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Translated by Joana Morais
McCann Case: 'The British Priest Staged Everything'
We went to Praia da Luz to speak with Father José Manuel – the priest of the local church – who accompanied all the sequence of events, lived after the disappearance of the English girl. Refuting all knowledge regarding the whereabouts of the blanket, the Father also denies the insinuations against his past.
Have you participated in all of the British community celebrations?
And, specifically, you participated in religious acts for the girl Madeleine. Have you ever noticed in the existence of a pink blanket that belonged to the child?
- I participated, but I don’t know anything. The British priest, called by Madeleine parents, it was him who celebrated all the masses. In that context, the only thing that I could do for her was to pray. The other priest is the one who knows a lot – and he staged everything – it was him who made statements and who spoke to the PJ.
But, where could Maddie’s blanket be?
-It would be good to know, it’s possible that the other priest and the PJ know.
The PJ doesn’t know. Does that mean that they have ‘lost’ the evidence?
- I don’t know anything; I only know that, when everything was too ‘hot’, various stories were told, badly told and even more about me: that I was ‘exiled’ to the Vatican to speak with the Pope… Just because I missed 2 or three days, I was made an ‘exiled’.
Was it normal to hand out the church keys?
- It’s not me who decides. [silence]
There are some who have accused you of, when you where at the Gaia Seminary, having participated in act of harassment and sexual abuse.
- It’s all a lie; the media have nothing else to do. It is easy to attack the image of a priest. But, at this moment the defamers are being sued.
in Semanário Privado, 1 July 2009 - Paper Editon Only
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