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Verðandi
Wednesday, January 4th, 2006, 04:14 PM
Source: Times (UK) (http://forums.skadi.net/redirector.php?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.time sonline.co.uk%2Farticle%2F0%2C%2C13509-1967413%2C00.html) (1-2-05)

An Italian judge has ordered a priest to appear in court this month to prove that Jesus Christ existed.

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.

QuietWind
Wednesday, January 4th, 2006, 07:05 PM
If you see anything in the future on this trial, you will have to keep us updated. It sounds very interesting. :)

Blutwölfin
Wednesday, January 4th, 2006, 11:53 PM
Did Jesus exist? Court to decide

Forget the U.S. debate over intelligent design versus evolution.

An Italian court is tackling Jesus -- and whether the Roman Catholic Church may be breaking the law by teaching that he existed 2,000 years ago.

The case pits against each other two men in their 70s, who are from the same central Italian town and even went to the same seminary school in their teenage years.

The defendant, Enrico Righi, went on to become a priest writing for the parish newspaper. The plaintiff, Luigi Cascioli, became a vocal atheist who, after years of legal wrangling, is set to get his day in court later this month.

"I started this lawsuit because I wanted to deal the final blow against the Church, the bearer of obscurantism and regression," Cascioli told Reuters.

Cascioli says Righi, and by extension the whole Church, broke two Italian laws. The first is "Abuso di Credulita Popolare" (Abuse of Popular Belief) meant to protect people against being swindled or conned. The second crime, he says, is "Sostituzione di Persona," or impersonation.

"The Church constructed Christ upon the personality of John of Gamala," Cascioli claimed, 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.

Speaking to Reuters, Righi, 76, sounded frustrated by the case and baffled as to why Cascioli -- who, like him, came from the town of Bagnoregio -- singled him out in his crusade against the Church.

"We're both from Bagnoregio, both of us. We were in seminary together. Then he took a different path and we didn't see each other anymore," Righi said.

"Since I'm a priest, and I write in the parish newspaper, he is now suing me because I 'trick' the people."

Righi claims there is plenty of evidence to support the existence of Jesus, including historical texts.

He also claims that justice is on his side. The judge presiding over the hearing has tried, repeatedly, to dismiss the case -- prompting appeals from Cascioli.

"Cascioli says he didn't exist. And I said that he did," he said. "The judge will decide if Christ exists or not."

Even Cascioli admits that the odds are against him, especially in Roman Catholic Italy.

"It would take a miracle to win," he joked.



Source (http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/europe/01/04/italy.jesus.reut/index.html)

nordic_canadian_male
Thursday, January 5th, 2006, 01:39 AM
rediculous what else can one say.

Æthelweard
Sunday, January 8th, 2006, 08:49 PM
I'm really looking forward to the outcome of this case. Just think what would happen if he won!


Just like that film where Billy Connolly sued God for wrecking his boat in an "act of God"?

http://www.counterculture.co.uk/movie-review/the-man-who-sued-god.html

The Horned God
Saturday, February 11th, 2006, 08:12 PM
There's not much chance of resolving the question beyond a reasonable doubt anytime soon.

But there are a few very early non-christian refferences to jesus, and here they are;

1) The oft qouted passage from book XV of Tacitus' "The Annals of Rome" written in A.D 109 regarding Neros' burning of Rome, 50 years previously in A.D 64.
You will note that Tacitus was not himself a Christian!


"Consequently, to get rid of the report [of his
Anyway, Here's the implicity in burning the city], Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular."

http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.11.xv.html



2) The surviving version of what the Jewish historian Falvius Josephus had to say about jesus in his twenty volumne history of the Jews written A.D 93.
Unfortunately the account which comes down to us seems to have been tampered with by the early Christans..



About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.
- Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63


Scholars think the original version was probably more like this:


'About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, for he was a performer of wonderful deeds, a teacher of such men as are happy to accept the truth. He won over many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. When Pilate, at the suggestion of the leading men among us, had condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him at the first did not forsake him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day.'

http://www.request.org.uk/issues/evidence/evidence11.htm

and another;

http://members.aol.com/FLJOSEPHUS/testimonium.htm


There is one other brief reference by a contempory of Tacitus, a Roman governor in what is now Turkey by the name of Pliny, who mentions in a letter to the Emperor Tragian written in the year 112, that there are illegal gatherings of Christians whom he describes only as; "followers of 'Christus' whom they whorship as a god" and that in some of his towns they are defying Tragians law against social gatherings. He wants Tragians advise on how he should go about stamping this group out.. history would show he wasn't very successful. :)

That is all there is for non-christian refferences to the early church before A.D 130, apparently.