<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: Italian court to decide whether Jesus existed

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Italian court to decide whether Jesus existed

An Italian court is going to decide later this month whether the Roman Catholic Church is breaking the law by teaching that Jesus existed.

Atheist Luigi Cascioli claims that priest Enrico Righi and the Church have broken two Italian laws: "Abuso di Credulita Popolare" (Abuse of Popular Belief), meant to protect people against being swindled or conned, and "Sostituzione di Persona," or impersonation.

"The Church constructed Christ upon the personality of John of Gamala," Cascioli says, referring to the 1st century Jew who fought against the Roman army.

A court in Viterbo will hear from Righi, who has yet to be indicted, at a January 27 preliminary hearing meant to determine whether the case has enough merit to go forward.

"In my book, The Fable of Christ, I present proof Jesus did not exist as a historic figure. He must now refute this by showing proof of Christ's existence," Cascioli said.

Righi claims there is plenty of evidence to support the existence of Jesus, including historical texts. "Cascioli says he didn't exist. And I said that he did," he said. "The judge will have to decide if Christ exists or not."

Cascioli admits that the odds are against him, especially in Roman Catholic Italy. "It would take a miracle to win," he joked.



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