept looking, but for years there were no more leads. Until 2006, when Sabrina Minardi stood up to her ex-boyfriend Enrico de Pedis, alias Renatino, the boss of the Magliana Bandi, the Roman mafia. Minardi assured the television program that de Pedis was responsible for Emanuela’s abduction and that the young woman was in the house until she was killed. His body, he said, was buried in a cement mixer. The woman added that the American was none other than Paul Marcinkus, which matched the account of the Italian secret services. Minardi’s testimony allowed Italian justice, three years after her disappearance, to find the basement where Emanuela could have been kidnapped, as well as the BMW in which she allegedly disappeared in 1983. However, both de Pedis and Marcincus died.
Three years after Minardi’s statements before the Italian courts, Vatican exorcist Gabriele Amort declared that “this was a case of sexual exploitation resulting in murder, after the disappearance and concealment of the body.” In support of this theory, he denounced that within the walls of the Vatican “parties were organized, in which the gendarme of the Holy See also participated as tutors for the girls. I think Emmanuela became a victim of that.” Amort also passed.
Mafiosi de Pedis is buried in the church of Sant’Apollinare, where another clue leads the family to believe that Emanuela’s remains were not found in the cement factory, but with her alleged killer. The search did not yield results, but the people of Orlando did not give up their search. His lawyer, Laura Sgro, sent new evidence to the Vatican’s justice between 2018 and 2019, in which he revealed the existence of several letters, in which he made sure that Orlandi’s body was buried in the Teutonic cemetery, next to the statue of the angel. It was the Angel’s Tomb where the German Princess Sophia of Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Bartenstein was buried and the tombstone where the remains of Charlotte Frederick of Mecklenburg-Schwerin rested.
The Vatican allowed the tombs to be opened and Emmanuella’s body was found there, and the surprise was two-fold: not only were the remains of the missing teenager missing, but the bones of the two princesses who were believed to be there were also missing. They were buried in them. Another clue that leads nowhere.
The connection between the Mafia and the Vatican with the disappearance of Emmanuela is supported by the appearance of various reports related to the theft of documents known as Vatileaks II. According to one of the journalists who exposed the plot, Emiliano Fittipaldi, Emanuela may be alive and hiding under another identity in the United Kingdom. Thus, Fittipaldi claims to have had access to a document from the Holy See, which reveals that 483 million lira were paid “to take citizen Emanuela Orlandi away from her home”, which they would take to London, where she was. still lives.
It could be the final clue that prompted Pope Francis to order his prosecutor, Alessandro the Great, to reopen the case this week, ahead of the appearance of Genswein’s memoirs, in which he denies the existence of any dossier. However, several screenshots relating to WhatsApp conversations between Spain’s Lucio Vallejo Balda and Cardinal Santos Abril have resurfaced, presented by Orlandi’s family, to show that there were people in the Vatican who had information about the event.
These conversations suggest that both characters have nothing to do with Orlandi’s disappearance, but they may have documents in the case. “You have to go here… (…) but you have to solve it, because this is a very serious matter… (…) should we tell (…) the commander?” Is it a gendarmerie? (.. .) No, no, not at all… what? Are you joking? Not at all?” – says one of the texts.
And it is that Balda, who was arrested in 2015 for his part in the theft of secret Vatican documents (known as “Vatileaks II”), may be behind the leak of a five-page letter dated March 1998 and sent by Cardinal Antonetti. Then the head of the Apostolic See Succession Administration (APSA) Cardinals Re and Tauran.
The title of the letter is very telling: “Summary report on expenses incurred by the Vatican City State for activities related to Citizen Emanuela Orlandi (Rome, January 14, 1998).” It mentioned up to 483 million in expenses, with several receipts that never appeared.
However, journalist Maria Giovanna Magli in her book Addio, Emanuela claims that Balda kept a safe kept at the headquarters of Banco Santander in Madrid with “all the stolen documents”, including those related to Orlandi. He even said the receipts. Is this letter real or is it a red herring for the Vatican?
Meanwhile, Ratzinger’s personal secretary, Georg Genswein, states in his memoirs that there was no information that was not sent to Italian justice. Perhaps this is the work of the new inquiry ordered by the Pope and which may shed light, perhaps finally, on the big question of what happened to Emanuela Orlandi.
Some answers are offered by the man who was assistant prosecutor in Rome at the time of the disappearance, Giancarlo Capaldo, who emphasized in La Stampa that “there are still people in the Vatican who know the truth, some directly and others indirectly. And to be honest, in specific details, for some it was crucial in their careers.”
Capaldo confirms that he started a common path with the Vatican, which, unfortunately, had an unexpected and uncertain end. However, he regretted, “the facts lead me to the conclusion that over the years the Vatican has never really cooperated with the Italian court in the Orlandi case.”
“My greatest bitterness was that I reached a tipping point and didn’t reach it because of the intervention of unknown forces, however visible,” added Capaldo, who suggests that Emanuela “entered the game with her 15-year-old naivety. that it was too big for him. I think he was kidnapped for blackmail and De Pedis handed him over to someone sent by the Vatican.”
“I’m afraid poor Emmanuela died later,” he concluded. His brother Pietro refuses to conjugate verbs in the past tense, but sometimes he gets away with it. And he reiterates that Saturday would have been Emanuela’s 55th birthday.
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Source: El Diario