Back in 2013, I went to the Theater for the New City in the East Village to see Mario Fratti's The Vatican Knows. The play was loosely based on the 2012 New York Times (May 14, 2012) article "Crime Boss’s Tomb Is Exhumed for Clues in Missing Girl’s Case", which is about the kidnapping of 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi.
According to Times, there are three theories about what happened to Emanuela:
1. One theory is that she was kidnapped on the orders of an American archbishop, Paul C. Marcinkus [d. 2006], a former president of the Vatican bank, who was linked to a major Italian banking scandal in the 1980s.2. Others cite an anonymous phone call the Vatican received weeks after Emanuela’s disappearance, demanding the release of Mehmet Ali Agca, the [alleged Islamic extremist] gunman who shot Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square in 1981, in exchange for her release.3. Lastly, in 2005, an anonymous phone call to a television program implied that Emanuela had been kidnapped as a favor to Cardinal Ugo Poletti [d. 1997], who in 1983 was the vicar general of Rome. The caller also mentioned that Emanuela's kidnapping could have been related to the Italian mafia. (The BBC (14 May 2012) reported that the girlfriend of Enrico De Pedis, an Italian gangster, claimed that De Pedis kidnapped Emanuela in an effort to extort money from the Vatican.)
However, none of these theories mention why Emanuela was targeted.
Approximately a week after the Times' article was published, another shocking theory was published in The Telegraph (22 May 2012) and The Huffington Post. Per The Telegraph, Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican's 85-year-old chief exorcist, confessed that 15-year-old Emanuela was kidnapped, forced to participated in Vatican sex parties, and then killed and discarded.
Father Amorth confessed:
"This was a crime with a sexual motive. Parties were organised, with a Vatican gendarme acting as the 'recruiter' of the girls. The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up a victim of this circle."
Most recently, Netflix posted Vatican Girl: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi (2022), which is a four part documentary series about Emanuela's kidnapping. The Netflix documentary referenced some of the theories that the Times piece mentioned like a possible link between Emanuela's disappearance and Agca.
In addition, the Netflix series theorized that Emanuela's kidnapping may have been linked to the Italian mafia, the Pope, Poland, and blackmail, because, allegedly, John Paul II borrowed money from the mafia to fund the Solidarity political movement in Poland.
Taking all the theories into question, one has to ask, "But why was Emanuela targeted?" Per Emanuela's friend, who shared with the Netflix documentarians, a high ranking member of the Vatican slash someone close to the Pope tried to sexually seduce Emanuela, which may explain why Emanuela was used as leverage in the blackmail schemes against the Vatican.
Surprisingly, Father Amorth's assertion that Emanuela was kidnapped to participated in Vatican sex parties was not mentioned in Fratti's play, in the New York Times piece, nor the Netflix documentary.