Looking down over Piazza San Pietro in Vatican City. (Photo: Banauke via Shutterstock)

The disclosure this week of a five-page, typewritten document that was stolen from an armored cabinet inside the Vatican has revived the mystery surrounding a 15-year-old who vanished in 1983.

The fate of the teenager, Emanuela Orlandi, has been the subject of much speculation, and the document — purportedly written by a cardinal — suggests that the Vatican may have been directly involved in her disappearance.

The Vatican called the document fake, and a spokesman, Greg Burke, called the allegations contained in it “false and ridiculous.”

Even the investigative journalist who published the document said it could be a fake, noting that it remains unclear who wrote the document, when or — crucially — why.

But the journalist, Emiliano Fittipaldi, who despite his reservations included the typewritten missive in a book to be published this week, says the mere fact that it had been found in a Vatican office raised “very unsettling questions.” The Italian press has reported widely on the case.

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