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Losing Maddy for ever 'would test our faith'

HOMEPAGE NEWS REPORTS INDEX RELIGIOUS PEOPLE PHOTOS NEWS JUNE 2007
Original Source: TELEGRAPH: SUNDAY 17 JUNE 2007
By Richard Edwards in Praia da Luz Last Updated: 12:55am BST 17/06/2007
 

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 would
'severely test' the McCann's Roman Catholic faith

 

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 in Rome. But Mr McCann said yesterday the prospect of the four-year-old not coming home would stretch their belief.

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 after."

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 abducted.

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".

SCREENSHOTS
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Yesterday around 30 beat officers and four sniffer dogs moved into the hamlet of Canafechal, near Odiaxere, in southern Portugal. They were accompanied by 20 detectives from the Judicial Police.

The search was called off shortly after 9.30am.    

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