The parents of Madeleine McCann said yesterday that
their Roman Catholic faith would be "severely tested" if
their daughter was not returned safe and well.
Despite meeting the Pope losing Madeleine
'severely test' the McCann's Roman Catholic
Gerry and Kate McCann have relied heavily on prayer to
help them survive the ordeal of Madeleine's
disappearance which has now moved into a sixth week.
They have visited Portugal's holy shrine at Fatima and met the Pope
But Mr McCann said yesterday the prospect of the
four-year-old not coming home would stretch their
In an interview with The Tablet, a Catholic newspaper,
Mr McCann said: "If we don't get Madeleine back alive
and well, I am sure our faith will be severely tested.
At the end of it, we will still have our faith and we
will also have comfort that Madeleine will be looked
Mrs McCann added: "I have felt guilty asking, 'Will this
make or break my faith?' You could argue that what
happened in the first place could make or break your
faith and it hasn't. It's done the opposite. It has
given us hope and strength."
Mr McCann also told of an "extraordinary experience"
inside the church in Praia da Luz within days of
Madeleine's disappearance which inspired him to launch
the global campaign to find his daughter.
He said: "I had this mental image of being in a tunnel
and instead of the light at
the end of the tunnel being extremely narrow and a
distant spot, the light opened up and the tunnel got
wider and wider and went in many different directions.
"I can't say it was a vision because I am not clear what
a vision is but I had a mental image and it certainly
helped me decide. I became a man possessed that night.
The next day I was up at dawn, making phone calls."
Yesterday police ruled out claims that Madeleine was
buried in scrubland nine miles from where she was
A letter and two maps had been sent to the Dutch
newspaper De Telegraaf claiming to pinpoint the area
where the child was buried "under branches and rocks".
Yesterday around 30 beat officers and four sniffer dogs
moved into the hamlet of Canafechal, near Odiaxere, in
Portugal. They were
accompanied by 20 detectives from the Judicial Police.
The search was called off shortly after 9.30am.