Pope Francis rejects insinuation of John Paul II involvement in Emanuela Orlandi case

 VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has strongly denied the “insulting and unfounded” accusations made by Emanuela Orlandi’s brother, Pietro Orlandi, that Pope John Paul II was somehow involved in the Vatican schoolgirl’s disappearance in June 1983. 

 Speaking on the DiMartedì programme on Tuesday evening, Orlandi quoted an underworld figure as claiming that the Polish pontiff may have personally been involved in the abduction of Emanuela.

 Speaking to journalist Giovanni Floris, Pietro Orlandi said, “They tell me that Pope John Paul II sometimes went out in the evening with two Polish Monsignors and they certainly did not go out to bless houses…”

 Following the recent denunciation of these accusations by Cardinal Stanislao Dziwisz, the former personal secretary to John Paul II, the pontiff has branded the statements made by Orlandi as “offensive and unfounded inferences.”

 There was immediate applause, following the pontiff’s remarks, from the presidency of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, who commented that “There can be no half-measures to define the recent attacks on Saint John Paul II.”