Thursday, January 31, 2008

When religion and mental health collide

About 2.5 years ago, while Tom Cruise was jumping the couch and claiming only [his] religion had the cure/treatment for mental illness, a 23 year old Romanian nun was killed because a priest also thought his religion was the only way to save her. That priest, Daniel Corogeanu, has finally started to serve his sentence for killing Irina Cornici.

The nun had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital in April of 2005, given medication for treatment and released to the care of the Holy Trinity Convent with instructions to follow up for continued treatment 10 days post discharge. Apparently, without continued treatment and appropriate medical care she decompensated so the priest and 4 nuns decided that instead of ensuring she received much needed medical attention that she needed, their religion provided a better answer: exorcism. The young nun was bound to a cross, gagged with a towel and left to die of suffocation and dehydration.

Much to their credit, the Orthodox Church condemned the actions of the priest and nuns and had them all defrocked. They have also promised to perform psychological testing on potential clergy.

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