Mobster's tomb at Vatican disinterred in investigation into teenager's disappearance
Disappearance of Italian girl in 1983 remains unsolved
The investigation into the disappearance of an Italian girl has led to
the discovery of a mobster's body on Vatican property. Investigators at
the church of Sant'Apollinare in central Rome opened the tomb of Enrico "Renatino" De Pedis in the search for clues about what happened to
15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a prominent Vatican
employee. The teenager vanished without a trace after leaving her
Vatican apartment for music lessons in June 22, 1983.
Fifteen-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a prominent Vatican employee, vanished without a trace after leaving her Vatican apartment for music lessons in June 22, 1983.
In one of the more popular conspiracy theories, it's been pointed out that two years before the girl's disappearance in 1981, Turkish national Mehmet Ali Agca shot Pope John Paul II. After Emanuela's disappearance, her parents received anonymous phone calls from someone promising the safe return of their daughter if the Vatican released Agca.
In the meantime, an anonymous caller told police that Emanuela was kidnapped to keep her father, Ercole Orlandi, quiet, saying that her father had stumbled upon sensitive documents that tied banker Roberto Calvi to an organized crime syndicate. Calvi was known as "God's banker" for his close association with both the Holy See and its primary banking facility, Banco Ambrosiano.
Orlandi worked in the Vatican's special events office that organizes papal functions and Catholic celebrations.
Calvi was later discovered in London, where he apparently hung himself in 1982. The apparent suicide was thought to be a homicide after a tipster to police in Italy said Orlandi's daughter was nabbed to ensure her father's silence. Emanuela's father died in 2004.
Another anonymous call to an Italian detective in 2005 said Emanuela was kidnapped on the orders of the then-vicar of Rome, Cardinal Ugo Poletti, and that "the secret to the mystery lies in a tomb in Sant'Apollinare basilica" -- specifically De Pedis' tomb.
De Pedis had been killed in Rome in 1990 and his body was moved to the basilica some time before 1997, presumably either as part of a secret deal for a massive loan De Pedis made to the Vatican or to protect his tomb from being desecrated by rival gang members.
De Pedis' mistress in 2008 said he was involved in Emanuela's kidnapping and that the girl was buried under the foundation of a house outside of Rome. Investigators searched that house but found that the concrete foundation was poured the year before the girl's disappearance and could not have been connected to the crime.
After opening the tomb this week, investigators found De Pedis' body so well preserved that scientific police were able to confirm his identity through fingerprints. Also inside the crypt were the boxes of bones, according to investigators on the scene.
The church has been used for burials for two centuries. Still, all of the bones will be tested to determine whether they are tied to De Pedis or to Emanuela's disappearance. De Pedis will not be reburied in the church, the Vatican said.
© 2012, Catholic Online. Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Disappearance, Rome, Vatican, Mobster, conspiracy theories
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