- Associated Press - Friday, July 16, 2010

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA (AP) - The Romanian Orthodox Church said Friday as thousands mourned the death of a popular singer that it would not give her a full burial service because she committed suicide.

A single priest will perform a simple service for Madalina Manole in a church courtyard, the church said, because it considers suicide “a grave sin.”

Some Romanians, including singer Tavi Colen, publicly urged the church to reconsider, saying Manole was a believer who suffered from depression, which should be treated as an illness.

It would break church law to give the singer a full service without written medical evidence that she was clinically depressed, church spokesman Constantin Stoica said.

Thousands paid their respects at a church before her burial later Friday in her hometown of Ploiesti, north of Bucharest.

Manole died Wednesday on her 43rd birthday after drinking a powerful insecticide. Her husband found her body.

Manole was of the country’s best-loved artists, specializing in folk and popular music, often with romantic themes, and her death shocked Romanians.