A teenage girl was kidnapped for Vatican sex parties by a gang involving Vatican police and foreign diplomats 30 years ago, says the Catholic Church's leading exorcist priest, who damned Harry Potter as the “work of the Devil”.
Father Gabriele Amorth was appointed by the late John Paul II as the Vatican's chief exorcist and claims to have carried out 70,000 exorcisms. He said after one of the parties 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi was murdered and her body disposed of.
The outspoken priest says the schoolgirl was snatched from the streets of central Rome in the summer of 1983 and forced to take part in sex parties.
"This was a crime with a sexual motive. Parties were organized, with a Vatican gendarme acting as the 'recruiter' of the girls,” Father Amorth, 85, told La Stampa newspaper.
"The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up a victim of this circle."
He also added that Vatican archivist monsignor Simeone Duca, “who was asked to recruit girls for parties with the help of the Vatican gendarmes”, also confirmed the girl was kidnapped for revelry.
Father Amorth’s revelations come as Italian police and forensic experts continue to examine remains they found in a murdered gangster's tomb a week ago in Rome's Sant'Apollinare basilica.
The grave of Enrico De Pedis, a mobster killed in 1990 by members of his outfit, was broken following an anonymous phone call saying the girl was buried along with the gangster.
Bones discovered near the mobster’s remains have not yet been positively identified as Emanuela’s.
But the priest doesn’t hesitate in accusing the Holy See of appalling crime: “I have never believed in the international theory. I have motives to believe that this was just a case of sexual exploitation.”
The debate over what happened to the daughter of a Vatican employee who was last seen returning home after music lessons three decades ago has raged in Italy, with some astonishing versions on the table.
Some investigators believe that the notorious gangster de Pedis was linked to her kidnap as he wanted to put pressure on Vatican officials to recover money that he had allegedly lent them.
The Vatican’s involvement in the kidnap was also suggested by the mobster’s girlfriend at the time of Orlandi's disappearance. The woman claimed the chief of the Vatican bank, Paul Marcinkus, was behind the crime.
The “international” theory says the girl was abducted to be used as a bargaining chip for the release from prison of Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish gunman who tried to kill John Paul II in St Peter's Square in 1981. This version of events has not been confirmed either.
Father Amorth is an outspoken priest and a colorful figure, mostly famous for claiming that yoga is Satanic because it leads to a worship of Hinduism. He dismissed the Harry Potter books as the “work of the Devil”, saying they encourage children to believe in black magic and wizardry.