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Demonic Possession & Oppression; Exorcism

Apparent Romanian Orthodox
exorcism / crucifixion / ritual murder

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During 2005-MAR, Maricica Irina Cornici, 23, visited Holy Trinity, a Romanian Orthodox monastery in Tanacu in north west Romania in order to visit a friend. (Some news sources report north east Romania; this appears to be an error.) She decided to stay and become a nun. According to a report by MediaFax news agency, she suffered from schizophrenia. However, other news sources report that she had no mental illness. Her behavior caused the priest, Father Daniel Corogeanu, 29, and the nuns at the convent to conclude she was possessed by the Devil. USA Today reports that "One parishoner, Dora, said the nun 'had to be punished, she had an argument with the Father during a Sunday mass and insulted him in front of the congregation'."  According to News.Telegraph, the priest concluded that she was "beyond salvation" in life. As part of the exorcism ritual to drive Satan from her body, they denied her food and drink and kept her shut up for several days, with her hands and feet tied. Later, they tied and chained her to a cross, and pushed a towel into her mouth to smother sounds. She apparently survived the crucifixion for three days. She finally died of asphyxiation, presumably in great agony, either from the gag or the crucifixion itself, on JUN-15.

bulletOne news source said that they had left her alone on the cross for three days in a cold room in the cellar of the convent.
bulletAnother said that Father Daniel recited prayers to banish evil spirits: "The four nuns were first instructed to trace the sign of the cross in oil upon their foreheads to protect them from the evil eye. The nuns then chained the victim and delivered responses to the priest’s incantations."

The priest and four nuns have been charged with imprisonment causing death. Police spokeswoman Michaela Straub said: "They all said she was possessed and they were trying to cast out the evil spirits." USA Today reports that Father Daniel said: "Over there, in your world, the people must know that the devil exists. Personally I can find his work in the gestures and speech of possessed people, because man is often weak and lets himself be easily manipulated by the forces of evil. I don't understand why journalists are making such a fuss about this. Exorcism is a common practice in the heart of the Romanian Orthodox church and my methods are not at all unknown to other priests,' Father Daniel added."

BBC News reported that he said: "God has performed a miracle for her, finally Irina is delivered from evil."

On JUN-19, Father Daniel conducted a brief liturgy "for the soul of the deceased."  News.Telegraph reported that reporters at the ceremony noted that strangle marks were clearly visible on the corpse. Claps of thunder were heard as the coffin was lowered into the ground. Father Daniel allegedly said that this was a sign that "the will of God has been done." The Telegraph of Calcutta reported that: "Michaela Straub, a police spokeswoman, said the five would be charged with 'depriving a victim of freedom, leading to death' — a charge normally applied to hostage-takers. The maximum sentence is 20 years in jail."

According to USA Today: "Sociologist Alred Bulai said that corporal punishment was still commonly used in certain Romanian monasteries. 'It's happening particularly in the isolated monasteries, where the superiors have difficulty understanding the current realities and adapting themselves to modern life,' Bulai said.....Vitalie Danciu, the superior of a nearby monastery at Golia, called the crucifixion 'inexcusable,' but a spokesman for the Orthodox patriarchate in Bucharest refused to condemn it. 'I don't know what this young woman did,' Bogdan Teleanu said."

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References used:

  1. "Crucified nun dies in 'exorcism'," BBC News, 2005-JUN-18, at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/
  2. Kate Connolly, " 'Possessed' nun crucified after row with priest," News.Telegraph, 2005-JUN-20, at: http://portal.telegraph.co.uk/
  3. Roger Boyes, "Chained to cross, nun dies," The Telegraph, Calcutta, India, 2005-JUN-20, at: http://www.telegraphindia.com/
  4. Laura Chiriac, "Romanian priest unrepentant after crucifixion of nun," Agence France Press, 2005-JUN-18, at: http://www.usatoday.com/

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Copyright © 2005 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally posted: 2005-JUN-20
Latest update: 2005-JUN-20
Author: B.A. Robinson

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