World

Vatican pledges to look into Emanuela Orlandi’s disappearance


ROME – Four decades after the daughter of a Vatican employee disappeared from the streets of Rome while walking home from a music lesson, a case that has generated countless theories as the Italian public is being changed. change, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

The Vatican’s top prosecutor, Alessandro Diddi, said his office would try to “give answers” to the family of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, who was last seen on June 22, 1983.

Although Emanuela survivors have pressed the Vatican for years to release information, the prosecutor’s sudden decision to look into one of Italy’s most famous cold cases took them by surprise. .

Laura Sgro, the family attorney, said: “You have to explain why the case is reopened at this time. “We hope that the prosecutor’s will is real and something will be achieved soon.”

Ms. Sgro noted that her last filing of the case was in 2019. Then, at the end of 2021, she sent a letter written to Pope Francis telling the pope that there was new information that he had received. the family hopes to share with the Vatican.

Francis urged her to contact the Vatican prosecutor “in a spirit of full cooperation,” but when she contacted Diddi a year ago, she received no response, Sgro said.

Over the decades, the family’s quest to discover what happened to the teenager has taken many twists and turns. Reports linked her fate to the Sicilian Mafia, Bulgarian agents, a notorious Roman criminal gang, the assassination of John Paul II, led by an American archbishop implicated in a banking scandal. Great Italian goods.

Previous investigations have led nowhere. One involves the exhumation of bones from a crypt in a church in Rome, and a search for evidence in a Vatican cemetery, which the Vatican has authorized.

Until this week, the Vatican had never officially investigated the case, saying the disappearance took place on Italian soil.

Diddi said that after becoming chief prosecutor for the Vatican three months ago, he began looking into the requests that the Orlandi family had made over the years. “We are rearranging everything that has been presented to us,” he said.

Although dozens of books and documentaries have focused on the Italian case, it has received more attention following the release on Netflix last October of a four-part series titled “Miss Vatican girl”, explores various theories about her disappearance. The series also holds the Vatican accountable for not conducting its own investigation and not doing more to help Italian authorities over the decades.

Chiara Messineo, the film’s producer, said: “This is the first time the story has been told internationally, and the film captivates audiences with “the story of a family who lost a daughter and a sister, it is also the story of a small pawn caught up” in a global chessboard.

Ms. Messineo, speaking from her home in London, said she believes the popularity of the series has increased pressure on the Vatican “for them to do something”.

Credit…via Associated Press

Ms Sgro, the attorney, said a request by lawmakers last month to set up a congressional commission of inquiry into the girl’s disappearance, along with two other chilling cases, could also be get the Vatican to finally act.

Senator Carlo Calenda told reporters at a news conference about the proposal presented in December: “There is evidence that the Vatican knows more than it has allowed.

The proposal to create a parliamentary committee must be approved by both houses of Parliament before it can be implemented.

“We are a great secular nation that treats the Vatican with respect, but certainly cannot consider this case closed the way it was closed,” Mr. Calenda said.

The Vatican, he said, is also interested in solving the mystery of Emanuela’s fate, because the truth “is finally coming out”.

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