07 - MAI 30 - Les MC et le pape
Kate and Gerry McCann's news briefing - BBC News video
30 May 2007
Transcript by Nigel Moore
Gerry McCann: "May I first of all start by thanking all of you for coming, errr... to see us, errm... as you know the reason we are here is as a direct result of the abduction of our daughter from Praia da Luz, in Algarve, in Portugal on May the 3rd of this year.
"We're almost four weeks, errr... following her abduction she's still missing despite a very extensive investigation. We have had tremendous strength from the outpourings of goodwill that we have received from all over the world but particularly from the local Catholic community in Portugal and from the church which we've been attending regularly.
"Today, in meeting the Pontiff, was, errm... an experience that has very mixed emotions for us. Errm... in ordinary circumstances, of course, it would be the highlight of any Catholic to come and meet the Pope. Of course, it's saddened with the very marked realisation that our daughter is still missing. And, errm... we know that many people both here and elsewhere are praying for our daughter and that helps us sustain our belief that we can get her back safely.
"We do wish to publicise her disappearance in the hope that somebody has information - either knowing where she is or knowing who may have taken her - and we appeal to people all over the world if they can offer us some help or comfort it is to help publicise that disappearance.
"For anyone who wishes to help, posters such as this one showing Madeleine and a website which is dedicated to helping us search for Madeleine called 'www . findmadeleine . com' has posters in many, many different languages and I would just ask that anyone who is going on holiday to take a poster, or 10 posters and put them up anywhere around where you may be and this helps sustain us. Thank you."
Clarence Mitchell: "Okay, Vatican Radio, please..."
Vatican Radio: "(inaudible) Vatican Radio but also Radio Merseyside. And first of all I'd like to say on behalf of Radio Merseyside, and also the school that both you and I went to Kate, that everybody sends their love and on behalf of the people of Liverpool, and on Radio Merseyside, we want to know what (inaudible) can do to help?"
Gerry McCann: "We know that everyone is praying for us and that helps us. Many, many thousands and tens of thousands of people are doing small things that may help and may make a difference and we take strength from that. And it's this... you know, people have gone to extraordinary lengths to help us but it's even the small... smallest things by the greatest number of people that, I think, will help us achieve the maximum, in terms of publicity, around Madeleine's disappearance and... "
Kate McCann: "Everybodys assests are helping us, errm... whether it's through practical, err... things or whether it's through prayer, everything is helping us and... and... it's helping Madeleine, so... "
Clarence Mitchell: "Yep, this lady here."
Unknown: "(inaudible) I would like to ask you how long you will spend your stay in Portugal and what do you expect the Vatican can do to help you?"
Kate McCann: "Well, all I can say, is we... we don't have any plans at all to return back to the UK and I... I can't really think about that at the minute, to be honest."
Gerry McCann: "The Vatican have already done more than we could ever have imagined - the fact that we are here, today."
Clarence Mitchell: "(inaudible)"
Reuters: "Phil (inaudible) from Reuters. You spoke just this morning before you went into the audience and we all watched with emotion, I would say, errr... on the close circuit television and we saw your brief encounter with the Pope. When you gave him that picture and held it up and he touched it and he blessed it, could you each describe your feelings at that moment, please?"
Kate McCann: "I mean, it was very emotional but it's also a very positive experience really. It's been very important to us and that photograph will stay with me now."
Gerry McCann: "It was more personal than I could ever possibly have imagined it could have been and... there was, you know, recognition immediately in looking at Madeleine's photograph and his, errr... touch and thoughts and words were more tender than we could have hoped and that will help sustain us during this most difficult time."
Clarence Mitchell: "Gentleman over here."
Daily Mirror: "(inaudible) from the Daily Mirror. (inaudible)
Kate McCann: "Yeah, he was, errr... very kind, very sincere. He said that he'd pray for us and our family and that he'd continue to pray for Madeleine's safe return to us."
Clarence Mitchell: "Over there."
Five News: "Jon Samuels from Five News. What other plans do you have to visit other countries, possibly in Europe, go to other capital cities to... to spread your message?"
Gerry McCann: "We certainly were planning to do some visits and, errm... this one, errr... came about quicker than we thought, errm... and it was so important to us that we have come here first for spiritual reasons, more than any other. Errm... we are planning a visit to neighbouring Spain, errr... probably with Madrid and although the arrangements are not finalised yet we would also plan trips in the very near future to Germany and The Netherlands as the next two largest, errr... nationalities who, errr... go to the Algarve on holiday."
Clarence Mitchell: "(inaudible) row."
Vatican Radio: "Susie Hodges from Vatican Radio. How's this experience changed you both as persons and as Catholics?"
Gerry McCann: "The latter is easier for me to, errm... answer, errm... one evil act, errr... with the abduction of Madeleine seems to be generating so much good. And we seem to on the receiving end of that goodwill and wishes and it's certainly restored my faith. The Catholic faith has given us strength but it's, errr... it's restored my faith in humanity as much as anything else."
Kate McCann: "I mean, there's so much goodness out there that... been very evident and it's really helped us."
Gerry McCann: "I think, just going back to your... your first point, you know, we're still in the middle of a race that we don't know how long it's going to be and I can't say how we will be changed by this experience. I think it's fair to say we'll never be the same again."
Clarence Mitchell: "Gentleman, the same row."
Unknown: "I'm from Germany - your side of the border. I just have a short question: Do you know where you would go to Germany, which places which (inaudible) and second, errm... close to the place where you brought us here, it's a very big German community. Do you have any contact with them?"
Gerry McCann: "Errm... deal again with the latter bit, errr... first. We... we haven't specifically yet although we are planning, errm... probably one interview, errr... which we hope will be pooled and shown to all of German broadcasters. And, at the minute, in the first, errr... wave of visits we... we plan to go to capitals really, so that we can go in, errr... fairly quickly. All of these visits we want to do as quickly and as efficiently as possible to get us back home to our twins who, I hope you understand, are only two-years old and it's just not practical to be bringing them with us. We don't want to be leaving them but we feel this is the only thing that we can really do, in our power, to help search for Madeleine."
Clarence Mitchell: "Any more questions? You've had one already. Gentleman here."
Unknown: "I'm (inaudible) from Swedish daily Aftonbladet of Stockholm. Errr... I heard some voices that you might go to... over to Sweden, is that true? And also, errm... You know, I've been in (inaudible) for a long time now and there so many cases of, errr... young, very young persons, errr... displaced or they've just disappeared. What do you think, errr... what is the last news you have on... on the search for..."
Gerry McCann: "We have no immediate plans to go to Sweden and we hope and pray that this will be over before we get to Scandanavia. Regarding the investigation, it is an ongoing, very active, investigation. The police, Portuguese and the British police have a huge amount of information which is being processed, errr... which has been generated by witness statements and by many different people coming forward following our very recent appeals, errr... by the... the British police and the release of the description from the Portuguese police recently, so, we hope... I mean, we know that there could be a breakthrough at any minute, it could be a call to say that Madeleine has been found and we... we understand there are many different possible scenarios here but we must believe, and do believe, that we can get Madeleine back, and with us."
Clarence Mitchell: "(inaudible aside to Gerry McCann)"
Gerry McCann: "I would say, you know, particularly as we are in Italy, that we would... we are appealing to all nationalities and especially as we are here in Rome today that... please, you know, just be on the look-out for any suspicious behaviour and for our daughter and there are numbers on these posters that can be contacted, international ones, and it's something that we're asking everyone... a member of the public may give us the key information that leads us to our daughter."
Clarence Mitchell: "This lady there."
Unknown: "(inaudible) I would like to know which one is the worst moment during this for you and did you have any moments that you thought that the case was going to finish you were next to your daughter and are you planning to visit also countries outside Europe - United States and Latin America?"
Gerry McCann: (aside to Kate McCann) "You want to answer the question?"
Kate McCann: "I think, certainly, the first, errm... 72 hours really, errr... were the worst time for both of us. Errm... It's very hard, at that point, to sort of get away from all the dark places, errm... but then as time goes on and, as I say, the support we've had, prayers that we've had everywhere - I mean, it really does give you strength and hope. And since then we've... we've... we've been strong and we've been more positive and... it was certainly those first 3 days that were hardest, yeah..."
Gerry McCann: "It's... it's fair to say that a line that we hear a lot is that people can't imagine our pain and anguish but, I think, we have seen the effects of this on people close to us and on friends and people who hardly know us and relatives who live hundreds and thousands of miles away and the effects have been devastating and I would say that everyone knows, very closely, exactly how we felt.
"One of the worst feelings was helplessness and that we didn't feel that the search and the investigation for Madeleine was under our control in any way and as we... if you understand, there is a fa... this is part of a family campaign for us to feel that we are doing everything within our power and that has certainly helped sustain... sustain us."
Clarence Mitchell: "Daily Telegraph."
Daily Telegraph: "Richard from the Telegraph, hi. Errm... We talked about, errr... (inaudible) I noticed you talked to him, errm... for a short period (inaudible) what you just said and whether you can wrap up what you will take from this as you return now to Portugal?"
Kate McCann: "Errm... Well, I thanked him first of all for letting us meet him today, errm... and I thanked him for his prayers. I mean it's been a very... it's been a lovely day, it's been a very positive experience, errm... and it's... it's helped us. You know, I think it can only make us stronger and lift us up more."
Gerry McCann: "It will also help our families tremendously, although they are not here with us today they'll see this and we'll speak to them and, you know, there was a level of anticipation and... you know, we have got very positive feelings from today and vibes and, errm... you know, that will help us."
Clarence Mitchell: "Just one or two more. Yep."
Unknown: "Yes, I just have a very short question. This toy that you have on your table, was it Madeleine's? And how would she call it?
Kate McCann: "Errm... It was Madeleine's, yes. She took... she takes it to bed with her every night or if she's upset or something she'll have it. It's... it's actually called 'Cuddle Cat' - not very inventive, sorry. It was... it was actually the name of that... that... that it already had."
Gerry McCann: "It is a cat though. Ha, ha."
Clarence Mitchell: "Errr... I think, one more... one more? One more... one more question and then I think, errr... we'll close. Yes."
Vatican Radio: "Susie Hodges from Vatican Radio. What lessons do you give to other parents that have to go through this appalling experience?
Gerry McCann: "I... We hope and pray that no-one ever does go through it again. Errm... I think... I hope that, if it does happen, that there will be some template, errr... from what we have done, as our extended family, that will help raise the awareness for any other missing children and it's possible to such cases. Having spoken, errm... to peop... you know, errr... people around us, then stayed strong and taking control even of small things because you feel totally out of control in those first hours and taking control of this... of this smallest decisions helps you cope and think rationally and influence things around you and that, I think, is the most important thing."
Clarence Mitchell: "(inaudible aside to Gerry) Agency. Do you want to?"
Gerry McCann: "Yep... We'll just finish by saying that, from this website... the Find Madeleine.com website, there is also a link to CEOP, C E O P - which is the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Agency, based in the United Kingdom - for anyone who is listening, who may have been in the Algarve, there is a facility to upload photographs, particularly if you have any of, errr... people in the background of photographs who you don't recognise and we would welcome these particularly in the two weeks leading up to Madeleine's abduction, so, the two weeks prior to the third of May of this year. And any information will help the police investigation. Thank you."
Clarence Mitchell: "Thank you."