Crime & Justice

40 years searching for Emanuela Orlandi, the Vatican girl who vanished

Rome, Jun 21 (EFE).- Forty years after his sister Emanuela mysteriously vanished in the Vatican, Pietro Orlandi said Wednesday is just another day in a search that has never ceased nor will stop until the truth is known.

Emanuela Orlandi, 15, disappeared on June 22, 1983, when she was leaving the San Apolinar music school in the center of Rome.

On the day she went missing, the young daughter of Vatican worker Ercole Orlandi and Maria Orlandi slammed the door of their Vatican apartment where she lived with her parents and three brothers as she walked out.

She left in a huff, angry with her brother Pietro after he refused to escort her to her flute classes at San Apolinar music school.

That was the last time Pietro saw her.

In an interview with Efe Pietro, 59, said he will “never passively accept an injustice.”

“This is a huge injustice, above all, when you know that there are people who know what has happened, so I will never be able to accept it, even if forty years have passed. Our goal is to get to the truth and do justice to my sister,” Pietro said just a stone’s throw from the Vatican.

Pietro speaks with determination and says that thanks to the reopening of the investigation by the Vatican prosecutor’s office and moves to set up a parliamentary commission of inquiry, he is now more hopeful his family might be closer to finding out what happened to his sister.

“I have always expected that there would be a will to shed light on the case,” he said of the recent developments.

A few weeks ago, Pietro was summoned by the Vatican prosecutor, Alessandro Diddi, to give a statement.

“Pope Francis and Cardinal (Pietro) Parolin, Secretary of State, wanted a 360-degree investigation, and yes the word used was ‘investigate’ without letting anyone off the hook and by digging up all corners and anything that could be found,” Pietro said.

As for every anniversary of his sister’s disappearance, Pietro has organized a demonstration in Saint Peter’s Square for Sunday but this time he is hopeful that “the Pope will say a few words of hope so that we can reach the truth.”

“I sincerely have no doubts that they will arrive, because it was he who opened this investigation, which means that there is a will on his part to clarify things,” he added.

Regarding the numerous hypotheses of what happened to the girl and the alleged perpetrators that have been suggested over the years, Pietro insists that his sister was kidnapped and that it was not a random event.

“I do not think that Emanuela was just the subject of abuse and that the Vatican tried to cover it up for forty years,” Orlandi told Efe.

“But if there was someone important in the Vatican who had this vice — because in the Vatican it (pedophilia) is called vice, it is not called a crime — and that person wanted to blackmail, then there must be a trace of what happened,” he said. EFE


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