Romanian nun dies after being tied to cross in apparent exorcism ritual

Associated Press/June 17, 2005

Bucharest, Romania -- A 23-year-old Romanian nun died after she was tied to a cross in an apparent exorcism ritual and left in a cold room for three days without food, police said Friday.

Maricica Irina Cornici of the Holy Trinity convent in northeast Romania died late Wednesday.

"An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death," said Mihaela Straub, a police spokeswoman in the city of Vasului.

A monk and four nuns at the convent told police the young nun was chained to a cross and kept without food apparently because she was behaving violently.

"They all said that she was possessed and they were trying to cast out the evil spirits," Straub said.

The nun was bound with chains to a cross and a towel was stuffed into her mouth to stop her uttering any sounds, Straub said.

The local bishop's office of the Romanian Orthodox Church has begun an investigation. Police are also investigating, Straub said.

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