Italy: Mafia turncoat asks to 'confess secrets' to Pope

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Missing person poster of Emanuela OrlandiImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Schoolgirl Emanuela Orlandi went missing in Rome in June 1983

A former mafia mobster has written to the Pope asking to confess three "very important secrets", including details about one of Italy's most famous missing persons cases, it's been reported.

In a six-page letter, Vincenzo Calcara says he is "convinced" his confessions "can change the course of certain events", according to La Repubblica newspaper. Calcara was a member of Sicily's Cosa Nostra, before becoming a so-called "pentito", or police collaborator.

Now he wants to meet Pope Francis one-to-one, apparently to divulge information relating to the disappearance of 15-year-old schoolgirl Emanuela Orlandi, the daughter of a Vatican employee, who went missing in Rome in 1983, Il Messaggero newspaper reports.

"The truth on this incident has been kept hidden for years," Calcara writes. "Because to reveal it would be like opening a box and bringing to light truths so weighty as to throw into crisis a system that links the Vatican with other deviant entities."

At meeting with mafia victims' families in March, Pope Francis warned mafia operatives they would "end up in hell" unless they choose to repent. The speech is considered one of the Vatican's strongest attacks on Italy's organised crime networks.

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