Friday, 17 December 2010

Holy Trinity

by May I
Listening to an early interview with Janet and Brian Kennedy, Kate McCanns’s aunt and uncle, a helpful priest was mentioned.

The name of the Anglican priest was David…. David? I didn’t remember a David. What I did recall was Father Pacheco, who gave the McCanns the keys to the Church of Nossa Senhora da Luz, most known as the PdL Church, and supposedly left a broken man, weighed down by the burden of Kate’s confession.

Then there was Haynes Hubbard and his wife, who arrived soon after Madeleine's disappearance, befriended the McCanns; to whom they returned the said keys.

I also remembered Paul Seddon, the Catholic priest who married the McCanns; an old golfing pal of Gerry. He was the priest Kate called on the night that Madeleine went missing. They spoke to him on the phone, according to an interview with The Tablet on June 16th, 2007.

It was in this interview the name of Father Pacheco is cleverly linked with Seddon’s name. They talked of him saying the rosary with them a later date; then, the article adds “The Parish Priest also gave the McCanns the keys to the Church so that they could pray there alone in the evenings.”

You see, it doesn’t say it was Father Pacheco, but it certainly implies it was to any reader. Father Pacheco’s statement of Oct 30th. 2007. gives a mixed message: “He (Father Pacheco) gave them the key to the church on the 7th or 8th of May, on the suggestion of John Geraghty, a resident of the parish, so that they could go calmly to church without any pressure. Someone from the Church gave the key to John Geraghty, who then passed it onto the McCanns with Father Pacheco’s permission.”

He does not remember the date upon which the key was returned. However, Father Pacheco later denied that he had made any decision to hand the keys to the McCanns. In an article dated Dec 13th, 2007, by Cecilia Pires, for The Algarve Resident, she writes: Father Pacheco ensures that “Priest have no power to order anything in our churches. We have an entity for that, which is the Conselho Pastoral, where the catholic community is represented…………….With regards to the key to the Praia da Luz Church that the McCanns were given after Madeleine went missing…..”That was a decision made by the Conselho Pastoral and I only knew about it three days later "”

How many people were members of the Conselho Pastoral and how many were required to make this decision? Could it be that only one person made this decision?  

David seems to have been airbrushed from history, often a sign that something interesting lurks.

The Reverend David W Heal was the priest at St Vincent’s; the Anglican name of the same church which was shared with the Catholic congregation.

According to reports in Correio da Manhã, Sep 19th, 2009: “The keys to the Church , which members of the parish decided to lend to the couple a few days after Madeleine’s disappearance…. were returned to the Anglican priest…who befriended the couple". However, Hubbard‘s comment on the returning of the keys was ambiguous “I agree that the parish decided to lend them the church keys” . He didn’t reveal it was to him that the couple returned the keys.”

The McCanns were reported to have handed the keys over without saying goodbye to Father Pacheco, so it certainly wasn’t him they were returned to. Even so, Father Pacheco seems to have been severely chastised by his superiors.

He denied taking confessions from the McCanns in his statement, so perhaps he left feeling used and abused. It’s hard to believe any burden he may have carried came from the unlikely event of confessions, but there may have been other reasons.

From what I know of the Catholic Faith, I’m certain that Kate would not have confessed to Father Pacheco. He would have told her that she could not be forgiven unless she confessed what had happened to the authorities.

Confession would have brought risk, not forgiveness. A few Hail Mary’s or a decade on the rosary would not be enough!

Unless she wanted to compromise him.  

Russell O’Brian, in his rogatory interview, refers to David Priest -a comma between the words is required- and explains why David’s number, beginning 914, is on his mobile phone, immediately after that of Robert Murat.

It seems David, therefore, was the most likely person to have sought the agreement of the Conselho Pastoral. Was it also not more likely that the keys had passed between Geraghty and Heal? Fiona Payne and Rachael Mampilly/Oldfield comment on the perceived strangeness of Kate’s desperate need to speak to a priest in the midst of this maelstrom and seek to explain it in a vague manner.

It seems that concerns were expressed that the McCanns had called the media and a priest before they contacted the police. El Pais in Dec 07 “For the police, the most surprising thing was that the first concern of the parents was to alert the press before the police themselves. They were also struck by the fact that Kate asked the Ocean Club reception for the village priest’s telephone number.”

Why would they do that?

The following article in First Magazine (with thanks to Pamalan’s site) throws a very interesting spotlight on the involvement of David Heal: “With every squeeze of her daughter’s Cuddle Cat, anguished mother Kate McCann willed her little daughter home. Priest’s wife, Pam Heal helped Kate and Gerry through the early, terrifying hours of Madeleine’s disappearance…. “Someone’s taken Madeleine, someone’s taken Madeleine” she wailed over and over again, said Pam. Kate kept playing with the toy. She said Madeleine had definitely been taken from them because she would never go anywhere without her favourite toy. The night Madeleine disappeared, Kate and Gerry telephoned the local Anglican priest, Father David Heal, asking him to visit them at their apartment…..When he arrived with his wife, 38 year old Kate threw herself into the priest’s arms as she broke down. It took him 3 hours to comfort Kate.” 

There are no statements from the Heals in the available PJ files, in spite of their KEY roles in the early hours of Madeleine’s disappearance.

References to the Heals’ involvement refer to the McCanns contacting them on Friday. The Mail, on Sunday reports Reverend Heal was called to meet the McCann family on Friday.”

Well, that would be partly true, if the Heals had arrived around 10 p.m. and had remained at the apartment for 3 hours. None of the T9 mentions the Heals’ visit in their interviews and they quickly disappear from the media radar.  

Father Heal did continue to conduct services at St Vincent’s, although one report suggests that he may have been leaving the next day.

During a service held later in the week Father Heal’s sermon included the following observations “Whatever happens today, whatever happens tomorrow, whatever happens in the days ahead, after this week, life will never be the same again……. We have all been changed and we have all been changed forever.” (Mail on Sunday)

Thanks to The Maddie Case File for newspaper archives. References refer to key and keys. I don’t know if there was more than one.

Pictures of Father David Heal, from Pamalam:
Also from Pamalam:


  1. May I, thank you!

    Brilliant piece of investigation!

    Let's just wait and see how it echos.

    I've always heard that Men-of-cloth (irrelevant of gender) are beholders of secrets, and sometimes, it seems, are the key that open up yet another Pandora's box.

    Well done!

  2. Why did Father Pacheco not hand the keys directly to the mccann couple... why did he feel the need to go through a 'middle man' perhaps he was uncomfortable with the situation. I believe we are all set many 'tests' whilst on this earth and Father Pacheco I believe failed miserably in the tests set to him. One day he will have to answer to a higher authority and I doubt he will be given the benefit of the doubt that he has beeng ranted here. Well done Tex ..justice for Maddie.

  3. Why did the mccanns need the keys to the church - was it because it was somewhere that they knew they would not be observed - they were able to make contact, use laptops, ensure all was going well with the fund - did they use the church as their office knowing no-one would evesdrop on them!!!

  4. The mccanns used the church as their private 'office'.

  5. As they had the keys to the church, it meant it was somewhere where they could go and then lock the doors from the inside knowing that they would not get interrupted they probably made quite a few phone calls and used their laptops,can these phone calls be checked as they were from a specific location.

  6. Another brilliant article Tex - the keyword here is 'hindsight' people realising they had been 'taken in' by the mccanns and then trying to distance themselves from the events of PDL - the Vatican was quick to realise things were not as they seemed and they removed Madeleine from their website - the majority of the public are wary of the mccanns now and it is only a matter of time before justice is served. As you yourself say Tex 'The truth is like oil it always comes to the surface' and it will.

  7. Excellent as ever ,Textusa!

    One thing struck me as odd, O'Brien had Murat's phone number registered in his mobile phone?! They supposedly DID NOT know each other, so why would he have the number, why would Murat have given O'Brien or any of the Tapas9 his number? Did they know each other, from England, maybe? Could this be related with the car Murat hired in a hurry, because "some friends" were using his, as he told the rental office atendant? I bet the Mccanns or some of the other Tapas were those said friends...

    It seems that Rev. David Heal got a lucky escape out of Luz and of the whole saga that followed...was his replacement by Haynes alredy scheduled by that time or was he replaced because of...something...?
    It is amazing that such fervorous catholics as the McCanns chose to portray themselves to Portugal, have always recurred to anglican vicars, went to anglican religious services, etc.! Makes you think...

  8. May I is the one that deserves all the complimenting for this post. A standing ovation, I say.

    And the first of many, as May I is the backbone of the "Up for Tennis, Doc?", that has had only one Chapter published, others to come.

    Anon 11:29, you raise an interesting point that it had escaped me, and that is the fact that we're told that Kate has become a fervorous Catholic, and yet seems only to seek comfort in Anglican arms. Nothing wrong in that, it's just, as you say, not usual.

    But, for me, the relevance of this post is the fact that a NEW character emerges after 3 and a half years. I don't remember ever hearing of David Healy. And he's not any character, not only was there on the night of the 3rd, as apparently was the one that took care of Kate in those initial hours of despair, a task we thought was undertook by Kate's best friend, Fiona Payne.

    He took care of her, and, just like with Father Pacheco, not one word of gratitude, at least that we know of.

  9. Was it David Heal or Healy?

    Excellent post May I.

  10. Snippet from Kate McCann's Statement May 4th

    She noticed that the door to her children's bedroom was completely open, the window was also open, the shutters raised and the curtains open, while she was certain of having closed them all as she always did. Faced with this situation,she verified that the twins were in their respective beds, unlike Madeleine, who had disappeared. The cover was pulled back and the toys were on the pillow as usual.

    Repeat...the 'toys' were on the pillow as usual?

    The church plays an important role, the Pope had them removed from the official website before they were made arguidos. I do not believe the McCanns have stepped foot inside a catholic church since.

  11. Anon 11:35

    Toys, in plural, brings us back to the rag doll that Ironside pointed it out to us, and has never been seen since those next days after Maddie died.

    The bedcover being pulled back will be something I'll ask the Black Hats once they answer me about the window.

    Now, this character who apparently comforted her on that night is much more intriguing than the window, the bedcover and the toys (I also believe there was a mysterious shelf also involved), as for those there are perfectly natural explanations, or rather a single explanation: lying, but for this Reverend, one has to think.

    Think real hard.

    First one has to think, why was he there, and then one has to think again, why the silence about him?

  12. Bom dia. !

    Estas "trindades" (mais para as tríades, eu ) !

    Um é provinciano e não fala inglês , certamente: O josé.

    Confissão a ele ? Devia ser engraçado!
    Ou até poderia resultar já que o josé não iria entender 1 única palavra. Seria a confissão ideal.

    ( Lembram-se disto:


    "Fuck off, I'm not here to enjoy myself." )

    Entre muitos aspectos, isto é estranho também com cabimento neste post.

    Pois fartou-se de gozar o Zé Povinho tal é a mentalidade dos imperialistas e, tal é também a submissão dos portugas aos que falam outras línguas.

    O P. hubbard e os comparsas uniram-se para arranjar as chaves e gozar o zé pacheco.

    O padre católico, de nome david desapareceu do mapa. Talvez continue nalguma igreja a fazer o que lhe compete. Se está, teve sorte.

    Pois alguns aventureiros vieram até cá e misteriosamente morreram ,bem como apressada e misteriosamente foram incinerados (foi 1 ) ; mas há mais envolvidos muito queimados.

    Acontece cada coisa a quem colabora com os mcs!

    Quanto ao zé pacheco:

    acredito que o homem jamais será o mesmo.
    Mas não tenho pena dele. Foi submisso.

    E, não acredito que desse as ditas chaves aos conterrâneos nalguma desgraça.

    Os conterrâneos também perdem familiares pela morte e não vão a correr para o padre e
    pedir as " chaves" .

    Submisso e dois pesos com duas medidas.

    Já agora que ao david heal não aconteça nada de mais estranho do que estar remetido ao silêncio.

  13. Excellent post.

    As a Portuguese sometimes-practising Catholic, I have always found the handing over of the church keys "strange".

    It is a member of the Conselho Pastoral that keeps the key and they don't lend it to people to go in and pray. I can understand that Father Pacheco would be reprimanded for letting this happen.

    This post has slotted many parts of this particular puzzle into place for me. I believe it was the Anglican priest who lent the key and talked to the Mccanns first.
    I believe Father Pacheco was upset by much of what was written in the papers about him because they have confused him with David Heal.
    I also think some people slate him without reason.
    Fala com David Heal!


  15. I agree with who believe the church was used as an office. Remember that Gerry even had to justify his sudenly Catholic faith with seeing a light at the end of the tunnel that gave him strenght( A usual death reference). Weird words that I just understand because he feel an absolute need to justify his frequent going to the church.
    Nobody needs a church to pray, specially if that church had no any connection or symbolism to who is going to pray. Then, a room close to Madeleine belongs wil be more apropriate to pray. They use the church yo meet people out of the police and the public eyes, specially the anglicans priests, who by accident or not become involved in the all saga. Meeting a priest in the church did not raise suspiction. Meet him out of the church will open the eyes of many witnesses. And the Mccann's that refuse to going back to portugal for a reconstruction, keep coming back to PDL, to visit old friends. We know who they are, the priests for sure. Why? probably to control their mouths and intimidate them. They know well how to do it.
    I believe Textusa, with that post you hit the nails of some important characters. They will react like cats.
    And Kate, who spent her days between the jogging and the church, in PDL, how many times she went to the church in Rothley after coming back home? FEW, very FEW. Who they want to fool behind the religion? The police or the misinformed public?

  16. Now we know so much more about the mccanns it is obvious the church in PDL was used for purposes other than praying..if they already knew the priest beforehand perhaps the church was somehow forced to support the mccanns then the meeting with the Pope he is the highest office in the Catholic Church they attempted to get the support of the Pope for the publicity but the Vatican realised all was not as it seemed and withdrew Maddie from its website !! then the priest at PDL disappeared for a few days perhaps he informed the Vatican of his suspictions I remember he said his life had been ruined by the mccanns. The church was out of bounds to the press and at the time people would have assumed mccanns wanted to be alone whilst praying and did not bother them but now we know how devious mccanns are they were doing nothing of the sort. Parents in their situation would have been tearing the country apart searching for their child,not sitting in a church on their own !! mccanns never once searched then to cover their actions when they returned to Rothley they asked for the keys to the church in Rothley to make it look like it was normal but it was anything but normal I remember reading this in the papers at the time and thought how odd. The public were taken in by the religious angle even though Kates mother said Kate was not religious. Well done May 1 this can of worms definitely needs opening!!


    From 7 May 2007.

    Strange thing I noticed in this article.
    Father David Heal said "After this week life will never be the same again for Kate and Gerry McCann,no matter how it works out over the next few days. It will never be the same again for any of us. We have all been changed for ever."

    Now IF SOMEHOW Madeleine HAD been found alive and well,WHY SHOULD THINGS NOT GO BACK TO LIFE-AS- NORMAL (as far as possible)?
    I find it sinister that he is only one of many who somehow give off 'hints' that Madeleine will NEVER be found. I hope I am wrong.

    louise h

  18. Part I

    The Church was a meeting point to get fast solutions for a very upsetting and urgent matters. And I may consider that once in a while was also a temple to give parents hope during the worse time of their lives. They were about to face a huge charge, remember?

    I don't believe portuguese Priest or the younger Anglican were directly implicated. They just felt sorrow for those lost souls and like some of us they bought this story... in the very beginning...not anymore...

    Priests are generally persosn with high sense of moral and the Church has also considered some solutions for crime confessions. In the end of the line confession must be given to the Justice if something or someone could be harmed by their silence or if something really bad is being covered.

    We will talk about Father David Heal later on.

    Now, assuming Madeleine's death has really happened and reviewing Pat Brown notes she said British police might investigate the McCann's residence (and the residences of friends and family of the McCanns) for the possibility that the body of Madeleine McCann might have been transported into England.

  19. Part II

    Following Pat Brown thinking - It is far more likely that Madeleine's body is somewhere underground in Portugal or Spain or in the ocean. These are simpler places to bury a body.

    It may be that the body has just not yet been discovered.

    Maddie McCann will likely be found in a similar way (unless someone did one heck of a job of hiding her).

    If the investigation remains shelved the police cannot follow all leads and theories.(IT is a good reason for not asking the reopening I thought myself). IF they do not find her soon, most of the evidence with the body or within the body may have been destroyed by time and nature.

    A search in Portugal and Spain and any other place one can think of. And, yes, search in England: Maddie just might be there. Would it really be possible for one of the McCanns to cart the body of their daughter back to England? Yes, absolutely (as Gerry used to say!). Because of the climate in Portugal, it is possible that should they have buried Maddie in a shallow grave in a sandy substrate, her body would have mummified. Mummification is a desiccation of the corpse where the fluids drain into the ground and the rest of the body dries up. There is relatively little odor associated with a mummified body.

    If this occurred, the body would be easier to transport; it would be lighter and drier and lacking the horrible smell of a corpse. Such a body could easily be placed in a sealed bag and placed in a suitcase.

    IF the McCanns were involved and IF Maddy's body was brought home, when this would have happened is another question. (Tell you about it later).

  20. What I would ask of the Priests involved - is why they take their vows - their belief is with God and only God and for good so why cover for the mccanns - but why do they jeopardise all their beliefs for the sake of the mccanns and their lies and their publicity machine. The Priests should stand up to the mccanns for what they have done to the people of PDL these people gave up their time searching for Maddy it is a disgrace how they have been treated by the mccanns. Eventually the truth will out. Thanks Tex


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