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Voice of Reason: Exorcisms, Fictional and Fatal

By Benjamin Radford

A new film about exorcism is set to be released on September 9. The Exorcism of Emily Rose, starring Laura Linney and Campbell Scott, is about a priest accused of negligence resulting in the death of a nineteen-year-old woman during an exorcism. While demons, devils, and exorcisms are obviously great grist for horror films, The Exorcism of Emily Rose is interesting because it shows (however fictionally) the potentially dangerous consequences of exorcisms.

As the film opens across the country, a Romanian priest stands accused of just such a crime in real-life. An exorcism at a convent in the small Romanian town of Tanacu resulted in the death of Maricica Irina Cornici, a twenty-three-year-old nun who said she heard the devil telling her she was sinful. With assistance from four nuns, priest Daniel Corogeanu bound Cornici to a cross, gagged her mouth with a towel, and left her for three days without food or water. The ritual, the priest explained, was an effort to drive devils out of the woman. Cornici was found dead on June 15; an autopsy found she had died of suffocation and dehydration.

Read the original article at: Skeptical Inquirer

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