Monk Caught Smuggling Nun's Remains
He wanted to give her a better burial at Cyprus monastery
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 18, 2011 8:01 PM CST
File photo of airport luggage.   (AP Photo/David Goldman)

(Newser) – Bag checkers at the Athens airport turned a Cypriot monk over to authorities when they discovered a nun's skeleton in his luggage. The monk admitted digging up the nun's 4-year-old grave at an Athens cemetery so he could bring her remains back to his monastery in Cyprus, reports Huffington Post. The monk considered the nun a saint—though she hasn't been officially recognized as such—and said she deserved a better burial.

The monk and two accomplices were allowed to return to Cyprus after pleading not guilty to defiling a deceased person. The leader of Cyprus' Orthodox Christian church called it "sacrilege," and the monk has been suspended from his religious duties.