'Vatican girl': Italy’s Senate approves new inquiry into Orlandi disappearance

Jessica Lionnel
Jessica Lionnel - [email protected]
'Vatican girl': Italy’s Senate approves new inquiry into Orlandi disappearance
People hold placards with Emanuela Orlandi's portrait at the end of the Pope's Angelus prayer in Rome's St. Peter's Square. Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP

Senators voted almost unanimously on on Thursday to set up a new joint parliamentary inquiry into the case of teenagers Emanuela Orlandi and Mirella Gregori who vanished in 1983.


The vote for the commission was taken by a show of hands in the Senate chamber, with one abstention (Pierferdinando Casini, Centrists for Europe) and one vote against (Roberto Menia, Brothers of Italy).

Plans to create the commission were started in March shortly after the Netflix documentary ‘Vatican Girl’ pushed the mystery shrouding Orlandi’s disappearance and the lesser-known Gregori’s further into the public eye.

READ ALSO: Rome opens new investigation into ‘Vatican Girl’ disappearance

Orlandi’s brother Pietro told reporters he was "happy" with the vote: "I was waiting for this news with confidence. This commission will be able to do so much more than the Vatican enquiry can do.

"I am convinced that we will get to the truth, it cannot be hidden forever. I thank the senators who voted for the Commission.”

Democratic Party lawmaker Dario Parrini stated: "We have a duty to guarantee the two families involved and the entire country that tenacious work will be carried out on events that for decades have been the subject of serious interference and very heavy misdirection.”

Emanuela, who went missing at the age of 15 after a flute lesson, was the fourth child of Ercole and Maria Orlandi. The family lived inside the Vatican grounds, with Ercole Orlandi working for the Vatican.

Gregori was also 15 years old when she went missing, a month after Orlandi.

The disappearance of the two teenagers has been dubbed “Italy’s most famous unsolved mystery,” with decades of speculation including suggestions that mobsters, the secret services or a Vatican conspiracy were to blame.


There have been three investigations opened over the forty years, from 1983 to 1977 and then 2008 to 2015, and the third reopening in May 2023.

The city’s Public Prosecution Office has gone back to investigating the case, with Orlandi’s uncle Mario Meneguzzi currently under investigation after Orlandi’s sister Natalina accused him of sexually abusing her when she was younger.

The Vatican, which has been accused of obstructing investigation efforts over the past decades, is currently conducting their own inquiry into the disappearance.


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