Shocking twist in mystery of Vatican girl Emanuela Orlandi, 15, as pal claims she was ‘abused by someone close to the Pope’.

THE unsolved mystery of a teenager’s disappearance has taken a dramatic turn after it was claimed she was sexually assaulted by a senior figure in the Holy See.

Emanuela Orlandi, 15, the daughter of a Vatican clerk, disappeared while returning home from a flute lesson in Rome in 1983.

Emanuela Orlandi, pictured, went missing in 1983 and remains Italy's greatest mystery

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Emanuela Orlandi, pictured, went missing in 1983 and remains Italy’s greatest mysteryCredit: The Doe Network
Pope John Paul II with Pietro Orlandi, brother of Emanuela in 2013

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Pope John Paul II with Pietro Orlandi, brother of Emanuela in 2013Credit: Alamy
The remains of two bodies were found in the Vatican's German Cemetery in 2019

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The remains of two bodies were found in the Vatican’s German Cemetery in 2019Credit: EPA

Since then she has never been seen again.

Theories attempting to explain what happened have swirled for years and include Cold War fraud, banking scandals, sex trafficking and negotiations for the release of a Turkish gunman who shot and wounded Pope John Paul II.

It was also alleged that a mafia boss ordered her kidnapping to blackmail the Vatican.

An upcoming Netflix series called Vatican Girl, due to release on October 20, now has a different theory to explain what happened and why.

A woman who was Emanuela’s childhood friend has claimed that she was sexually harassed by “someone close to the Pope”, who was then John Paul II, in the days before her disappearance at the Vatican.

Knowing the teenager had this secret, she kidnapped a criminal organization called the Magliana Gang to put pressure on the Vatican to pay back money they borrowed to secretly fund Solidarność, the union that was fighting communism at the time Poland fought in the Pope’s homeland, so the claim.

The Vatican Institute for Religious Works, also known as the Vatican Bank, had been accused of sending money to Solidarity.

In the documentary, the woman, whose face is covered, said Emanuela told her “to confess a secret” about a week before she disappeared.

Emanuela is said to have told her that while walking around the Vatican grounds, where she was living with her family in a grace apartment, she was “harassed” by a “person very close to the Pope”.

When asked if the harassment was sexual, the friend, now middle-aged, told Netflix, “Absolutely, yes.”

Emanuela was “afraid, even ashamed,” said the friend.

The woman broke down in tears and said she had never disclosed the information.

When asked if she was scared of the potential consequences, she replied, “I’ve always been scared. It’s a terrible world.”

Emmy-winning Netflix series director Mark Lewis told The Telegraph: “I think she didn’t feel comfortable reaching out before because she feels the weight of the Church and her own Catholic faith.

“The idea that there is pedophilia in the church has been a taboo subject for so long. And that’s worse – it’s not just pedophilia within the Catholic Church, it’s on Vatican soil. I think it was a very scary place for her.”

Italian journalist Andrea Purgatori, who has followed the case from the beginning, said the Magliana gang may have used the “sexual secret” as an “ultimate blackmail tool” against the Vatican.

He said Emanuela may have been “a sacrificial lamb” and the Vatican did nothing to save her because it didn’t want her secret to be exposed.

Investigative journalist and expert on the case Emiliano Fittipaldi said: “If money was at stake, it would have been better to kidnap a cardinal or a prominent prelate. Why are you kidnapping this girl and not a cardinal?

“The only explanation I can give is that she had a big secret that could have caused an enormous scandal [for the Vatican].”

Investigative journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi

“The only explanation I can give is that she had a big secret that could have caused an enormous scandal [for the Vatican].”

Emanuela’s family and many Vatican observers claim the Holy See knows exactly what happened to her, how she died and where she is buried.

It is alleged that the Holy See has been engaged in a cover-up for years, remaining silent and blocking attempts to discover the truth.

Family lawyer Laura Sgrò said: “I am absolutely certain that the Vatican knows what happened to Emanuela.

“It’s time the Vatican made it clear exactly what happened and shut down her family. There is no time to waste.”

She added that the key figures in the affair had already died and that other people were elderly.

“We will never stop looking for her.”

Emanuela’s brother Pietro

Emanuela’s brother Pietro, who has been struggling to find out what happened, said: “It’s the moment to tell the truth. It’s been way too long.

“We will never stop looking for her.”

He added his 92-year-old mother should at least be allowed to put flowers on her daughter’s grave, wherever that may be.

The Vatican declined to grant interviews for the four-part Netflix documentary.

The family got some hope in 2019 when they received an anonymous, cryptic letter claiming the schoolgirl was buried in a grave in the German Cemetery.

After a tip, the police discovered two sets of bones in the Vatican.

Remains were discovered in two holes cut in a large rock covered by an old paving slab.

It was hoped that Pope Francis could shed some light on his election in 2013.

But he has only commented to the family that “Emanuela is in heaven” without revealing any further information.

“I got cold when I heard the Pope say Emanuela was dead,” said Pietro Orlandi. “We don’t know if she’s alive or dead because there’s no evidence. But when a head of state said Emanuela was dead, it meant he knew more than we did.”

The Vatican is accused of covering up Emanuela's disappearance

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The Vatican is accused of covering up Emanuela’s disappearancePhoto Credit: AP:Associated Press
A number of theories have swirled around Emanuela's disappearance, but the mystery has never been solved

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A number of theories have swirled around Emanuela’s disappearance, but the mystery has never been solvedCredit: EPA

https://www.the-sun.com/news/6457067/emanuela-orlandi-new-evidence-sexual-abuse-vatican/ Shocking twist in mystery of Vatican girl Emanuela Orlandi, 15, as pal claims she was ‘abused by someone close to the Pope’.

DevanCole

DevanCole is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. DevanCole joined Dailynationtoday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing: devancole@dailynationtoday.com.

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