Friday, October 24, 2014

The Mafia, communist spies, the Pope and a kidnapped Vatican girl

The Orlandi Code

The Mafia, communist spies, the Pope and the twisted mystery of a kidnapped Vatican girl
by Sandro Contenta - Feature Writer
Maria’s 15-year-old daughter, Emanuela, disappeared in 1983, the victim of one of Italy’s most enduring mysteries. For a country steeped in corruption, conspiracy and scandal, the saga of this young Vatican citizen with a love of music has an absorbing hold.
Her missing person’s poster — a beaming girl with an AS Roma soccer team headband — resonates like a cultural icon, the symbol of justice denied, of intrigues passionately debated and never fully revealed.
The latest judicial investigation, headed by Rome’s high-profile public prosecutor, Giancarlo Capaldo, will report by year’s end. For Maria Orlandi, any certainty it provides will bring relief.
Three decades with no sign of life from a beloved daughter is heartache enough. But when the disappearance is linked to Cold War power struggles, the attempted murder of a pope, Vatican connections to Mob money-laundering, a mobster’s tomb in a prestigious Catholic church and claims of satanic orgies by prelates, a mother’s sorrow is lost in nationwide melodrama.
“After 31 years, after so much has been said, in the end you believe no one,” says Maria, who is in her 80s.
The Vatican is at the heart of this sordid and twisted tale. Italian authorities
have long accused the city state of not fully co-operating with investigations.
 A petition to Francis’s predecessor of more than 100,000 signatures — spearheaded 
by Pietro Orlandi and requesting a Vatican inquiry — received no response. 
Pope Francis, the Orlandi family hoped, would end the silence. 

...The 31st anniversary of Emanuela’s disappearance fell on a Sunday in June. 
He formally requested the Pope mention his sister during his weekly Angelus prayer 
to the thousands who normally gather at St. Peter’s Square.
Pietro showed up with 200 supporters, but the Pope didn’t mention Emanuela. 
Shouts of “Shame!” from Pietro’s group echoed through the square.
“She’s the only Vatican citizen to ever be kidnapped,” says Pietro, a longtime 
Vatican employee until his recent retirement. “Indifference would be bad enough 
but there’s a desire to have Emanuela forgotten at all costs.
“Why is there this shadow of omerta over the Vatican?”
...In a 2008 book, Nicotri quoted the niece of a Vatican diplomat, the late Cardinal Silvio Oddi, claiming her uncle told her Emanuela had a relationship with a cardinal he didn’t name. Nicotri also cites an unnamed Vatican source saying Emanuela died the night she disappeared after a “friendly meeting” got out of hand.
Rev. Gabriele Amorth, official exorcist for the Diocese of Rome, later put it bluntly in statements to the media: Emanuela was killed during a sexual orgy by a Vatican-based Satanic sect. He provided no evidence.

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