Sunday, June 19, 2005
Nun tortured to death in convent
Cases of extreme exorcism are breaking out in parts of Europe, this time in Romania near the Transylvanian border. Of course, you think I read this in some tabloid at the checkout line, but no. 'Twas in the Times of London. According to Roger Boyes,
A PRIEST and four nuns each face up to 20 years in jail after performing an extraordinary exorcism on a 23-year-old woman who was chained to a cross, gagged and starved in the cellar of a Romanian convent.
The woman died, apparently of suffocation, because a towel had been stuffed into her mouth to muzzle her screams.
Maricica Irina Cornici, who was brought up in an orphanage before becoming a nun, was crucified for three days while Father Daniel Petru Corogeanu, a Romanian Orthodox priest, recited prayers to banish evil spirits. According to the Mediafax news agency in Romania, she was a schizophrenic, given to rapid mood shifts, and this had persuaded nuns in the convent that she was possessed by the Devil.
I feel so sorry for this poor woman. It is easy to imagine her brutalized by the church for practically the entirety of her brief life.
The priest showed no remorse when he was arrested. “God has performed a miracle for her,” he said. “At last Irina has been delivered from evil.”
At least she's been delivered from that hell of a convent and demon of a priest.
But there's lots of community support for the church—
One parishoner said that 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".
And get this—
The Orthodox Church, like Catholic priests, is bound by strict criteria before exorcism can be performed. The priest has to determine whether the supposedly possessed person has a record of mental illness; and has to gain the approval of a bishop. According to a 1999 ruling, signs of possession can include: “Ability to speak with some facility in a strange tongue, the faculty of divulging future events; display of powers which are beyond the subject’s age and natural condition.”
That oughtta keep 'em down on the farm.
Thunder claps from an approaching storm were the only sound as her coffin was brought into the church of the monastery at the weekend.
“This storm is proof that the will of God has been done,” Father Daniel said. “People must know that the devil exists. I 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.”
Boyes also offers a nice review of the standard forms of crucifixion, which has become rare, but alerts us that—
Non-lethal crucifixion is practised by some Roman Catholics as devotion but disliked by the Vatican.
It's sort of like hazing when done to others or autoerotic strangulation when performed on oneself. It's fun, but can so easily get out of hand.
Exorcism: "A growth industry for the pastoral care business" (2/18/2005)