A pair of nuns reportedly breached coronavirus pandemic restrictions to travel to an exorcism at the country’s parliament. Sister Anne Marie, from New Zealand, along with Mother Irene Gibson, who belongs to the Carmelite Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus group, travelled across the Emerald Isle from Cork to Dublin to annul the evil spirits of the nation’s top lawmakers and President of Ireland.
According to The Irish Examiner, the nuns made the trip before Christmas, on December 8. The expedition was about 135 miles. At the time, inter-county travel was banned and travelling was permitted within 5km from home. When the incident took place, the rule for outdoor gatherings were limited to 15 people, but around 70 people were present at this event. The Irish Examiner report added that the exorcism was followed by an outdoor mass, videos of the same have been posted online.
The priest who took the Mass, Society of St Pius Resistance member Father Giacomo Ballinitold those attending the gathering “no human power can take away the right to say mass”. He is a member of a splinter group of the controversial Society of Saint Pius X that was founded in the 1970s by French bishop Marcel Lefebvre and confronted the Vatican over progressive reforms in the Catholic Church.
A video of the exorcism shows Ballini praying for Satan to “leave the place” while spraying holy water on an Irish Government Building, before a traditional Latin Mass wasstaged. The nuns’ habits flouted lockdown measures, which is why they were ordered to leave the compound after the religious event in Dublin. Based in the Irish capital, The Dail, is the Irish lower house of the Oireachtas, comprising 160 members including the President of Ireland and the upper house of the Irish legislature, Seanad Éireann.
The priest, who preaches out of a County Cork farmhouse, and the Carmelite Sisters of the Holy Face of Jesus, function independently from the Catholic Church and did not seek permission for the exorcism or mass, the report added.
Reportedly, the sisters have previously been asked to leave their base for breaching planning regulations while setting up a religious retreat, by next June. The nuns will not remain on a run and responded by setting up a GoFundMe page. To help relocate and enable the order to buy some property, they raised more than €78,000 (NZ$130,000) by Tuesday afternoon.