As previously discussed, there is a precarious balance between religious freedom and criminal conviction. An exorcism can be construed as battery or even murder. Irina Cornici, 23, died in Romania from dehydration, exhaustion and suffocation after an exorcism. This has caused the Orthodox Church to promise reforms and psychological testing of potential clergy. In the mean time Daniel Corogeanu and four nuns were convicted and sentenced in September. A recent appeal failed and Daniel began serving prison time yesterday.
The victim, Cornici, had previously been treated for schizophrenia. Cornici believed the devil was talking to her. Corogeanu and the four nuns tried to cure her with an exorcism ritual in June 2005. The exorcism used techniques that the Romanian Orthodox Church considers "abominable". (It is widely believed that he crucified her and she died of dehydration and suffication.) As a consequence, the Church defrocked Corogeanu and excommunicated the four nuns. (Defrocking is different from what a handful of priests have been accused of doing to alter boys back in the 70's...)
Upon further inquiry, it turns out that Corogeanu dropped out halfway through training for the priesthood. He still served as a priest for the secluded Holy Trinity convent in northeast Romania because of a shortage of ordained priests. He will now be ministering behind bars for the next 7 years. At least he will have a captive audience.