Thursday, May 24, 2012
Gabriel Amorth, the Roman Catholic Church’s leading exorcist, has suggested missing schoolgirl Emanuela Orlandi was kidnapped for sexual abuse at orgies attended by foreign diplomats and arranged by Vatican police. Orlandi was fifteen when she vanished in 1983.
Amorth, 85, who was appointed by the late Pope John Paul II, makes his remarks as Italian police try to determine if bones buried near the body of a mobster belong to Orlandi. Anonymous claims have suggested the tomb of Enrico “Renatino” De Pedis contains clues to her disappearance.
Investigators are examining bones removed from his burial site in the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare. Buried in a nearby crypt, the bones are thought to be centuries old but forensic tests are ongoing. One theory is Pedis kidnapped Orlandi to press Vatican officials over a financial dispute, with his onetime lover claiming her body was disposed of in a cement mixer.
Amorth refutes this explanation, and also an alleged “international dimension”; another theory is that the kidnapping was to try and secure freedom for Mehmet Ali Agca of Turkey, who shot at the pope in 1981. Orlandi’s vanishing “was a crime with a sexual motive” says Amorth. “Parties were organised, with a Vatican gendarme [policeman] acting as the ‘recruiter’ of the girls.”
He further told La Stampa “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 [the late] monsignor Simeone Duca, an archivist at the Vatican, who was asked to recruit girls for parties with the help of the Vatican gendarmes.”
Orlandi has not been seen since she set off from the family apartment in the Vatican City, heading for a Rome music lesson. Orlandi’s father worked for the Holy See. Amorth is a controversial priest who lays claim to thousands of exorcisms and has criticised activities such as yoga and children reading Harry Potter books as spiritually harmful.