Click here to advertise on

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.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($25,841 to go):
$150,000.00 $124,158.96
17% 83%
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • 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.

Fall 2014 Campaign
Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on

Recent Catholic Commentary

Denial of Service Attack: Success! 22 hours ago
Federal debt as a social-justice concern December 19
Another side of Francis: US-Cuba role shows Pope's diplomatic muscle December 18
Silly season: a Christmas approaches, a scholar questions whether Jesus ever existed December 18
The intrinsic immorality of torture: still not convinced? December 18

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Europe seems 'elderly and haggard' CWN - November 25
Pope Francis, Ecumenical Patriarch sign joint declaration, lament persecution of Christians CWN - December 1
Consistory for new cardinals scheduled for February CWN - December 11
Vatican report on US women religious calls for further self-assessment CWN - December 16
Pope brokered deal to open US-Cuba ties CWN - December 17