IMG_3547Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Everyone who lives in, or has visited Manila and other parts of the Philippines knows that metal detectors and security checkpoints are all too common in hotels, government buildings and shopping malls.  It has become a way of life post 9-11.  But wait, metal detectors and security checks in Catholic churches too?

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle on Saturday warned wedding couples and their guests to be wary of strangers posing as a relatives or friends from one side or the other of the newly united family. They are actually thieves.

Tagle said these shady characters usually strike during photo sessions following the church ceremony. “When family members of the bride or groom are invited to pose for photographs with the newly-wedded couple, they tend to leave their purses and belongings in the church pews,” Tagle said.  “When they return to their seats, everything’s gone.”

Nuptials are not the only target of these wedding crashers, they also victimize people attending church funerals, according to Tagle.

In a move designed to protect its church-going constituents, the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) has required all churches and parishes in the country to install metal detectors and implement security checks to weed out wedding and funeral crashers.  CBCP also advised especially women to keep their cash and credit cards in their bras, as is the old custom among elderly women in the Philippines. “They’re safer there than inside their bags and purses,” the bishops said.


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