Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 29 January 2015

Police frisk nuns as security is stepped up for Pope's visit

A nun passes through a security checkpoint during preparations for Pope Benedict XVI visit to St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London
A nun passes through a security checkpoint during preparations for Pope Benedict XVI visit to St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London
Pope Benedict XVI greets a young child as he arrives for a celebration of Catholic education at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in SW London
Benedict XVI arrives for a celebration of Catholic education at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in London
Children with their cameras await the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI for his visit to St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London
A nun walks past police officers during preparations for Pope Benedict XVI arrival at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London
Police motorcyclists prepare for Pope Benedict XVI arrival at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London
Pope Benedict XVI greets school children as he arrives at St Mary's University College at Twickenham
Signs on the pavement outside St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London, before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI travels in the back of a car as he passes protestors on his arrival at St Mary's University College during day two of his four day state visit to the United Kingdom at Twickenham
Protestors are watched by police before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI for his visit to St Mary's University College, Twickenham, in south west London
Pope Benedict XVI during a mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow
Pope Benedict XVI during a mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow
Pope Benedict XVI arrives for the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park on September 16, 2010 in Glasgow
Pope Benedict XVI during a mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow
Susan Boyle performs at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow, ahead of an open-air mass by Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI kisses a young child as he arrives for the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park on September 16, 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland
Baby Maria Tyszczak with her mother Marzena Tyszczak, who Pope Benedict XVI blessed, as he arrived at Glasgow's Bellahouston Park ahead of an open-air mass during the first day of a four day visit to the United Kingdom
Guests wait to greet Pope Benedict XVI in the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse during day one of his four day state visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley joined a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI
A demonstrator in Edinburgh as Pope Benedict XVI begins his first papal state visit to the UK
Joseph O'Driscoll originally from Dublin protests with a placard along Lothian Road, Edinburgh ahead of the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI pass Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond (left) as they walk through the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley (right) joins a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI walk through the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh listen as Pope Benedict XVI addresses a crowd in the gardens at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh, on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI meet school children outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Scotland, on September 16, 2010 in Edinburgh
Pilgrims gather before the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI for the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park on September 16, 2010 in Glasgow, Scotland
Pilgrims gather ahead of the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI for the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow
Queen Elizabeth II and Pope Benedict XVI meet school children outside the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Scotland
The Reverend Ian Paisley joins a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley joins a protest in Edinburgh against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley speaks to the press outside the Magdalen Chapel, Edinburgh, after protesting against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
The Reverend Ian Paisley speaks to the press outside the Magdalen Chapel, Edinburgh, after protesting against the visit of Pope Benedict XVI who arrived in the city earlier in the day for a four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI rides in the Popemobile down Edinburgh's Princes Street on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI replaces his zucchetto after the British national anthem is played during his meeting with Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Members of the public in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park ahead of an open-air mass by Pope Benedict XVI, as he begins the first papal state visit to the UK
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh talk with Pope Benedict XVI during an audience in the Morning Drawing Room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh walk with Pope Benedict XVI to the Morning Drawing Room in the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the Queen's official residence in Scotland
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II exchanges gifts with Pope Benedict XVI during an audience in the Morning Drawing Room at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh
Queen Elizabeth II greets Pope Benedict XVI at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Queen Elizabeth II meets Pope Benedict XVI as Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (left) and First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond (right) watch on at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI replaces his zucchetto as he meets with Queen Elizabeth II at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI replaces his zucchetto as he meets with Queen Elizabeth II at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh on the first day of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI is met by the Duke of Edinburgh as he arrives in Scotland to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Pope Benedict XVI is met by the Duke of Edinburgh as he arrives in Edinburgh, Scotland, to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Pope Benedict XVI is met by the Duke of Edinburgh (left) as he arrives in Edinburgh, Scotland, to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
A close up view of the shoes worn by Pope Benedict XVI as he arrives in Scotland to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Edinburgh, Scotland, to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Edinburgh, Scotland, to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
The altar at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, where Pope Benedict XVI will preside over an open-air mass on the first day of his four-day visit to the United Kingdom
Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Scotland to begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Merchandise commemorating the State Papal visit at grounds of Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, ahead of a mass by Pope Benedict
Flag sellers in Edinburgh ahead of the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI in, where he will begin the first papal state visit to the UK
The altar at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, where Pope Benedict XVI will preside over an open-air mass on the first day of his four-day visit to the United Kingdom
Preparations continue at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, where Pope Benedict XVI will preside over an open-air mass on the first day of his four-day visit to the United Kingdom
Preparations continue at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, where Pope Benedict XVI will preside over an open-air mass on the first day of his four-day visit to the United Kingdom
A member of the public wearing a kilt and holding a bag commemorating the State Papal visit at grounds of Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, ahead of a mass by Pope Benedict
The grounds of Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, ahead a mass by Pope Benedict
An advert on a billboard by the Good Without God organization in Glasgow ahead of a visit by Pope Benedict
Merchandise commemorating the State Papal visit at grounds of Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, ahead of a mass by Pope Benedict
Members of the public await the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he will begin the first papal state visit to the UK
Staff at Edinburgh Airport prepare the red carpet for Pope Benedict XVI ahead of his arrival there at the start of his four day visit to the United Kingdom
The papal chair at Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, where Pope Benedict XVI will preside over an open-air mass on the first day of his four-day visit to the United Kingdom

Police were frisking monks and nuns today as crowds turned out for the Pope's first public engagement on English soil.

The normally sedate west London suburb of Strawberry Hill near Twickenham was transformed into a riot of colour as thousands of schoolchildren and members of the clergy descended on the area.

Amid tight security, guests queued in a good-natured fashion in the early morning chill as they waited for the Pope to arrive at St Mary's University College, where he was to address thousands of children for an event celebrating Catholic education.



The streets surrounding the event were lit up with the white robes of monks and the chattering of excited schoolchildren.



But the huge security operation that a papal visit entails led to unusual scenes outside the college.



Streams of bemused nuns waited in long queues to go through security scanners.



Veils were inspected and rosary beads removed from handbags as they negotiated security.



One monk looked on incredulously as his crucifix was inspected while his habit was frisked by police.



But despite the indignity of the security searches, the air crackled with a sense of expectancy.



Organisers raced past the queues with trays laden with cakes and teacups while police joked with priests as they assembled in small groups.



Protesters outside the event seemed more concerned with the chilly weather than voicing their anger at the Pope's visit.



They chatted and stamped their feet as they stood opposite a long line of security fencing.



But their banners told of the protests to come: one read "Holy Joe Ratzinger" while another stated "From Hitler Youth to Papacy".

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