Italian paper airs story, based on suspect document, of Vatican involvement in kidnapping

Catholic Culture

September 18, 2017

An Italian newspaper has published a sensational story claiming that Vatican officials played a role in the abduction of Emanuela Orlandi, the teenage daughter of a Vatican employee, who disappeared mysteriously in 1983.

La Repubblica has posted a report based on what is said to be a Vatican document, typed on plain paper, promising to help pay for the abduction of Emanuela Orlandi and to keep her in convents. The document is dated March 1983: several weeks before the girl’s disappearance in June of that year.

However, there is no evidence that the document—which is not signed, includes incorrect names and improper salutations, and is not typed on Vatican stationery—is authentic. Cardinal Giovanni Battista Rei, to whom the document was allegedly addressed, told a reporter that he had never seen it. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke called the report “false and ridiculous.”

The disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, which has never been explained, has been the focus of several conspiracy theories, with some investigators claiming Mafia involvement and others charging that Vatican officials have not revealed what they know about the case.

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