Skip to comments.Portuguese priest 'ruined' by McCanns
Posted on 12/12/2007 4:22:41 PM PST by BlackVeil
The Portugese priest who gave solace to the McCann family after the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine has stripped his church of all traces of the girl, with friends saying the experience has left him ruined.
The Express reports seven months after the tragedy, Fr Jose Manuel Pacheco ordered the removal of scores of green and yellow ribbons which were put up as a symbol of hope in the days after Madeleine vanished.
Posters and photographs of Madeleine which plastered the village of Praia da Luz have also been removed.
Friends of Fr Pacheco who came under police scrutiny after he gave the keys to his church to Gerry and Kate McCann to allow them to pray round the clock say they fear for his health and that his life is now ruined.
Fr Pacheco was questioned twice by detectives, and the church and its grounds were searched by police.
Investigators became convinced Kate had confessed to him but Fr Pacheco insisted he would stand by his priestly vow.
A close friend of Fr Pacheco said the priest becomes irate at the mention of the Madeleine case and that even close friends must tread carefully when broaching the subject.
He says that it is an extremely unpleasant situation and that the McCann family only ever brought him problems. He told one friend they ruined his life, the friend said.
He just wants to get on with his peaceful life before the McCann whirlwind raped his world. This has all been a very bad experience for him."
Another friend described Fr Pacheco as a nervous wreck and that he was hiding secrets that are destroying him.
There has been no comment from Fr Pacheco.
Well, he’s right that the seal of the confessional is inviolate. As for the rest of it, he probably thought he was helping a family in need, parents who had lost a daughter.
If, as seems likely, they are guilty of killing her, the police need to find other ways to prove it. Even if the priest broke his vows, that would still only be hearsay.
Was it the family or the media? My guess is the media.
Priests are not allowed to reveal secrets of the confessional. But he would certainly have counseled them on what to do, had they confessed honestly to him (which I doubt that they did).
I think he was a simple village priest and they took advantage of him. Did they kill their daughter? I don’t know, but they were real publicity hounds, and I think they definitely exploited this priest.
I don’t believe he can even comment on what was NOT confessed or any communications within the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so he is probably truly over his head with the public attention.
True - and so much so, that a priest is not allowed to say whether or not he has heard a person's confession - much less what it may contain.
So this priest is the focus of many rumours, and can't even clariffy his position. It must be very stressful, and I hope things improve for him soon.
Sure, he’s not supposed to tell, but if telling the authorities the location of little Madeline’s body so she could have a decent burial would be the right thing to do.
How many times in the past has he handed over the keys to the church?
I don't think my pastor would do that for me, nor would I ask him.
Our church used to be open 24 hrs a day for prayer, until street people started using it as a dormitory and bathroom, putting out cigarettes on the floor and vomiting in the sanctuary. Now it is locked except from 9 to 5.
Police were no help.
If he really thought they were praying, this would be a generous and normal thing for a Portuguese or Spanish priest to do. The McCanns are educated (and, I suspect, somewhat cynical) Brits. This guy was a simple village priest who was probably very sincere and thought they were, too. Big mistake.
You’re assuming they confessed to him honestly. If they killed their daughter and are hiding it, I would doubt that they confessed honestly. A priest can only absolve an honestly confessed sin; God (working through the priest) cannot absolve something that someone has either intentionally not confessed or lied about.
If they had confessed honestly and had had something to do with the child’s disappearance, the priest would have told them as a condition of their penance that they would have to go to the authorities and confess and reveal what they knew. If they were serious Catholics, they would have done it. But the whole question is why they went to this priest in the first place. Was he part of their “proclamation of innocence”? If he was, I don’t blame him for feeling used and destroyed. Maybe they are innocent, maybe not. But they have used and abused many folks in Portugal in one way or another during this whole affair.
***Sure, hes not supposed to tell, but if telling the authorities the location of little Madelines body so she could have a decent burial would be the right thing to do.***
The confidentiality of the confession is somewhat difficult to understand, but think of this: If a priest were to break his vow of silence in ANY way, no one would feel safe in going to confession. And that means the police would not have any reason to question the priest. So no one would be any further ahead.
I’m praying for this priest. May God give him comfort.
No good deed goes unpunished.
If they confessed to killing her, then surely their penance would include some form of taking responsibility for her death. Without completing their penance, their confession would be incomplete, and they would not receive absolution. I don’t see why they would confess something like this if they did not intend to tell the police as well.
Exactly. And any physical evidence obtained from a lead available only through the confessional would be deemed inadmissable, at least in the US.
I suspect they didn't confess, but probably didn't need to--any more than I need to have the priest tell me in words what he suspects. Taking down all the ribbons and all trace of the search for the little girl says it.
Yeah, these people are obviously just a guilty as the Duke lacrosse team!!! I say we hang them now and save having a trial, evidence, or any of that liberal crap!
likely? on what evidence? if they did, why would they confess to him? They are British so probably not even Catholic. I suspect these reports, like everything to do with this case, are greatly exaggerated and sensationalized. The priest is likely just fine except for being sick and tired of the publicity, and doesn’t know any more than anyone else who is responsible.
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