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Vatican approves exhumation of Mafia figure in notorious Italian case

Catholic World News - July 06, 2010

The Vatican has given permission for Italian police to exhume the grave of a notorious Mafia figure in the search for information about a girl who disappeared 27 years ago.

Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, was a 15-year-old high-school student in June 1983, when she did not return from school to her home inside Vatican City. Her disappearance has never been explained, but the case gave rise to a series of sensational theories. One report suggested that she had been kidnapped, and her captors offered her freedom in exchange for that of Mehmet Ali Agca, the would-be papal assassin who was then imprisoned in Rome. Another theory was that her abductors were working for the Mafia, sending a warning message to the conspirators who had stolen millions from the failed Banco Ambrosiano. After years of investigating the case, Italian prosecutors found insufficient evidence to support these theories.

But now, in response to a tip, Italian authorities want to open the tomb of Enrico De Pedis, a Mafia figure who was reportedly seen with Emanuela Orlandi just before her disappearance. Despite his reputation, De Pedis, who was killed by rivals in 1990, is buried in the crypt of the basilica of St. Apollinare, which is controlled by the Vatican.

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  • Posted by: jasoncpetty3446 - Jul. 06, 2010 3:34 PM ET USA

    Despite his reputation, De Pedis, who was killed by rivals in 1990, is buried in the crypt of the basilica of St. Apollinare, which is controlled by the Vatican. I always wondered what one had to do to be buried a nice little church in Rome. Oh, scandals to my faith.

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