Ex-Mobster: I Have Secrets to Confess to the Pope

Vincenzo Calcara wants to meet with Pope Francis
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2014 8:29 AM CDT
Ex-Mobster: I Have Secrets to Confess to the Pope
Pope Francis smiles as he waves to faithful at the end of his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, June 11, 2014.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

In what could be one of history's more intriguing cases of a Catholic confessing his sins, a former mobster has asked for a meeting with Pope Francis so he can confess three "very important secrets." Vincenzo Calcara, described by the BBC as a "mafia turncoat" who was a member of Sicily's Cosa Nostra before becoming a police informant, wrote a six-page letter to the pope claiming that what he has to say "can change the course of certain events," according to local media. (This after Pope Francis in March warned mobsters to repent or "end up in hell.") Specifically, he implies he has information about the 1983 disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee.

Calcara wrote that what happened has been kept secret "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." It's not Calcara's first run-in with the church: Years ago, he claimed that Ali Agca, who attempted to assassinate Pope John Paul II in a St. Peter's Square shooting in 1991, was a hitman hired by the mafia, according to the Catholic Herald. And in 1994, the AP reported Calcara claimed that a US archbishop who once ran the Vatican bank had helped mobsters launder $6.5 million through the bank. That allegation was denied by the cardinal who ran the Vatican bank at the time. (Read more on Emanuela's case.)

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