- Title: PHILIPPINES: ANIMALS BLESSED IN CHURCH CEREMONY.
- Date: 5th October 2003
- Summary: (W3) MANILA, PHILIPPINES (OCTOBER 5, 2003) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. 17 FOOT AFRICAN PYTHON SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE 2. CLOSE-UP OF PYTHON'S HEAD 3. CHILD LOOKING AT PYTHON 4. MALATE CATHOLIC CHURCH 5. PYTHON BEING CARRIED BY THREE MEN 6. PETS WITH OWNERS GOING INSIDE CHURCH 7. AUSTRALIAN PRIEST FRANK CAREY SPRINKLING HOLY WATER ON PET ANIMALS 8. PET OWNERS PRESENT THEIR ANIMALS TO THE PRIEST FOR BLESSING 9. PYTHON ENTERING CHURCH AND BEING CARRIED BY THREE MEN DOWN THE AISLE 10. AUSTRALIAN PRIEST FRANK CAREY SPRINKLES HOLY WATER ON PYTHON 11. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ALLAN DATU, PYTHON CARETAKER, SAYING: "To have her blessed by the priest. Its part, we'd like everyone to see her, we really consider her more as a pet, but she's also in an exotic restaurant, she's part of the attraction there." 12. PYTHON BEING CARRIED AWAY FROM THE CHURCH 13. (SOUNDBITE) (English) FRANK CAREY, AUSTRALIAN PRIEST SAYING: "Every year there's some kind of a superstar, so she's the superstar this year. No, I don't think so, she's part of creation, she has the right to be here." 14. 17 FOOT (5.2 METRE-LONG) PYTHON "SAMANTHA" ON THE GRASS Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 20th October 2003 13:00
- Location: MANILA, PHILIPPINES
- Country: Philippines
- Reuters ID: LVA86P7BPO0A909EMY73NEDIJ39N
- Story Text: Puppies and pythons are blessed in a church in
Dozens of animals, including a 17-foot (5.2 metre)
long African python, were blessed in a Catholic church in
Manila on Sunday (October 5) to commemorate World Animal
Day and also the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.
The eight-year old African python, weighing more than
200 kilograms, (441 pounds) became the focus of attention
in the celebration for animals in a Catholic church in
Hundreds of people brought all breeds of dogs and cats
to be blessed, but the python stole the show. Nicknamed
"Sam" for Samantha, she did not seem to mind being stared
at and even touched by strangers.
Samantha was sent to the church by her owner, a town
mayor who also owns an 'exotic' restaurant south of Manila.
"To have her blessed by the priest. We'd like everyone
to see her, we really consider her more as a pet, but she's
also in an exotic restaurant, she's part of the attraction
there," explained Samantha's caretaker, Allan Datu, who,
with the help of a few strong men carried her to the church
on behalf of his boss.
Datu said to keep Samantha from being hungry and
devouring strangers, she is fed five kilograms (11 pounds)
of chicken heads every three days.
Australian Catholic priest Frank Carey said even snakes
are welcome in God's church.
"Every year there's some kind of a superstar, so she's
the superstar this year. No, I don't think so, she's part
of creation, she has the right to be here," he said.
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