Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The Existence of Christ? Prove It, says the judge

From the Times Online, an Italian judge has ordered a priest in the jurisdiction of Viterbo, Italy to prove the existence of Jesus Christ.

The case against Father Enrico Righi has been brought in the town of Viterbo, north of Rome, by Luigi Cascioli, a retired agronomist who once studied for the priesthood but later became a militant atheist.
Signor Cascioli, author of a book called The Fable of Christ, began legal proceedings against Father Righi three years ago after the priest denounced Signor Cascioli in the parish newsletter for questioning Christ’s historical existence.

The Italian court had originally refused to hear the case but was overturned by the Court of Appeal.

Cascioli maintains that the only evidence of the existence of Jesus Christ is in the gospels which were written by authors who "lived after the time of the hypothetical Jesus" thereby making them unreliable witnesses.

Signor Cascioli maintains that early Christian writers confused Jesus with John of Gamala, an anti-Roman Jewish insurgent in 1st-century Palestine. Church authorities were therefore guilty of “substitution of persons”.

Cascioli says he will withdraw his case if the priest comes up with irrefutable evidence of Jesus Christ's existence by the end of the month.

The Vatican, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson and Tristan Emmanuel have remained silent on the issue. (Because if Cascioli wins all of them are that much closer to having promoted little more than a myth).

Read the whole article here.

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