A Catholic priest has claimed a missing schoolgirl was kidnapped for Vatican sex parties and has implicated diplomatic staff and members of the Holy See.
Italian priest Gabriel Amorth, 85, said girls were recruited for parties at the Vatican and said the death of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi, last seen alive in 1983, “was a crime with a sexual motive”.
The priest spoke out last week as investigators broke into the grave of a known gang boss in Rome following an anonymous tip that the key to Emanuala’s disappearance would be “found there”.
But so far bones which do not belong to mobster Enrico De Pedis, have not be positively identified as the girl’s.
In an interview with La Stampa newspaper, Father Amorth said: “It has already previously been stated by (deceased) monsignor Simeone Duca, an archivist at the Vatican, who was asked to recruit girls for parties with the help of the Vatican gendarmes.
"The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up a victim of this circle,"
Father Gabriele Amorth was appointed by the late John Paul II as the Vatican's chief exorcist.
Emanuela Orlandi disappeared after leaving her family's Vatican City apartment to go to a music lesson in Rome. Her father was a lay employee of the Holy See.
Four years ago, Italian news reports quoted the dead mobster's former lover as telling Rome prosecutors that criminals from the city's crime syndicate, known as the Magliana gang, had kidnapped the girl and had her body dumped in a cement mixer near a beach outside the capital.
The Vatican has insisted it has done everything possible to try to resolve the 1983 disappearance of an employee's teenage daughter and has no objections to allowing inspection of the basilica tomb of a reputed mobster from a gang purportedly linked to her presumed kidnapping.
The Vatican is facing a deepening controversy over the burial 22 years ago of a notorious crime boss, with reports emerging that the church accepted a one billion lire (£407,000) payment from the mobster's widow to allow his interment in a basilica.
Declaring that "life must always be protected", a senior Vatican cleric has defended the Catholic Church's decision to excommunicate the mother and doctors of a nine-year-old rape victim who had a life-saving abortion in Brazil.