28 janvier, 2006


Jesus goes 'on trial' in Italian court

this a good one, it could actually snowball.
A italian atheist accuses the church of abuse of popular beliefs.
to my opinion, he has a good point.
one could add "unfair advertising" to the charges. read full story below:

January 27, 2006 7:50 PM

Jesus goes 'on trial' in Italian court

By Phil Stewart

VITERBO, Italy (Reuters) - Vowing to strike Jesus from history, an Italian atheist took his legal crusade against the Church to court on Friday asking a judge to open a formal trial over whether Christ existed.

"Jesus is fiction," said Luigi Cascioli. "The Church is fooling the people -- and must be held responsible."

Cascioli invoked a law known in Italian as "Abuso di Credulita Popolare" (Abuse of Popular Belief) to accuse a Catholic priest of conning citizens.

He targeted a former schoolmate during his brief stint at seminary school, some 60 years ago.

While Cascioli went on to become a vocal atheist, his friend, Enrico Righi, became a priest writing for the local religious newspaper.

He says Righi, in a 2002 edition in which he wrote about Jesus as a "man", broke the Italian law and accused him of having no evidence to prove Jesus existed as a historic figure.

After Friday's preliminary hearing, the judge has to decide if the case can go forward, which many feel is unlikely in Roman Catholic Italy.

Looking the part of a scholar, with his brown-rimmed glasses hanging on a cord around his neck, Cascioli waved his book "The Fable of Christ" before a swarm of reporters at the courthouse.

"I show in my book that Christ did not exist," he said. "They have nothing. No proof that he did exist."

He says the Church built the character of Jesus upon the personality of John of Gamala -- a 1st century Jew who fought against the Romans.

Righi, who is just days away from retirement, stayed away from the court on Friday, sending his lawyer.

"He's very sad. Very sad," said his brother, Luigi Righi. "Not just because of the case, but because he and Cascioli were friends."

Righi and Cascioli are both from the small town of Bagnoregio, just outside of Viterbo, north of Rome.

Righi's lawyer, Bruno Severo, said he believed the case would be dismissed. "But maybe Cascioli will sell more copies of his book," he said.


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