By Jamie Busby
On Monday, bones were dug up by workers refurbishing a building in the Vatican.
The resulting media-frenzy has focused on a common theme; Whether these are the remains of Emanuela Orlandi, a 15 year old girl who went missing in 1983. There is also speculation that the remains could be that of Mirella Gregori, a 16 year old girl who went missing 40 days before Orlandi. The girls are otherwise unconnected to each other.
Orlandi was the daughter of a policeman in the Vatican. Over the years there have been 2 main theories surrounding her disappearance.
One is that she was kidnapped by local Mafia boss Enrico De Pedis in order to put the squeeze on Vatican officials with regards to repayment of a loan. It's also since been claimed by De Pedis' girlfriend of the time that he kidnapped and murdered her under orders from the top brass of the Vatican bank.
Enrico De Pedis was killed in 1990 so there won't be much more evidence forthcoming from him.
The other theory is that she may have been kidnapped to put pressure on the authorities to release Mehmet Ali Agca from prison. Agca is the Turkish man who failed in the assassination attempt of Pope Jean Paul II in 1981.
Both of these theories may be a classic case of misdirection via disinformation, there is no evidence that either theory is remotely true. They are fascinating tales though, perfect for getting people to bark up the wrong tree for the last 35 years.
In May of 2012, The Telegraph ran a story telling of how the Catholic church's top exorcist had made claims that Orlandi was in fact "kidnapped for sex parties for Vatican police".
The exorcist in question was Father Gabriele Amorth. He describes how she was kidnapped by a Vatican policeman for the sole purpose of being used and abused at sex parties thrown for foreign diplomatic personnel. Does this ring a bell? Sex parties for "foreign" political figures?
This is straight from the CIA playbook. Traffic children for sex with powerful people; secretly film the rape and abuse; use the video footage as blackmail. The perfect entrapment scheme.
Father Amorth claimed that an archivist at the Vatican told him of the recruitment of young girls for sexual purposes. Amorth was convinced that this was the fate of Orlandi.
Father Amorth died in 2016 at the ripe old age of 91. He was ordained in 1954 and is alleged to have conducted tens of thousands of exorcisms, the figure varies depending on who you ask.
The lie of the land
As things stand, right now, there is not much more to go on; YET.
Forensic scientists in Italy are examining the remains in an attempt to determine the age, sex and date of death based off what's left of the body. Nowadays, even the presence of a few bones is invaluable; the most important evidence that will emerge over the coming days and weeks will be that revealed by the DNA analysis.
Police will be able to confirm if it is indeed Emanuela Orlandi. If not, we can't forget Mirella Gregori, it may well be her remains. There are also many other possible victims, these 2 are not the only young girls to have gone missing in this tiny part of the world over the years.
We can only hope that the investigation is transparent and if there is foul play involved, those responsible are hunted down.
It may well be the case that this incident opens a huge can of worms and it runs much deeper than we realise, regardless of what some have always suspected. It may also trigger a comprehensive investigation of the Vatican as a whole, hopefully by external agencies; that remains to be seen.
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