A leading exorcist in the Catholic Church has accused the Vatican of playing a role in the kidnapping of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, who went missing nearly three decades ago in 1983.
Father Gabriel Amorth, 85, has become a controversial figure within the Catholic Church for making charges that some consider extreme.
In 2011, Amorth suggested that yoga was satanic because it could lead to the practice of Hinduism; he has also related Harry Potter and Hitler to the devil, among his various controversial claims.
Amorth's most recent statement however, carries far more severity and charges that members of the Vatican kidnapped 15-year-old Emanuela and then used her for Vatican sex parties. Amorth originally made the statement to La Stampa, which was then translated by the Telegraph.
"This was a crime with a sexual motive. Parties were organised, with a Vatican gendarme acting as the 'recruiter' of the girls," the Telegraph reported.
The Vatican had been charged in the past with not fully cooperating with the investigation of the missing girl. The Catholic Church however has insisted that it has done everything possible to cooperate. To further assist with the investigation, the Vatican agreed to allow investigators to exhume the body of Italian mobster Enrico De Pedis, who had been linked to the missing girl.
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In 2005, an anonymous caller reported that the answers to the missing 15-year-old had been buried with Pedis. The mobster's one-time girlfriend had also previously accused Pedis of kidnapping the young girl.
After the gravesite's upheaval last week, forensics discovered bones that did not belong to Pedis, but that the bones date back to the 19th century and do not belong to the girl although they will still be tested.
Father Amorth, though, appears convinced that The Holy See, with the help of a foreign embassy, played a hand in the kidnapping of the girl.
"The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up a victim of this circle," Father Amorth, the honorary president of the International Association of Exorcists, told La Stampa newspaper.
Vatican officials have fervently denied any involvement in the case and also state that the Vatican has fully cooperated with the investigation.
"Doubt has been raised as to whether Vatican institutions or personalities truly did everything possible to contribute to the search for the truth about what happened," Rev. Federico Lombardi stated in April. "All the Vatican authorities collaborated, with commitment and transparency, with the Italian authorities to deal with the kidnapping in the first phase, and, then, later in the successive investigations."