Exactly 40 years after the disappearance of the teenage daughter of a Vatican employee, the Vatican said Thursday that new leads “worthy of further investigation” have emerged in hopes of finally getting to one of the Holy See’s secrets.
Emanuela Orlandi disappeared on June 22, 1983, after leaving her family’s apartment in the Vatican to attend a music class in Rome. His father was an ordinary employee of the Holy See. Over the years, his disappearance has been linked to everything from the conspiracy to the murder of Saint John Paul II to a financial scandal involving the Vatican Bank and the underworld of Rome.
The Vatican’s criminal prosecutor, Alessandro Didi, said on Thursday that he had recently sent Rome prosecutors all the relevant evidence he had collected in the six months since the investigation into Orlandi’s disappearance was reopened. He promised in a statement to continue the investigation.
Last year, the public became again interested in the case with the four-part Netflix documentary “The Vatican Girl,” which explored the different scenarios of her alleged disappearance and also featured new testimony by a friend who said Orlandi had told him a week earlier. It disappeared that a senior clergyman in the Vatican had made sexual advances on him.
After the documentary aired and as the 40th anniversary of his disappearance approached, Orlandi’s family – with the support of some lawmakers – pressed for an Italian parliamentary investigation. Separately, prosecutors in the Vatican and Rome reopened the investigation.
The former chief prosecutor in Rome, who prosecuted the case in the Italian court system, Giuseppe Binatone, is now chief judge of the Vatican Criminal Court, where Didi is the chief prosecutor.
Didi said in the statement that his office had collected “all available evidence from the headquarters of the Vatican and the Holy See.”
He said his office had interviewed people who had held positions in the Vatican for 40 years.
“I have proceeded to examine the documents, have confirmed some avenues of investigation that deserve further investigation and have sent all relevant documents, in the past weeks, to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome, so that the latter can review them and proceed in the direction,” the statement reads.
He expressed his solidarity with the Orlandi family.
Pietro Orlandi, who has struggled for 40 years to find out the truth about his sister, is planning a sit-down near the Vatican on Sunday. The Vatican has long been accused of not showing what it knows about the case.