VATICAN INSIDER AND A TALE OF INTRIGUE – VATICAN CITY TO IMPLEMENT SYSTEM FOR REPORTING ABUSE

I had a fun experience this afternoon as I was searching for a photo or two of the work done last month in the Vatican’s Teutonic cemetery to see if the remains of Emanuela Orlandi might be buried there as suggested last summer in an anonymous note to the Orland family. As you will read below, I am dedicating a special on VI this week to the missing teenager and I wanted a picture for that article.

I had not saved the Vatican photos I used in my July stories so I searched Google for images under “Teutonic cemetery, vaticannews” and, as I scrolled through the many photos, I found some of my own photos of the cemetery, and Google cited “Joan’s Rome”!
https://www.google.it/search?safe=active&hl=en&biw=1097&bih=489&tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=nGhEXZrqEZK6kwXAl724Bw&q=teutonic+cemetery%2C+vaticannews&oq=teutonic+cemetery%2C+vaticannews&gs_l=img.3…34822.37438..38264…0.0..1.515.1635.10j1j0j1j0j1……0….1..gws-wiz-img…….0j0i5i30j0i8i30.UIDsywDxPUs&ved=0ahUKEwiaqOup0eTjAhUS3aQKHcBLD3cQ4dUDCAY&uact=5#imgrc=ZMLJQl26D2j-UM:

VATICAN INSIDER AND A TALE OF INTRIGUE

In a departure from my format of an interview at the end of Vatican Insider each week, this week I prepared a special for VI on the deepening mystery of the Emanuela Orlandi disappearance – a mystery that has stumped a family, Vatican City officials and Italian officials for 36 years, a mystery that deepened with some events this summer. So tune in for that tale!

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: https://www.ewtn.com/radio/audio-archive (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

VATICAN CITY TO IMPLEMENT SYSTEM FOR REPORTING ABUSE

Vatican City State is to implement a system for reporting crimes and cases of negligence regarding the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by the end of the year.
By Vatican News

The Cardinal Vicar of Vatican City State announced Tuesday that “a public, permanent, and easily accessible system for reporting crimes and negligence in the area of child abuse and vulnerable adults” will be put in place by the end of the year.

On the same day, Cardinal Angelo Comastri sent a letter to the heads of all Vatican Dicasteries and associated spiritual assistants.

According to the Osservatore Romano, the missive contained details on the procedure for bringing to light any information and accusations of abuse.

Earlier this year, Pope Francis promulgated new rules for the protection of minors within Vatican territory and the Roman Curia, as well as throughout the universal Church, both of which took effect on 1 June.

Contact Person
The Osservatore Romano reports that the new system will be gradually integrated with existing measures, such as those identified in the Guidelines for the Protection of Minors and Vulnerable Persons for the Vicariate of Vatican City.

The Guidelines created a “Contact Person” for anyone who has “information or suspicions that a minor or vulnerable adult is at risk of abuse or has suffered it in connection with the pastoral activities of the Vicariate, along with any act of negligence on the part of the Authorities.”

Msgr. Robert Oliver, the Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, was appointed as the contact person in June.

POPE FRANCIS PRAYS FOR VICTIMS OF MEDITERRANEAN SHIPWRECK – POPE FRANCIS: THE OUR FATHER IS THE SYNTHESIS OF EVERY PRAYER – BONES FOUND IN TEUTONIC CEMETERY DATE TO END OF 1800s

POPE FRANCIS PRAYS FOR VICTIMS OF MEDITERRANEAN SHIPWRECK

At the Angelus on Sunday, Pope Francis remembered migrants who drowned in a shipwreck earlier this week.
By Christopher Wells (vaticannews)

Pope Francis has once again called on the international community “to act with speed and decisiveness” to address the issue of migration. His appeal came during the Sunday Angelus, when he prayed for victims of a shipwreck in the Mediterranean earlier this week.

Scores of migrants are feared drowned after a boat carrying migrants from Libya sank about 8 km from the coast of Libya on Wednesday. It is believed to be the worst shipwreck on the Mediterranean this year. Authorities said at least 115 are missing, while 134 were rescued. One body was recovered.

According to the UN refugee office, a total of 164 people had already died on the route between Libya and Europe in the first four months of 2019.

In his remarks on Sunday, Pope Francis called for action “to avoid a repetition of such tragedies, and to ensure the security and dignity of all.” He concluded his appeal by asking those present “to pray with me for the victims and for their families… and also, from the heart, to ask: ‘Father, Why?’”

POPE FRANCIS: THE OUR FATHER IS THE SYNTHESIS OF EVERY PRAYER

At the Angelus, Pope Francis reflected on the Our Father, “one of the most precious gifts” Jesus has left us.
By Christopher Wells (vaticannews)

In his reflection on Sunday’s Gospel, Pope Francis said that the disciples wanted “to experience the same ‘quality’” of prayer was present in Jesus’ relationship with the Father. “They could see that prayer was an essential dimension in the life of their Master,” he said, noting that, “each of His important actions was characterized by extended periods of prayer.” They recognized, too, that Jesus “did not pray like the other masters of the time,” rather, “His prayer is an intimate link with the Father.”

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, the Pope said, the Lord did not simply “give an abstract definition of prayer, or teach an effective technique for praying in order to ‘obtain’ something.” Instead, Jesus shared with them His own experience of prayer, “putting them directly in contact with the Father, and arousing in them a longing for a personal relationship with Him.”

This, Pope Francis said, “is the novelty of Christian prayer: It is a dialogue between people who love one another, a dialogue based on trust, sustained by listening, and open to the commitment to solidarity.”

The prayer Jesus taught them, the Our Father, “is one of the most precious gifts left to us by the divine Master during His earthly mission,” the Pope said. With this prayer, Jesus teaches us “to enter into the Fatherhood of God, and shows us the way to enter into prayerful and direct dialogue with Him, through the way of filial trust.” The Our Father, he said, “is the synthesis of every prayer, and we always address it to the Father in communion with our brothers and sisters.”

BONES FOUND IN TEUTONIC CEMETERY DATE TO END OF 1800s

The Vatican released communications on Sunday, July 28, on the work done over the weekend in Vatican City’s Teutonic cemetery to analyze bone fragments found in two ossuaries to see if any bones or fragments belong to Manuela Orlando, the daughter of an Italian employee and citizen who disappeared on June 22, 1983, never returning home after a music lesson.

The Vatican has been examining graves and ossuaries since July 11, following an anonymous letter that arrived at the Orlandi home in the summer of 2018 that suggested Manuela’s remains could be found in the Teutonic cemetery where there was an angel and the words “requiescat in pace (rest in peace).”

Workers survey bones taken from an ossuary at the Teutonic cemetery in this image released by the Vatican July 27, 2019. The bones were inspected in the hope of finding the missing remains of a German princess and duchess and possibly the remains of Emanuela Orlandi, who disappeared in 1983. The Vatican announced that none of the bones postdate the 1800s. (CNS photo/Vatican Media) See VATICAN-BONES-ORLANDI July 29, 2019. 

Sunday’s Vatican statement said, “At 9.15 am this morning, as indicated yesterday, the morphological analysis of the findings discovered in the ossuaries in the Teutonic cemetery was resumed, as part of the investigative tasks of the Orlandi case. Present were Prof. Arcudi and his staff, the staff of the Fabbrica di San Pietro and the COS, the Operative Security Center of the Vatican Gendarmerie, the Promoter of Justice of Vatican City State Court, Prof. Gian Piero Milano, and his deputy, Prof. Alessandro Diddi, the lawyer and expert appointed by the Orlandi family and the officer in charge of the Judicial Police of the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps.

“At 12.30 the work in the cemetery was concluded. as part of the investigative tasks of the Orlandi case. Professor Giovanni Arcudi, assisted by his staff – in the presence of a trusted expert appointed by the Orlandi Family – completed the morphological analysis of the contents of the ossuaries (several hundred partially intact bone structures and thousands of fragments). During the forensic anthropological investigations, Prof. Arcudi did not find any bone structures that date back to a later period than the end of 1800.

“The consultant (for the family) requested a laboratory check on about seventy bone findings; Prof. Arcudi and his team did not endorse the request because the same bony structures have very ancient dating characteristics. For these reasons, the samples were collected and kept at the Gendarmerie Command available to the Promoter of Justice.

“In communicating these operations, the Holy See confirms its desire to seek the truth of the story of the disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi and categorically denies that this attitude of full cooperation and transparency can in any way mean, as some people sometimes say, an implicit admission of responsibility.

“The search for truth is in the interest of the Holy See and the Orlandi family. The transparent will of the Holy See has already emerged, in addition to the investigations and examinations in progress at the Teutonico cemetery as in those carried out by Italian authorities following a report by the Vatican gendarmerie, at the headquarters of Villa Giorgina, the nunciature in Italy. A request for dismissal by the Public Prosecutor’s Office at the Court of Rome was communicated on 3 July.

“As to Villa Giorgina: bones found there July 25, 2018, were ascertained by Italian authorities to date back to a period between 90 and 230 AD. This belies any connection with the painful disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi.”

CARDINAL DELIVERS PAPAL LETTER TO PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD OF SYRIA – CARDINAL PAROLIN: “POPE ASKING ASSAD FOR CONCRETE INITIATIVES ON BEHALF OF SYRIAN POPULATION” – POPE: 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF MOON LANDING “INSPIRATION FOR COMMON GOOD” – WORK STARTS ON BONE OSSUAIRIES FOUND IN TEUTONIC CEMETERY

A statement this morning from Matteo Bruni notes this is his first day as the new director of the Holy See Press Office: “Today I begin my appointment as director of the Holy See Press Office after serving there for ten years in a spirit of service to the Pope and the Holy See with the experience and strength at my disposal. I thank my colleague and friend Alessandro Gisotti for having generously and expertly led the press office in recent months. I am aware of the delicate and decisive task of information and I am sure I will find support in my colleagues, whose value and professionalism in these intense years of work for the Holy See I have come to know. I thank the Holy Father for his confidence and the prefect of the Communication Department, Paolo Ruffini, for the support of the dicastery, which I know will not be lacking.

CARDINAL DELIVERS PAPAL LETTER TO PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD OF SYRIA

Statement by Holy See Press Office Director Matteo Bruni on Monday, July 22: “This morning in Damascus, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, prefect of the Dicastery for Integral Human Development, accompanied by Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria, and by the undersecretary of the aforementioned Dicastery, Fr. Nicola Riccardi, met with President Bashar Hafez al-Assad. During the meeting, the Cardinal prefect presented to the head of State a letter addressed to him by the Holy Father, which expresses the profound concern of His Holiness Pope Francis for the humanitarian situation in Syria, with particular reference to the dramatic conditions of the civil population in Idlib.”

CARDINAL PAROLIN: “POPE ASKING ASSAD FOR CONCRETE INITIATIVES ON BEHALF OF SYRIAN POPULATION”

Acts of war and bombardments against defenseless civilians continue to occur in Syria. With dozens of health facilities destroyed or closed in Idlib Province, Pope Francis asks Cardinal Turkson to deliver a letter to the Syrian President.
By Andrea Tornielli

Protection of civilian life, an end to the humanitarian catastrophe in Idlib Province, concrete initiatives for a safe return of displaced persons, the release of detainees and access for families to information regarding their loved ones, and humane conditions for political prisoners. All this and a renewed appeal for a resumption of dialogue and negotiations with the involvement of the international community.

These are the concerns and concrete requests contained in a letter that Pope Francis addressed to Syrian President Bashar Hafez al-Assad. The Pope’s letter, dated 28 June 2019, was delivered only hours ago by Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.

The Cardinal, bearing the missive written in English, was accompanied by Fr. Nicola Riccardi, O.F.M., Undersecretary of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, and by Cardinal Mario Zenari, the Apostolic Nuncio to Syria.

Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, the Pope’s primary collaborator, spoke to Vatican News about the content and purpose of the letter.

Q: Your Eminence, why did the Pope decide to write to President Assad?
Cardinal Parolin: “At the heart of this new initiative lies Pope Francis’ and the Holy See’s concern for the emergency humanitarian situation in Syria, in particular in Idlib Province. More than 3 million people live in the area, of which 1.3 million are internally displaced, forced by the long conflict in Syria to find refuge in the area, which last year was declared demilitarized. The recent military offensive has added to the already extreme living conditions they had to endure in the camps, forcing many of them to flee. The Pope follows with apprehension and great sorrow the tragic fate of the civilian population, children in particular, caught up in the bloody fighting. Unfortunately, the war grinds on – it has not ended: the bombings continue, various health facilities have been destroyed in that area, while many others have had to suspend their activities, either completely or partially.”

Q: What is the Pope asking of President Assad in the letter that was delivered?
A: “Pope Francis renews his appeal for the protection of civilian life and the preservation of the main infrastructures, such as schools, hospitals, and health facilities. What is happening is intolerable and inhuman. The Holy Father asks the President to do everything possible to put an end to this humanitarian catastrophe, in order to protect the defenseless population, especially those who are most vulnerable, in respect for international humanitarian law”.

Q: From what you have said, it seems that the intent of the papal initiative is not “political”. Is that true?
A: “Yes, it is. As I have already explained, the concern is humanitarian-based. The Pope continues to pray that Syria may regain a climate of fraternity after these long years of war, and that reconciliation may prevail over division and hatred. In his letter, the Holy Father uses the word ‘reconciliation’ three times: this is his objective, for the good of that country and its defenseless population. The Pope encourages President Bashar al-Assad to carry out significant gestures in this urgent process of reconciliation, and he offers concrete examples. He cites, for example, creating the conditions needed for the safe return of exiles and internally displaced persons, and for all those who wish to return to the country after having been forced to leave. He also mentions the release of prisoners and the access of families to information about their loved ones.”

Q: Another dramatic issue is that of political prisoners. Does the Pope mention this topic?
A: “Yes, Pope Francis is particularly concerned about the situation of political prisoners, to whom – he affirms –humane conditions cannot be denied. In March 2018, the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic published a report on this issue, saying there are tens of thousands of people who have been arbitrarily detained. At times – in unofficial prisons and in unknown places – they are allegedly subjected to various forms of torture without any legal assistance or contact with their families. The report notes that, unfortunately, many of them die in prison, while others are summarily executed.”

Q: What then is the purpose of this new initiative by Francis?
A: “The Holy See has always insisted on the need to seek an appropriate political solution to end the conflict, overcoming partisan interests. And this must be done using the instruments of diplomacy, dialogue, and negotiation, along with the assistance of the international community. We have had to learn once again that war generates war and violence incites violence – as the Pope has said many times, and as he repeats also in this letter. Unfortunately, we are concerned about the stalemate in the negotiation process – especially that seen in Geneva – for a political solution to the crisis. That is why, in the letter sent to President Assad, the Holy Father encourages him to show good will and to work towards finding viable solutions, putting an end to a conflict which has lasted far too long and which has led to the loss of numerous innocent lives”.

POPE: 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF MOON LANDING “INSPIRATION FOR COMMON GOOD”

Pope Francis Sunday at the Angelus recalled the first time a person set foot on the moon, expressing hope that achieving this goal might inspire work toward even greater ones.

By Francesca Merlo (vaticannews)

“Fifty years ago, yesterday”, Pope Francis said on Sunday, “Man set foot on the moon, achieving an extraordinary dream.”

Addressing the crowd gathered in St Peter’s Square, the Pope expressed his hope that the memory of “that great step for humanity” might spark the desire to reach even “greater goals – more dignity for the weak, more justice among peoples, and more future for our common home.”

Pope St. Paul VI, who expressed much interest in space travel and spent lots of time at the Vatican Observatory, was Pope on July 20, 1969. On that night, along with millions worldwide he watched Neil Armstrong become the first man to set foot on the moon.

Fifty years later, Pope Francis has dedicated much of his pontificate to the fight for the rights of those who are most vulnerable in today’s society as well as for the care of our common home.

Francis has expressed, on numerous occasions, in both words and actions, his desire to help those in need: migrants, the poor, the ill, the elderly and our planet – our common home.

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the historic moon landing, therefore, Pope Francis shared his hopes for the future and that people worldwide might be inspired by this historic achievement to pursue these fights, and to reach, as mankind did 50 years ago, other extraordinary dreams.

WORK STARTS ON BONE OSSUAIRIES FOUND IN TEUTONIC CEMETERY

Two statements were sent out on Saturday, July 20, by Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Holy See Press Office regarding the recent discovery of bones in the Teutonic College, adjacent to the Teutonic cemetery in Vatican City:

Gisotti began: “At 9am this morning, operations began regularly at the Teutonic cemetery as part of the investigative tasks of the Orlandi case. As indicated in the decree of the Promoter of Justice of Vatican City State, the operations concern two ossuaries identified in an area adjacent to the tombs of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe and Princess Carlotta Federica of Mecklenburg.

“The remains were analyzed and studied on site in these hours by Prof. Giovanni Arcudi and his staff in the presence of the trusted expert appointed by the Orlandi family – according to internationally recognized protocols.

“It is not possible to predict, at the moment, the duration of the work to complete the morphological analysis of the remains found in the ossuaries.

“Today, in addition to Prof. Arcudi and his staff, the staff of the Fabbrica di San Pietro are working in the Teutonic Campo Santo for the opening and closing of the ossuaries and the staff of the COS, the Vatican Gendarme Security Operations Center. Present the Promoter of Justice of the Court of the State of the Vatican City, Prof. Gian Piero Milano, and his Deputy Prof. Alessandro Diddi, the lawyer of the Orlandi Family and the Officer in charge of the services of the judicial police of the Corps of the Gendarmerie.

“With this new forensic activity – after the operations of July 11 – the availability of the Holy See to the Orlandi Family is highlighted once again. An availability shown from the outset to accepting the (family) requests for verification (of possible remains) in the Teutonic cemetery, even on the basis of a mere anonymous report.

The second statement this afternoon noted that, “At 3 pm, work in the Teutonic cemetery was concluded as part of the investigative tasks of the Orlandi case. Prof. Giovanni Arcudi and his staff – in the presence of the trusted expert appointed by the Orlandi Family – brought to light the remains present in the ossuaries, which were subjected to an initial evaluation.
“According to the Office of the Promoter of Justice of the Vatican City State Court, the expert operations will continue on Saturday July 27, at 9 am, with an in-depth morphological analysis of the remains contained in the ossuaries.”

TWO OSSUARIES FOUND UNDER PAVEMENT IN TEUTONIC COLLEGE

TWO OSSUARIES FOUND UNDER PAVEMENT IN TEUTONIC COLLEGE

Saturday, July 12, 2019: From interim Holy See Press Office Director Alessandro Gisotti

Following the preliminary investigations started on July 11 at the Campo Santo Teutonico, (Teutonic cemetery) investigations were carried out – both announced and documentary in nature – which showed that – as shown in the Pontifical Teutonic College records – in the 1960s and 1970s, work to enlarge the College were carried out. At that time the work involved the entire cemetery area and the building of the Teutonic College.

Since it was therefore possible that the remains of the two Princesses* had been moved to another suitable place in the Campo Santo, the consequent verifications have been carried out with skilled workers to ascertain the situation of the rooms adjacent to the tombs. These inspections led to the identification of two ossuaries placed under the pavement of an area inside the Pontifical Teutonic College, closed by a trap door. These ossuaries were immediately sealed for subsequent examination and detection of the bone materials lying therein, always within the framework and with the methods required by the preliminary activities.

The Office of the Promoter of Justice of the Tribunal of the State of the Vatican City, in the person of the Promoter Prof. Gian Piero Milano and his Deputy Prof. Alessandro Diddi, has therefore arranged, with a special provision, that these operations take place in the presence of the experts of the Office and those appointed by the Orlandi Family, as well as the specialized personnel of the Gendarmerie Corps and the same workers already employed. The resumption of the survey activities was set for Saturday, July 20, at 9.00.

* “Two Princesses” refers to Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe and Princess Carlotta Federica of Mecklemburg whose tombs in the Teutonic cemetery were opened July 11 and no remains or bones or funerary urns were found.

VATICAN INSIDER, CHARISMATICS AND CHARIS – EMANUELA ORLANDI: HOLY SEE’S DESIRE FOR CLARITY

VATICAN INSIDER, CHARISMATICS AND CHARIS

Join me on Vatican Insider this weekend for Part II of my conversation with Tammie Stevens of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal as we talk about the newly inaugurated CHARIS – Catholic Charismatic Renewal International Service – an institution willed by Pope Francis and linked to the Vatican. Who are Charismatics? What is a charism? What is the role of the Holy Spirit in this movement. Tammie helps us clear up some misconceptions about Charismatics. She just finished a period of work in Rome for the movement and talks about that as well.

IN THE UNITED STATES, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (stations listed at http://www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio, or on http://www.ewtn.com. OUTSIDE THE U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” VI airs at 5am and 9pm ET on Saturdays and 6am ET on Sundays. On the GB-IE feed (which is on SKY in the UK and Ireland), VI airs at 5:30am, 12 noon and 10pm CET on Sundays. Both of these feeds are also available on the EWTN app and on http://www.ewtnradio.net ALWAYS CHECK YOUR OWN TIME ZONE! For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/multimedia/audio-library/index.asp (write Vatican Insider where it says Search Shows and Episodes)

EMANUELA ORLANDI: HOLY SEE’S DESIRE FOR CLARITY

The investigation at the Teutonic Cemetery inside the Vatican shows the Holy See’s closeness to the Orlandi family
Andrea Tornielli – Vatican City

On the morning of Thursday, July 11, all those present at the opening of the two tombs in the Teutonic Cemetery inside the Vatican were surprised to discover they were empty. There were no human remains, no traces of coffins or urns.

As is known, the Vatican judiciary agreed to carry out this investigation upon the wishes of the family of Emanuela Orlandi, the fifteen-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee who mysteriously disappeared in the centre of Rome in June 1983: an anonymous tip had in fact indicated one of the old tombs of that cemetery as a possible burial place for the remains of the young woman. Two tombs were opened because the Promoter of Justice of Vatican City State, Gian Piero Milano, wanted to verify that that adjacent one, also adorned by an angelic image, contained no remains that could be attributed to the missing girl.

The decision to open both tombs, in the presence of an expert appointed by Emanuela’s family, working according to the most advanced technical standards, is a sign of particular attention and human and Christian closeness to the Orlandi family. It is certainly not – as has been said – an admission by the Vatican of a possible involvement in the concealment of a corpse.

Research has shown that in the said tomb and in the adjacent one, there were no remains of Emanuela. Therefore, the investigation had a foreseeable negative outcome. As was revealed, under the two tombs inscribed with the names of two princesses who both died in the nineteenth century, no remains of human skeletons were found, but only a large empty underground space, presumably closed in the 1960s, without tombstones, inscriptions or other burials.

The fact that the two tombs were devoid of remains has triggered new questions about the resting place of the two noblewomen who died two centuries ago. However, the attempt to shift the focus, aiming to involve the Holy See as regards the whereabouts of those remains is absolutely misleading. The investigation wasn’t about the two princesses. It was to find the remains of a 15-year-old girl who died in 1983. It is therefore worth repeating, first of all, that the investigative hypothesis taken into consideration by the magistrate concerned the possible discovery of the remains of Emanuela Orlandi. And no trace of these remains was found.

Having said this, the Vatican’s judiciary decided to continue its investigation into documents regarding the architectural works carried out in the cemetery area which took place in two phases, the last of which was in the mid-1960s with the construction of the new building of the Teutonic College. The tombs of the two princesses are right next to the supporting wall of this building, and therefore it is probable that during the digging of the foundations the remains may have been moved elsewhere. Possibly, further investigations will be carried out on this front as well.

The accuracy of the investigations and technical surveys, the decision to have DNA tests done on the eventual remains, the technical expertise with which the operations were carried out under the guidance of the Promoter of Justice and the coordination of the Vatican’s Gendarmerie Corps led by Domenico Giani, clearly demonstrate the will of the Holy See to take the family’s request seriously. This desire was implemented despite the fact that the request stemmed from an anonymous tip, and it has been impossible for the Vatican judiciary to verify its reliability.

VINCENT LAMBERT, A MARTYR, VICTIM OF MEN’S MADNESS – NO REMAINS FOUND IN VATICAN CEMETERY TOMBS – EMANUELA ORLANDI: THE 36- YEAR- OLD MYSTERY CONTINUES

VINCENT LAMBERT, A MARTYR, VICTIM OF MEN’S MADNESS

The Vatican this morning released a statement on the death in France of Vincent Lambert: “We received the news of Vincent Lambert’s death with pain. We pray that the Lord will welcome him into His house and we express closeness to his loved ones and to those who, up to the end, committed themselves to assist him with love and dedication. Let us remember and reiterate what the Holy Father said when he spoke of this painful affair: ‘God is the only master of life from the beginning to the natural end and it is our duty to remember this always and not to give in to the throwaway culture’.”

Vincent Lambert became a quadriplegic after a motorbike accident 11 years ago and has been in a persistent vegetative state since then. Symbolizing the right to life debate in France – and for some, the right to die – Lambert’s feeding tubes were removed by doctors against the wishes of family.

Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments, tweeted today: En ce triste jour, je prie pour le repos éternel de l’âme de Vincent Lambert, mort en martyr, victime de la folie effrayante des hommes de notre temps. Je prie pour sa famille et en particulier pour ses parents, si courageux, si dignes. N’ayons pas peur. Dieu veille. +RS (On this sad day, I pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Vincent Lambert, who died as a martyr, a victim of the frightful madness of the men of our time. I pray for his family and especially for his parents, so brave, so worthy. Do not be afraid. God watches. RS +) https://twitter.com/Card_R_Sarah

A tweet from the Pontifical Academy for Life in both French and Italian: Monsignor Paglia and all the @PontAcadLife pray for the family of #VincentLambert, for the doctors, for all the people involved in this affair. The death of #VincentLambert and his story are a defeat for our humanity. https://twitter.com/PontAcadLife

NO REMAINS FOUND IN VATICAN CEMETERY TOMBS

Holy See Press Office interim director Alessandri Gisotti issued the following statement at noon today:

“The operations at the Campo Santo Teutonico were concluded at 11.15 am within the scope of the investigative tasks of the Orlandi case. Results of the research were negative: no human remains or funerary urns were found. The careful inspection of the tomb of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe has unearthed a large underground compartment of about 4 meters by 3.70, completely empty. Subsequently the opening operations of the second tomb-sarcophagus took place, that of Princess Carlotta Federica di Mecklemburgo. Inside it, no human remains have been found. The family members of the two Princesses were informed of the results of the research.

“The staff of the Fabbrica di San Pietro, professor Giovanni Arcudi and his staff, in the presence of a trusted expert appointed by the lawyer of the family of Emanuela Orlandi, collaborated with the investigations. The Orlandi family’s lawyer, Laura Sgrò, and Emanuela’s brother, Pietro Orlandi, were present. The Promoter of Justice of the Tribunal of the Vatican City State, Gian Piero Milano, and his Assistant Alessandro Diddi, together with the Commander of the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps, Domenico Giani, followed all phases of the operation.

“For further details, documentary checks are underway concerning the structural interventions that have taken place in the area of the Campo Santo Teutonico, in a first phase at the end of the nineteenth century, and in a second more recent phase between the 1960s and 1970s.

“At the end of the work, we would like to reiterate that the Holy See has always shown attention and closeness to the suffering of the Orlandi Family and in particular to Emanuela’s mother. Attention demonstrated also in this occasion in accepting the specific request of the family to check the Campo Santo Teutonico (for alleged remains).”

Earlier this morning he had released the following statement:

“At 8.15 am this morning, after a prayer led by the Rector of the Teutonic College in front of the two sepulchres, regular operations began at the Campo Santo Teutonico (Teutonic cemetery) as part of the investigative aspects of the Orlandi case. At the moment, it is not possible to predict how much time will be needed for completing such operations that involve about fifteen people.

“In particular, the staff of the Fabbrica di San Pietro is operating for the opening and closing of the tombs, while overseeing the discovery will be done by Prof. Giovanni Arcudi and his staff, in the presence of a trusted expert appointed by the lawyer of the Orlandi family. Present were the Promoter of Justice of the Tribunal of the Vatican City State, Prof. Gian Piero Milano, his Deputy, Prof. Alessandro Diddi, and the Commander of the Vatican Gendarmerie Corps, Domenico Giani.

”As indicated in the decree of the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice, the operations concern the “Tomb of the Angel” of Princess Sophie von Hohenlohe and the adjacent tomb of Princess Carlotta Federica di Mecklemburgo. Although the grave indicated by the lawyer of the Orlandi Family is, in fact, that with the Angel who holds in his hands an open book with the inscription “Requiescat in pace”, the Promoter of Justice, in order to avoid possible misunderstandings about what the indicated grave could be, ordered the opening of both tombs as they are neighboring tombs and both with similar niches.

”For procedural reasons and in accordance with the secrecy of the investigation, the identity of the relatives of the two buried princesses will not be disclosed; obviously these are descendants who have been informed of the operations and who, for the sake of the truth, have guaranteed their complete availability and collaboration with the Holy See and in particular with the Office of the Promoter of Justice.

EMANUELA ORLANDI: THE 36- YEAR- OLD MYSTERY CONTINUES

Since the July 2 announcement by the Vatican that two tombs would be opened on July 11 in its Teutonic Cemetery to ascertain whether or not the remains of Emanuela Orlandi were in one of the tombs, the Vatican has been providing news and background stories, including an interview with the forensic anthropologist commissioned by the Vatican judiciary to examine findings and take samples for DNA testing following the opening of two tombs in the Vatican on Thursday.

Emanuela Orlandi was the daughter of a Vatican employee who vanished mysteriously 36 years ago on her way to a music lesson.

Now we know that today’s findings will not give closure to the many people involved – those workers assembled to open the tombs, the lawyers of the Orlandi family and the families or descendants of the people whose names were on the grave headstones opened today, members of the Orlandi family, Vatican security personnel, witnesses, etc.

The announcement on July 2 of the opening of the tombs said the decision to do so was part of one of the files opened following a request by the family of Emanuela Orlandi who, in recent months, had reported the possible concealment of her body in the small cemetery located within the territory of the Vatican State.

That press office announcement also stated: “The decision comes after a phase of investigations during which the Office of the Promoter – with the help of the Gendarmerie Corps – carried out investigations aimed at reconstructing the main judicial stages of this long and painful and complex case. It should be remembered that for legal reasons the Vatican investigating authority has no jurisdiction to investigate Emanuela Orlandi’s disappearance in Italy; investigations which, moreover, have been conducted by Italian investigators – from the earliest stages – with scrupulosity and professional rigor. Therefore, the Vatican initiative concerns only the ascertainment of the possible burial of the body of Emanuela Orlandi in the territory of the Vatican State.”

Whatever else can be done to discover what happened to Emanuela Orlandi after more than three decades of various leads have been exhausted is now in the hands of Italian authorities and possibly any police and investigative authorities in other countries with whom Italian officials have been in touch.

THE VATICAN’S TEUTONIC CEMETERY, A HISTORY

THE VATICAN’S TEUTONIC CEMETERY, A HISTORY

The small but very beautiful Teutonic Cemetery is in Vatican City between St. Peter’s Basilica and the Paul VI Audience Hall. Vatican City State’s website tells us, “it is the oldest German establishment in Rome. The entire area is surrounded by a high wall but even a rushed visitor will quickly be drawn by the charm of this plot of land so rich in history. In ancient Roman times Nero’s circus was found here and it was the site where many Christians were martyred. The cemetery was founded around 799, when Pope Leo IV presented the land to Charlemagne for a school.”

It is beautiful and peaceful and well kept – almost charming, if one can say that of a cemetery. …the beautiful headstones, mosaic stations of the cross, the plants and trees and flowers.

The Holy Year 1450 brought many pilgrims to Rome. The cemetery and the church were in terrible shape at the time, but both were soon rebuilt. In 1454 the German members of the Curia formed a special Confraternity that still exists today and is now called the “Archconfraternity of Our Lady.”

Over the years institutes of study were built and two chapels were attached to the cemetery, one of which would serve as the burial place for Swiss Guards who died in 1870 defending Rome against the forces of the new Kingdom of Italy.

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Being a member of this Confraternity is said to be essential if one wishes to be buried in the Teutonic Cemetery. You also have to prove German ancestry, going back as far in time as possible. According to the statutes, those who have a right to be buried here include members of the Archconfraternity, members of many religious houses of German origin and members of the two German colleges in Rome (the Anima and the Germanico).

In 1876 a residence was built for priests studying Christian archaeology, church history and other similar fields.

On the outer wall you can see a ceramic plaque naming Charlemagne the Emperor as the founder of this cemetery. And the inscription CAROLUS MAGNUS ME FUNDAVIT – CHARLEMAGNE FOUNDED ME!

Seems that when the emperor came to Rome, the Pope made him a gift of this land so he could build a residence and set up a Schola Francorum, a hospice for pilgrims from Franconia who were starting to pour into Rome. Some of the pilgrims arrived after their long and arduous journey so tired and worn out after their trials and dangers of the trip over the Alps that they died in Rome, asking before they died to be buried close to the goal of their pilgrimage, that is, the tomb of St. Peter.

The words on the Gates: Teutones in pace – Germans in peace!

To walk through this beautiful and peaceful place and to read the headstones is to read a history book, and perhaps even a book of spirituality. One special grave is that of Jesuit Father Engelbert Kirschbaum, an archaeologist and key person in the discovery of Peter’s tomb. He died in 1970.

Legend has it that Helena, the mother of Emperor Constantine, had earth from the Holy Land, from Golgotha, spread over this land to symbolically unite the blood of Christ with that of the Roman Martyrs.