Tuesday, September 19, 2017
From Caffara to Paglia… and the Orlandi Case
The pace of events in Rome is… dizzying.
It’s hard even to keep just a list of all that is happening — from significant papal decisions (the motu proprio discussed below) to liturgical conferences (one on Summorum Pontificum has just concluded, link), from papal trips to Colombia to allegations of serious misconduct at a Vatican embassy (in this case, in Washington, link) to the emergence of the strangest and seemingly most “fake” news imaginable (link), involving astonishing charges against the Vatican itself (the alleged Emanuela Orlandi “Vatican expense account” made public yesterday)….
Placing what is happening into an understandable context in order to begin to make sense of these events and their significance for the Church and the world is… not simple.
For example, today another important, and in some ways quite puzzling, papal decision was made public: to suppress the “John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family” (in Latin, Pontificium Institutum Joannes Paulus II Studiorum Matrimonii ac Familiae — one of the signature productions of the pontificate of St. John Paul II, created by the late Pope on October 7, 1982 (link) to carry on and develop his trademark “theology of the body” after his death) and to replace it with a new but slightly different “John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences” (in Latin, Pontificium Institutum Theologicum pro Scientiis de Matrimonio et Familia Sancto Ioanni Paulo II).
So Pope Francis has (evidently) decided to “zero out” the marriage and family institute founded by John Paul 35 years ago, and to “re-construct” it from the ground up.
Here is Article 1 of the motu proprio Summa Familiae Cura (“The Greatest (or Highest) Care for the Family,” link), by Pope Francis, dated September 8 but published just this morning:
“With the present motu proprio, I institute the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences, which, associated with the Pontifical Lateran University, succeeds, replacing it, the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, established by the apostolic constitution Magnum Matrimonii Sacramentum, which therefore comes to an end.”
And this decision comes just the day after the emergence of absolutely shocking (I was tempted to write “incredible” because hardly believable, but restrained myself out of a scruple for simple logic, since all the evidence seems not yet to be available to make such a definitive judgment) new allegations (note well: by no means confirmed) that the Vatican itself in the time of St. John Paul II was involved in the 1983 disappearance (five years into the 27-year pontificate of John Paul) of a 15-year-old girl and Vatican City State citizen named Emanuela Orlandi. (The Vatican spokesman Greg Burke yesterday characterized the new allegations as “false and ridiculous.”)
Below, the first page of the purported “Emanuela Orlandi Expense Account” document. Typed on plain paper, without any official headers, stamps or handwritten signatures, the document consists of five pages and is dated March 1998. It is entitled “Summary expense-report incurred by the Vatican City State for activities relating to Citizen Emanuela Orlandi (Rome 14 January 1968). The last date is the date of Emanuela Orlandi’s birth in Rome. She disappeared in June of 1983, and nothing has been heard from her since…
These two pieces of news are of totally different “categories” — one relates to the fate of a missing girl, the other to the purpose and goals of an institution dedicated to research and teaching about family life.
Yet both have to do in a direct way with Pope John Paul II, his pontificate, and his legacy, and with the actions and conduct of the central government of the Church in his time, and today.
So both are rather important pieces of “news” for anyone interested in, or with a devotion to, St. John Paul II.
In the decision to erase and re-launch the Institute for Marriage and the Family that John Paul established in 1982, Francis is making a powerful statement.
He is saying that something new needs to replace what John Paul established, and which functioned worldwide for 35 years.
Because, as Francis explains in his motu proprio, the context has changed, both in the world, due to cultural developments, and in the Church, due to the two bishops’ synods on the family in 2014 and 2015, and due to the document Amoris Laetitia in 2016, which summarized and drew out the implications of the conclusions of those two synods.
So, in short, the new John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family will directly respond to the instructions and teachings that issued from the synods and were formulated in the pages of Amoris Laetitia.
Here below I include excerpts from several articles about the Pope’s decision, followed by several articles about the Emanuela Orlandi case.
These are not meant to offer a definitive judgment on either matter, but only to provide context, hopefully, for a better understanding of both.
Francis Makes a Change
In his article today on the motu proprio, veteran Vaticanist Sandro Magister emphasizes the change from the first head of the Institute in the 1980s, Cardinal Carlo Caffara (photo here) to the present head of the Institute, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia (photo further below, left, with a microphone in huis hand).
(Here, Cardinal Carlo Caffara. Caffara died two weeks ago on September 6 in Bologna, Italy, where he was the retired archbishop; he would have turned 80 on June 1 next year. John Paul II chose Caffara in 1982 as the first head of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family. Caffara was also one of the four cardinals who last year signed the “dubia” or “doubts” about several passages or consequences of the teaching of Amoris Laetitia)
Magister entitles his piece: “So Long, Wojtyla and Caffarra. Here Comes the Francis Family”
And Magister writes:
By Sandro Magister (link)
The earthquake that has changed the face of the Pontifical Academy for Life has also struck the institute for studies on marriage and the family created by John Paul II and first headed by the theologian and then cardinal Carlo Caffarra.
As of today, this historic institute has been eliminated and replaced with another institute, with a different name.
All of the professors of the defunct institution have therefore also been dismissed, while there remain in office the current grand chancellor, Vincenzo Paglia, and the dean, Pierangelo Sequeri, whose appointment by Pope Francis had been, one year ago, the prelude to the current cataclysm.
The two accompanied the publication of the motu proprio with a note that emphasizes the “direct involvement” of the Pope, who — they are careful to say — “entrusts the task of crafting the rules, structures, and operations of the new theological institute” to the same “academic authorities of the historic John Paul II Institute,” meaning precisely to those two and to none other.
In describing the “wider horizons” in which the institute will now have to move, Paglia and Sequeri refer, naturally, to Amoris Laetitia, but also to Laudato Si’ and to the “care for creation.”
It now remains to be seen who will be the professors of the new heading, who will be reconfirmed and who not, both in Rome and in the other branches all over the world.
As it also remains to be seen what will become of the last publications of the defunct institute, especially that “Handbook” on the correct interpretation of Amoris Laetitia which is looked on as the plague by the paladins of communion for the divorced and remarried.
And here is a piece on the Popes decision from Crux, the website funded by the Knights of Columbus (link):
Pope Francis reboots the John Paul II institute on marriage and family
By Inés San Martín
September 19, 2017 VATICAN CORRESPONDENT
Pope Francis on Tuesday decided to reboot one of the signature institutions of the St. Pope John Paul II era in Catholicism, the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. From now on it will be a theological institute, with the mandate of exploring the “lights and shadows” of family life with “realism” and “love,” while also staying faithful to the Church’s teaching.
ROME — Pope Francis on Tuesday decided to upgrade an institute for studies on marriage and family named for St. John Paul II and established by the Polish pope in 1981, replacing it with a pontifical theological institute designed to explore the “lights and shadows” of family life with “realism” and “love,” while also staying faithful to the Church’s teaching.
With a legal document known as a motu proprio published on Tuesday, the Vatican announced that the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family will now be replaced by the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences.
The original institute was created following a Synod of Bishops on the family and John Paul’s apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio.
Another two-fold synod of bishops on the family in Oct. 2014 and Oct. 2015, together with the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Francis wrote in the motu proprio presented on Tuesday, has led the Church to a “renewed awareness of the family gospel and the new pastoral challenges to which the Christian community is called upon to respond.”
Contemporary anthropological and cultural changes, the Pope writes, require “a diversified and analytical approach” which cannot be “limited to pastoral and missionary practices” of the past.
“The welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church,” Francis wrote, quoting his document on the family, and John Paul’s exhortation.
“We do well to focus on concrete realities, since the call and the demands of the Spirit resound in the events of history, and through these the Church can also be guided to a more profound understanding of the inexhaustible mystery of marriage and the family,” he added.
Instead of being limited to practices of the past, Francis wrote, the Church must be able to interpret the faith in a context in which individuals have less support from social structures, their relationships, and their families. This reinterpretation, however, must be done remaining faithful to the Church’s teaching.
“Faithful to Christ’s teaching we look to the reality of the family today in all its complexity, with both its lights and shadows,” the document released Tuesday says, once again, quoting Amoris Laetitia.
Like its predecessor, the new institute will work as part of Rome’s Pontifical Lateran University and will be connected to the Vatican through the Congregation for Catholic Education, as well as the Pontifical Academy for Life and the new Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life.
The institute, which comes into effect immediately, will offer students courses leading to a diploma, a license and a doctorate in marriage and family sciences.
Italian Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, grand chancellor of the institute, described Tuesday’s announcement as a “relaunch and broadening” of the “great idea” of John Paul II.
Speaking with reporters soon after the document was released, Monsignor Pierangelo Sequeri, president of the institute, said that only Pope Francis knows why a relaunch was needed. He added, however, that it’s an important gesture, refuting those who claim that it’s no longer relevant, or that it’s only “tolerated” within the Church.
It’s a strong gesture, Sequeri said, addressed to the “dissidents,” to all those who claim the John Paul II Institute is unnecessary.
“The Pope put his signature to it, saying it isn’t something that he ‘tolerates’ but that he supports and relaunches it.”
Sequeri also said that John Paul II’s ‘theology of the body’ will be part of the program at the institute, which he defined as a “treasure.”
The “theology of the body” was the topic of a series of almost 130 lectures John Paul II gave during his weekly Wednesday audiences between 1979 and 1984, and expanded in many of his subsequent documents. Experts say it constitutes an analysis of human sexuality, and is among the major teaching contributions of his pontificate.
Paglia said that, at this moment, the body of professors working at the institute will remain, with new faculty being added to respond to the enlarged curricula. Among other things, he said, the history of the family will be explored, as well as the many scientific aspects of the family, from anthropology to bioethics.
With the decision of making it a theological institute, Paglia said, the Pope enlarges its scope, from being focused only on sacramental and moral theology, to one that is also biblical, dogmatic and historic, and that keeps under consideration modern-day challenges.
He also said that, since it’ll work closely with the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy for Life, which he also oversees, the institute will enter into dialogue with non-Catholics.
Marriage and family, he added, is not a “Catholic thing,” but a global one, hence the need to dialogue with all those who “love the one human family.”
“A Church that goes out also means an institute that goes out,” Paglia said.
Meanwhile, The Orlandi Case…
While Pope Francis moves forward in his effort to “institutionalize” the teachings of Amoris Laetitia, someone (or several people) in the Vatican is (are) intent on distributing to a journalist or journalists documents and information which has the effect of “de-stabilizing” the received view of the Vatican under St. John Paul II, and perhaps also of undermining the theological and doctrinal authority of that saintly Pope.
Here is a story that appeared today in the New York Times (link):
Document Revives Mystery of Vatican Teenager Who Vanished in ’83
By Elisabetta Povoledo
September 19, 2017
ROME — The disclosure this week of a five-page, typewritten document that was stolen from an armored cabinet inside the Vatican has revived the mysterysurrounding a 15-year-old who vanished in 1983.
The fate of the teenager, Emanuela Orlandi, has been the subject of much speculation, and the document — purportedly written by a cardinal — suggests that the Vatican may have been directly involved in her disappearance.
The Vatican called the document fake, and a spokesman, Greg Burke, called the allegations contained in it “false and ridiculous.”
Even the investigative journalist who published the document said it could be a fake, noting that it remains unclear who wrote the document, when or — crucially — why.
But the journalist, Emiliano Fittipaldi, who despite his reservations included the typewritten missive in a book to be published this week, says the mere fact that it had been found in a Vatican office raised “very unsettling questions.” The Italian press has reported widely on the case.
Whether genuine, or a forgery intended to “threaten, blackmail or create confusion,” the document “comes from inside the Vatican,” Mr. Fittipaldi, one of two reporters triedand acquitted for leaking documents in the so-called “Vatileaks 2” trial, said at a news conference on Monday.
“If it is true, it opens up incredible chapters in a story that’s still murky,” he said.
“If it is false, it is equally disturbing,” he added, because it implies behind-the-scenes maneuvers to discredit the Vatican and cause havoc.
He urged the Vatican to disclose whether investigators had ever examined the document — “a poisoned meatball,” he called it — and its provenance.
Ms. Orlandi was the daughter of a Vatican employee, making her a citizen of the papal city-state, although she vanished from a Rome street.
Shortly after she disappeared, anonymous calls, presumably by the kidnappers, said the girl would be freed upon the release of Mehmet Ali Agca, the Turkish gunman who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981. (After nearly three decades in Italian and Turkish prisons, Mr. Agca was released in 2010.)
Over the decades, other theories emerged, linking the kidnapping to Italy’s secret services or to organized crime. One theory suggested that Ms. Orlandi had been abducted at the behest of an American archbishop, Paul C. Marcinkus, a former president of the Vatican bank who was linked to a major scandal and died in 2006.
A gangster’s tomb was exhumed in 2012 for potential clues, but the mystery endured.
The Vatican has said that it has nothing new to say about the case.
The newly disclosed document is titled, “A summary of expenses sustained by Vatican City State for the activities related to citizen Emanuela Orlandi (Rome January 14 1968),” her birth date.
Supposedly written by one cardinal to two archbishops, it is effectively a running tab of charges incurred between 1983 and 1997 for a total of 483 million lire — which would be about 250,000 euro, nearly $300,000, today.
The itemized costsinclude various “transfers,” “room and board” in London and elsewhere, and various medical expenses, including for a gynecologist. A number of items refer to Vatican-funded investigations to find her.
Mr. Fittipaldi said the document implies that the Vatican succeeded in tracking down Ms. Orlandi, but “instead of returning her to her family, they kept her in London, it’s unclear why.” He added that it was “wrong to leap to conclusions.”
(Below, the late Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti of Italy. He is the alleged author of the document. He died on April 10, 2013, less than one month after the election of Pope Francis, at the age of 90, in Novara, Italy, his native city. He was a career Vatican diplomat who served for three years in the 1990s, from June 24, 1995 to November 5, 1998, as the President of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, the central office controlling all the property of the Vatican. It is alleged that he wrote the document in 1998.)
The victim’s brother, Pietro Orlandi, who has spent decades searching for the truth of her disappearance, said that if his sister made it to London, it was inconceivable that she would not have reached out.
“It is clear that she wasn’t able to move freely,” Mr. Orlandi said in a phone interview. “Should the document be real, it is very serious, because it implicates the Vatican in a kidnapping.”
He called on the Vatican to collaborate in a fresh investigation. “You can’t close a case when new documents emerge after 34 years that still have to be verified,” he said.
The document is believed to be among several others stolen on March 29, 2014, from a locked cabinet in a Vatican office.
A month after the theft, some of the documents — including the one released this week — were returned, with no indication of who had stolen them.
The alleged author of the document, Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti, died in 2013. The itemized expense account was addressed to two archbishops, now cardinals. One of them, Giovanni Battista Re, told Italian journalists on Monday that he had never laid eyes on it. The other, Jean-Louis Tauran, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Gianluigi Nuzzi, Mr. Fittipaldi’s co-defendant in the “Vatileaks 2” trial, plans to publish his own new book about the Vatican in November.
The Orlandi family lawyer, Laura Sgro’, said that months ago she had reached out to the Vatican to ask for the Holy See’s documents pertaining to the kidnapping, and to meet with Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state.
“I’ve heard nothing, I haven’t received one piece of paper — zero,” she said.
And here are excerpts from John Allen’s piece from today in Crux (link):
Vatican calls alleged bombshell over vanished girl ‘false and ridiculous’
By John L. Allen Jr.
September 19, 2017
(A shot of the poster that went up in Rome in 1983 seeking information on Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican bank employee who vanished. Credit: Stock image.)
Italian journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi, known for his role in the “Vatileaks 2.0” affair, published a purported bombshell document on Monday allegedly showing the Vatican spent a half-billion lira between 1983 and 1997 on a 15-year-old girl and daughter of a Vatican bank employee who vanished — but the catch is, right now there’s no way of knowing if the document is real or a fake.
ROME – Every culture tends to develop its own peculiar obsessions with conspiracy theories. To this day, for instance, a great way to get three or four Americans arguing is to ask their opinions about whether Oswald acted alone in the JFK assassination.
The rest of the world, however, really doesn’t hold a candle to Italy when it comes to generating what are known here as gialli, basically meaning unresolved mysteries.
One of the most popular for almost the last 35 years has focused on Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of an employee of the Vatican bank who disappeared in 1983, and whose fate has never been established.
Over the years, various theories have been floated: Orlandi was kidnapped by radicals seeking to pressure St. Pope John Paul II to liberate Mehmet Ali Ağca, who had tried to assassinate the pontiff in 1981 and who was being held in an Italian prison; Orlandi was taken by elements of the Italian mafia, trying to force the Vatican bank to pay back mob money lost in the scandals of the 1970s and 80s.
That idea flared up again when a famed mob boss named Enrico De Pedis was buried in the Roman basilica of Sant’Appollinare, located in the same piazza where Orlandi went to music school, and some even wondered if Emanuela was entombed with him (or instead of him) and demanded an exhumation.
(That happened in 2012, when police investigators found only the remains of one adult male in the tomb.)…
Thus it was perhaps inevitable that on Monday, an Italian journalist named Emiliano Fittipaldi, already well-known as one of the reporters involved in the “Vatileaks 2.0” scandal involving stolen records related to Vatican finances, would roll out yet another supposed blockbuster in the Orlandi case.
Specifically, Fittipaldi published a portion of his new book devoted to a purportedly secret document outlining a half-billion Italian lira (roughly the equivalent of $300,000) the Vatican is supposed to have spent on keeping Orlandi hidden between 1983 and 1997, when no one theoretically knew where she was, including costs for a residence in London and occasional medical expenses, plus investigations and “throwing things off track.”
The memorandum supposedly was written by Italian Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti, at the time the head of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), and addressed to now-cardinals Gianbattista Re and Jean-Louis Tauran, both at the time senior officials in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State.
On Monday, Re denied ever having seen the letter or any summary of Vatican expenses on Orlandi, and Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told journalists the report is “false and ridiculous.”
Also, later on Thursday, the Vatican released a more formal statement, saying that “the Secretariat of State firmly denies [the authenticity] of the document, and declares completely false and without any foundation the news it’s supposed to contain.”
“Above all, it’s regretful that these false publications, which damage the honor of the Holy See, [also] deepen the immense sadness of the Orlandi family, with which the Holy See repeats its solidarity,” the statement said.
From the beginning of his piece in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Fittipaldi makes clear he has no way of knowing if the, memo is authentic.
It’s written on plain white paper with what appears to have been an old typewriter, with no Vatican letterhead and no official protocol number, and although Antonetti’s name appears at the end as the sender, there’s no signature. Fittipaldi says that it was passed to him in a coffee bar in the center of Rome by a Vatican insider in an official-looking folder.
Basically, Fittipaldi presents his readers with a choice. Either the document is genuine, he says, in which case it raises explosive questions about what the Vatican is hiding, or it’s a fake, which, he asserts, would make it a sign of “unprecedented” power struggles inside the pontificate of Pope Francis, since Fittipaldi asserts it must have been prepared by an insider with intimate knowledge of Vatican procedures.
Fittipaldi doesn’t really speculate about what ends might be served by such a maneuver — except, perhaps, general destabilization…
Assuming this is another fake, there are lots of ways to explain the document’s provenance that don’t implicate anyone in the Vatican. For instance, the Orlandi family and their supporters long have insisted the Vatican knows more than it’s saying, and it’s possible someone in that world felt planting a false rundown of expenses might force its hand to come clean.
In the meantime, there’s another question to be asked, which is about the journalistic ethics of publishing something so obviously explosive without knowing whether it’s real — and, in this case, having pretty solid grounds for suspecting it might not be. (Among other things, Tauran’s first name is misspelled in the address line of the alleged memo.)
To be fair, Fittipaldi didn’t play games with his readers, acknowledging up-front he has no idea. Yet it’s still legitimate to wonder whether the more responsible move for a reporter, in such a case, would have been to wait before putting the document into circulation — where some, no doubt, will regard it as gospel truth no matter what anyone says.
The situation illustrates a chronic problem with Vatican coverage, which is that the tone typically is set by Italian media outlets, which seem to have a tremendous appetite for unresolved mysteries that play out over years, even decades. A package on one of the country’s main TV news channels Tuesday morning ended by saying, “It seems the Orlandi case is destined to accumulate more chapters,” and it’s hard to escape the impression that’s exactly how some people here like it.
In the midst of a situation where so much seems fuzzy, there’s at least one certainty: If this memo is indeed a hoax, someone clearly has too much time on his or her hands. It would be fascinating to know what motives would drive someone to manufacture such a thing – if it’s not, that is, just a case of ars gratia artis, meaning, more or less, for the simple heck of it.
“If it is true, the Vatican should be closed”
And, finally, Vaticanist Andrea Tornielli — an old friend — reaches this striking conclusion: “If the content of the dossier were true, and the heads of the Holy See really played a decisive role in the management of the kidnapping and concealment of Emanuela, while continuing to hide the truth, the Vatican should not be just reformed, but it should definitively be closed.”
Here is Andrea Tornielli’s piece in Vatican Insider (link):
Vatileaks, the Vatican “expense report” for the Orlandi kidnapping
The Italian newspapers Repubblica and Corriere della Sera publish a document that appears drafted as “fake”, reporting almost half a billion lire expenses that the Holy See allegedly spent for Emanuela’s stay abroad. Spokesman Greg Burke, a “False and ridiculous reconstruction”
September 18, 2017
By Andrea Tornielli
It is an objective and well-documented fact that the case of Emanuela Orlandi, the 16-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee who mysteriously disappeared in the center of Rome in June 1983, is an unsolved mystery based on blackmail and false leads.
It is equally certain that among the people involved in various ways in this sad and shady story —which eventually became an international case, investigated by intelligence services from around the world and with presumed connections with Pope Wojtyla attempted murder and the Ior-Ambrosiano affair — there are those who have not yet told the whole truth.
Now there is a has a new chapter to the story, a document bound to stir even more confusion and malevolence.
Both the online version of la Repubblica newspaper (as anticipation of a new book by the journalist Emiliano Fittipaldi) and Il Corriere della Sera on paper, have published the letter admitting however, that it could be a fake.
We are talking about a simple paper document, lacking any official headers, stamps or handwritten signatures, consisting of five pages and dated March 1998, entitled “Summary expense-report incurred by the Vatican City State for activities relating to Citizen Emanuela Orlandi (Rome 14 January 1968)”.
The report was addressed to the then-Substitute of the Secretariat of State Giovanni Battista Re and for information to the then-“Foreign Minister” Jean Louis Tauran, and was drafted by Cardinal Lorenzo Antonetti who, from 1995 to the end of 1998, was President of the APSA (Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, which also acts as paying agency of the Vatican).
The letter allegedly included 197 pages of invoices and supporting documents (which, however, are no longer present), and contains the disturbing expense-report of what the Vatican spent in managing the kidnapping of Emanuela Orlandi, her stay abroad, her boarding schools bills, as well as the costs incurred to investigate a declared “false lead”, for the private investigations, for unspecified yet million-dollar activities carried out by the then Secretary of State Agostino Casaroli and the then Vicar of Rome Ugo Poletti.
First of all, given the generic dates at the beginning of each page, the activities would have begun in January 1983, i.e. months before the girl went missing: an attempt to imply that the Vatican was involved in the organization of the kidnapping.
There is talk of millions of the old Italian currency spent by Teofilo Benotti to “manage relations” with the press interested in the case, of expenses for gynecological visits, of trips to London that the then-head of Vatican Gendarmerie, Camillo Cibin took with Pope John Paul II’s personal doctor, Renato Buzzonetti: supposedly to visit the young Orlandi.
Finally, another worrying aspect concerns the final expenses, dated 1997, “General activity and transfer to Vatican City State, and related final processing: L. 21.000.000.000”. This would suggest that in 1997 Emanuela arrived in Rome and never, ever left.
But where does this text come from?
From the archive of Monsignor Lucio Vallejo Balda, the Spanish prelate appointed secretary of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See and secretary of the COSEA Commission, which between 2013 and 2014 screened all the accounts and administrative management of the Vatican bodies and departments.
Vallejo Balda, who wanted Francesca Immacolata Chaouqui at his side in the commission, and ended up being with her protagonist (and accused) of Vatileaks 2, the Vatican trial which took place after the publication of two books containing all the papers of the COSEA commission.
According to the sources consulted by Vatican Insider, Balda kept that document and, after a mysterious burglary in the Prefecture’s offices on 29th and 30th March 2014, he had confided to several people that among the stolen material there was also a dossier about Emanuela Orlandi. Vatican Insider also reportedly found that the dossier was not present in the envelope of documents returned to the Prefecture after the theft.
It must be said at once, to avoid any kind of misunderstandings, that if the content of the dossier were true, and that the heads of the Holy See had really played a decisive role in the management of the kidnapping and concealment of Emanuela, while continuing to hide the truth, the Vatican should not be jus reformed, but it should definitively be closed.
As this is not about nepotism, inflated contracts for apartment renovation, sexual deviations (all deplorable acts, that must be condemned and prosecuted).
We are talking about very serious crimes, that echo those of the Borgia era.
However, taking a closer look at the document, something, actually many things are wrong.
Beginning with the header: Cardinal Antonetti, a veteran of curial diplomacy and formerly nuncio to Paris, would have addressed the Archbishop Re by calling him “His reverend Excellency…”
In the Vatican, even ushers who have been employed for a week know that the outdated Spanish code for episcopal titles demands that a bishop should be referred to as “His Most Reverend Excellency”.
In addition, Monsignor Tauran’s middle name is written wrong: Luis instead of Louis (and this is even more strange coming from a Head of dicastery writing to a top figure in the Secretariat of State: it would be as the former nuncio in France had forgotten his French).
However, there are other doubts.
Let us admit for a moment that the content of the facts reported were true.
Why, in 1998, with the Roman judiciary’s investigation still in progress, would the heads of the Holy See involved (in this case, the Secretariat of State) ask the APSA for a complete report on the costs of the operation, with invoices and supporting documents without using any codenames, thus increasing the number of people informed about the facts and possible news-leaks?
And again, always assuming that the content of the note is true, why would the Secretariat of State have managed such an operation using APSA as a paying agency, and not instead use the funds reserved for the emergencies (Paul VI Fund) he disposed of?
Everything therefore suggests that the document is false (unless we believe that Cardinal Antonetti deliberately drafted it with errors to make it look fake).
What is certain is that it was inside Monsignor Balda’s archive and that therefore, someone has drafted it and handed it over to him. Obviously, such a note is made to lead off or blackmail, mixing real or plausible details with others that are invented.
Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the alleged addressee of those papers, declared to the blog Vatican Rooms of Tgcom24, “I have never seen that document published by Fittipaldi, I have never received any report on any expenses for the case of Emanuela Orlandi”.
While the director of the Vatican Press Office, Greg Burke, defined the reconstruction published as an anticipation of Fittipaldi’s book on Repubblica as “false and ridiculous”.
A fact remains: five years after the election of Pope Francis and a conclave that had on its agenda the desire to get rid of the “curial mud and poisons” that emerged in the first Vatileaks, the season of the leaks and mysteries does not seem to have ended at all.
On the contrary, they are flourishing like never before…
(to be continued)