Jesus Christ! Case To Be Dismissed?
See? No lightning.
Italian Judge Mulls Trial for Priest in Christ Case
VITERBO, Italy - An Italian magistrate mulled whether a 75-year-old Roman Catholic priest should stand trial for asserting the existence of Christ.
The case was brought by atheist author Luigi Cascioli, who told reporters Friday he was happy the case, first brought in 2002, had come to court.
"Christ never existed, but is an invention of the Church," said Cascioli, accusing the priest, Enrico Righi, of misleading the public by presenting Jesus as an historical figure.
Cascioli, 72, said Righi in his role as parish priest had violated article 661 of the Italian penal code which, under the term "abuse of popular gullibility", sanctions people who mislead others.
Cascioli, an agronomist by training, used the occasion to promote his book The Fable of Christ in interviews with foreign journalists intrigued by the case.
Righi had asserted the historical existence of Christ in a parish newsletter.
Judge Gaetano Mautone adjourned the case after the behind-closed-doors hearing on Friday in which he heard legal argument from lawyers for both men.