Saturday, April 02, 2011

Gangster's Lover, Bishop's Mistress, Part II

Apse of the St. Apollinare Basilica
(translated from, Part II

The case has provoked the imagination of dozens of police, journalists and judges. Ali Agca, the Turkish man who tried to assassinate the pope, has sworn he knows where she (Emanuela Orlandi) is. But only Minardi seems to have given reliable clues. Thanks to her statements, three people are now under investigation for the kidnapping. For the first time in 30 years. The three are old friends of De Pedis.

According to what Minardi has told the prosecutors, the head of the Testaccino gang, that is, Renatino, head of the most dangerous and mysterious branch of the Magliana gang, had a lot to do with the kidnapping of Orlandi. It has been thought for years that the great secret was hidden in Renatino's unbelievable tomb, located in St. Apollinaire Basilica's crypt, the church managed by Opus Dei since 1992, within a stone's throw of Piazza Navona, exactly where Emanuela Orlandi disappeared.

When the faithful objected to such a hallowed location becoming the tomb of a criminal, the one who came out in defense of the clergy was none other than Giulio Andreotti. According to the now 93 year old senator-for-life, "De Pedis may not have been a benefactor to humanity, but he has been a great benefactor to St. Apollinaire".

According to Notariale, Minardi has told the prosecutors that the criminal "holding" the Magliana gang had business with the Mafia, the Camorra, the Masons, secret services, politicians like Andreotti, businessmen, bankers and high church officials.

According to Minardi's statement, despite being on the run, between 1982 and 1984 Renatino dined more than once at Andreotti's home, something the latter has denied (although he usually doesn't do so, on the grounds that denial gives it twice the attention).

To the prosecution and the journalist who interviewed her, Minardi has stated that the gang invested its money in the Institute for Religious Works (IWR), through the Banco Ambrosiano, then run by Roberto Calvi. This fresh and dirty money was used, among other things, by Pope John Paul II to finance the Solidarity Union, of Lech Walesa in Poland, to drive a wedge into the Soviet block, again according to Minardi.

"Once Renato arriving home with a Vuitton bag full of cash", says Minardi in the book. "We made packages, counting a billion Liras (roughly $728,000), and the next day took them to Marcinkus".

According to her reconstruction, De Pedis was angry with the Holy See, because the president of the IWR refused to return the invested money to the mafia. Minardi says that the gangster had a strong friendship with Cardinal Ugo Poletti, president of the Italian Conference of Catholic Bishops, but this relationship did not help him recover his investment. So he looked for some way to blackmail the Vatican. The way to do so was to kidnap Emanuela Orlandi: "they kidnapped her and took her to my parents' home at Torvaianica, near Rome. Renato told me the apartment was needed for one night, it was an emergency, but they ended up keeping her there for a couple of weeks".

"Renato and Sergio (his chauffeur) put her into the car", she continues. "The kidnapped girl was disturbed, confused, she cried, she laughed. Her hair had been cut in an obscene way. "My name is Emanuela", she told me.

(tune in for the final disturbing installment)

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1 comment:

Gary Berg-Cross said...

John Lennon's song Imagine captures some of his movement away from religion. The song has a great deal of meaning for me and is among my favorite secular songs. (I'd be interested in hearing other peopl's candidates for secular songs.)
I used some thoughts from Imagine as a theme in my son's "coming of age" celebration saying that I had tried to raise him in the spirit of that song -where a place where things that people aren't dived by religion, nationalism possessions etc. Where the influence of government, money, greed is controlled. A world where we are all equals living in harmony with nature.
It is world that does not exist it so we have to imagine it for our children.
According to Geoffery Givlian in his book, 'Lennon in America', John Lennon apparently talked about how he softened the song to get a message across. He said:
"Imagine was an anti-religious, anti-nationalistic, anti-conventional, anti-capitalistic song, but because it is sugar coated, it's accepted."
In this approach he reminds me of another realist, skeptical, humanist artist - Mark Twain who also took on religion and the conformity of thought it manufactures. Twain was frustrated in the slavery of human thought to cultural prejudices.