A priest has been dragged into the ongoing investigation into the disappearance of Madeleine McCann. Detectives are expected to put pressure on Fr. Jose Pacheco to break his vow of silence, which is paramount to the sacrament of confession.
According to The Daily Mail, police are to question the priest to see if Kate McCann, 39, confessed to him she had killed her four-year-old daughter. But priests are bound by an oath never to reveal penitents’ confessions.
The police have reportedly already spoken to the Portuguese priest informally about the relationship he developed with the McCanns in the days after their daughter was reported missing.
According to The Daily Mail, Fr. Pacheco met the McCanns the day after Madeleine vanished from their holiday apartment on May 3. The couple subsequently attended daily Mass at his church. Fr. Pacheco even gave them the keys to the tiny chapel so they could pray round the clock.
But when the finger of suspicion was pointed at the McCanns and they left for Britain last week, they did not say goodbye and handed the church keys to an Anglican priest.
The church has become a focal point of the inquiry since sniffer dogs followed a trail there from the apartment where Madeleine vanished.
Officers have asked for permission to search the church. They allege Kate accidentally killed Madeleine with an overdose of sedatives to help her sleep. They claim she and husband Gerry, 39, might have hidden the body close by shortly after she died.
The McCanns strongly deny all the allegations. The new spokesman for the McCann’s, Clarence Mitchell, said he spent nearly a month with the McCanns for up to 14 hours a day when he was representing the Foreign Office over the case. He told reporters that, “[d]uring that time, I saw or heard nothing that gave me cause for concern or any suspicion.”