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Friday, February 10, 2006 

Now I'll Never Know If Jesus Is Real


It turns out that an Italian judge will not be deciding if Jesus really existed. The Associated Press just reported that the case against a priest was dropped. Without a decision, I'll never know if Jesus is, or for that matter was real. I'm sure Pat Robertson is going tosay that God will now bless the judge and his family for getting rid of that nasty lawsuit. Wait a minute, Italy is still mostly Roman, isn't it? Never mind, I sure he thinks they're stilled damned for that.


VITERBO, Italy An Italian judge has dismissed an atheist's petition that a small-town priest should stand trial for asserting that Jesus Christ existed, both sides said on Friday. Luigi Cascioli, a 72-year-old retired agronomist, had accused the Rev. Enrico Righi of violating two laws with the assertion, which he called a deceptive fable propagated by the Roman Catholic Church. "The Rev. Righi is very satisfied and moved," Righi's attorney, Severo Bruno, said. "He is an old, small-town parish priest who never would have thought he'd be in the spotlight for something like this." Cascioli, a former schoolmate of Righi's, said he had not expected the case to succeed in overwhelmingly Roman Catholic Italy. "This is not surprising but it doesn't mean it all ends here," he said, adding that he's considering taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights. "This is an important case and it deserves to go ahead," he said. Judge Gaetano Mautone said in his decision that prosecutors should investigate Cascioli for possible slander. The ruling was released Thursday in Viterbo, a town north of Rome where the priest is based. Cascioli filed a criminal complaint against Righi in 2002 after Righi wrote in a parish bulletin that Jesus existed, that he was born to a couple named Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and that he lived in Nazareth. Righi, 76, said substantial historical evidence proves Jesus' existence. Cascioli claimed that Righi's assertions violated two Italian laws: one barring "abuse of popular belief," or fraudulently deceiving people; and another barring "impersonation" or personal gain from attributing a false name to someone.

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