Cupich won't beef up security at churches after Texas massacre

A church is supposed to be a place of safety and security.

But Sunday’s mass shooting in Texas marks the second time in two years a gunman has turned a place of worship into a place of war.

It's raising new questions about church security. But the head of Chicago’s archdiocese says don't expect to see armed guards or metal detectors.

Cardinal Blase Cupich says thoughts and prayers are nice, but the church shooting in Texas demands more than just talk.

"It's time now to act, and we need to do something about the growing violence due to these high powered weapons in our country,” Cupich said.

The head of Chicago’s archdiocese says he has already instituted a ban on guns in churches. but even after the carnage in Texas and the massacre of nine people by a white supremacist in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina two years ago, Cupich says he does not see the need to beef up security in Chicago’s Catholic churches.

"I don't want to make our churches places in which people feel as though they should be fearful about coming in. We want to create safe environments where people do come in and for people to be alert,” Cupich said.

"What you have with churches, you have a collection of people all in one spot. Unfortunately, someone with bad intentions, that's an attractive target,” said Mike Verden.

Former secret service agent Mike Verden says churches are considered soft targets with little security. He says short of armed guards and metal detectors, there are ways churches can make themselves more secure, including controlling access points, monitoring social media, meeting with local police and fire officials to develop an emergency response plan and awareness training for staff.

The Reverend Michael Pfleger, whose St. Sabina’s church is in one of the city's toughest neighborhoods, agrees armed guards aren't the answer.

"We are not ever going to have armed security in our church. I refuse to fall into this madness of more guns. I heard the Attorney General in Texas talk about more people should bring their guns to church. That's madness,” said Rev. Michael Pfleger.