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Last Updated: Monday, 20 June, 2005, 18:38 GMT 19:38 UK
Crucified 'exorcism' nun buried
Funeral of nun Maricica Irina Cornici
Members of the convent claim Ms Cornici was possessed
A trainee nun who was crucified in an exorcism at a monastery in eastern Romania and left to die has been buried in a religious ceremony.

The novice, Maricica Irina Cornici, died last week after being tied to a cross, gagged and starved.

Principal monk Daniel Petru Corogeanu, who said the novice was possessed by the devil, has been charged with false imprisonment leading to death.

The Orthodox Church has condemned the incident and suspended him.

Father Daniel has so far refused to stop work at the Holy Trinity monastery in Tanacu.

She was perfectly healthy. And I talked to her and prayed with her. She was not sick
Iustina Galca

Another novice from the monastery, Iustina Galca, told the BBC that the nuns had not even given Ms Cornici water during her ordeal.

When asked if the nuns had tried to protest against the woman's treatment, she said they had all obeyed the priest.


Members of the convent claim Ms Cornici was possessed and that the crucifixion had been part of an exorcism ritual.

Four nuns have also been charged with imprisonment leading to death for helping Father Daniel to perform the rite.

The five accused could face 20 years in jail if found guilty of the nun's death.

She was found dead on the cross on Wednesday after fellow nuns called an ambulance, according to police.

A first autopsy concluded the nun died due to dehydration, exhaustion and lack of oxygen, state news agency Rompres reported.

The young woman, who grew up in an orphanage and was in her early 20s, is said to have arrived at the remote convent three months before.

She was reported to suffer from schizophrenia. It is thought the symptoms of her condition may have led the priest and other nuns to believe she was possessed by the devil.

See the priest accused of killing Irene Cornici



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