Skip to comments.Prove Christ exists, judge orders priest
Posted on 01/02/2006 4:30:26 PM PST by InvisibleChurch
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 Christs historical existence.
Yesterday Gaetano Mautone, a judge in Viterbo, set a preliminary hearing for the end of this month and ordered Father Righi to appear. The judge had earlier refused to take up the case, but was overruled last month by the Court of Appeal, which agreed that Signor Cascioli had a reasonable case for his accusation that Father Righi was abusing popular credulity.
Signor Casciolis contention echoed in numerous atheist books and internet sites is that there was no reliable evidence that Jesus lived and died in 1st-century Palestine apart from the Gospel accounts, which Christians took on faith. There is therefore no basis for Christianity, he claims.
Signor Casciolis one-man campaign came to a head at a court hearing last April when he lodged his accusations of abuse of popular credulity and impersonation, both offences under the Italian penal code. He argued that all claims for the existence of Jesus from sources other than the Bible stem from authors who lived after the time of the hypothetical Jesus and were therefore not reliable 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.
The Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius mention a Christus or Chrestus, but were writing well after the life of the purported Jesus and were relying on hearsay.
Father Righi said there was overwhelming testimony to Christs existence in religious and secular texts. Millions had in any case believed in Christ as both man and Son of God for 2,000 years.
If Cascioli does not see the sun in the sky at midday, he cannot sue me because I see it and he does not, Father Righi said.
Signor Cascioli said that the Gospels themselves were full of inconsistencies and did not agree on the names of the 12 apostles. He said that he would withdraw his legal action if Father Righi came up with irrefutable proof of Christs existence by the end of the month.
The Vatican has so far declined to comment.
The Gospels say that Jesus was born to the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, preached and performed miracles in Galilee and died on the Cross in Jerusalem
In his Antiquities of the Jews at the end of the 1st century, Josephus, the Jewish historian, refers to Jesus as a wise man, a doer of wonderful works who drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles
Muslims believe Jesus was a great prophet. Many Jewish theologians regard Jesus as an itinerant rabbi who popularised many of the beliefs of liberal Jews. Neither Muslims nor Jews believe he was the Messiah and Son of God
Tacitus, the Roman historian who lived from 55 to 120, mentions Christus in his Annals. In about 120 Suetonius, author of The Lives of the Caesars, says: Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, Emperor Claudius expelled them from Rome.
Italy has its own version of the 9th Circuit, I see.
The judge in question is going to have a difficult time explaining that one when his time comes.
Itialy is a great place...but has a lot of idiots walking the streets!
...Fritz Weaver as the Chancellor and Burgess Meredith as Romney Wordsworth, speaking Rod Serling's words, in the Twilight Zone episode "The Obsolete Man".
and sitting on benches....
Sadly, that goes without saying.
C.S.Lewis would be proud.
What Evangelical preacher wouldn't love this opportunity? :')
Tell ya what. We'll build two pyres, and lay two sacrificed bulls on the pyres. We will then go head to head with the atheists: whosoever answers by fire, let him be God. And if neither burns, the parties go home and the case is dismissed.
Any competent historian will hand this rube his hat in court.
Neither did 'Judas'......
Judas did NOT take 'Communion'....
Anti-Christ is alive and well in Italy...
God to judge:
"Unfortunately, for you sir, you do exist."
Ping for a good debate
I believe it is actually harder to prove that Aristotle existed, because his existence is only verified by his self-confessed disciple.
" This judge is a typical secularist who 'thinks he is thinking' when he spouts this Atheist nonsense."
I'm confused. Which judge is that?
Prove Jesus Christ existed, or what? I didn't get the "or what" part.
"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."
Palestine, insurgent? huh?
"Nietzsche is dead."
Father Righi just needs to go to court and read the book "A Case for Christ" to the judge. That should take approximately 2 years out of this courts' life as the plaintiff and the judge question different aspects of the reading.
There I fixed it for you.
Wouldn't you love to be the priest that hears this judges "confession"?
I think there is a line in CS Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia" that basically says "Just because you cannot see it, does not mean that it is not there."
Ping for later digestion
I finally found someone else who remembers that. ;)
Prove there was such a thing.
But don't forget, It was God who called for the contest, not Elijah. He was just following orders.
Saw it with my own eyes while going over to get the five for $5 roast beef sandwich special at Arby's.
It's Puddleglum confronting the witch in The Silver Chair.
Why does he get to discount the Gospels? Why should he be able to do that?
Under this atheist's logic no one can prove anything by writing a testimony down today, because tomorrow he will reject it. He is saying because the people who wrote their testimonies of Jesus are dead, we can't really prove they actually knew and saw him. By his rule we can't prove Hitler existed--those photos and written reports by people who are now dead can't be trusted.
12 men did not go out into the world to convert people to a Lie. Nobody risks their life for an idea that they know is a lie.
That's the real Proof that there was a Resurrection (and that He existed).
No, really...If I understand this correctly, he's basically saying that at least two and perhaps three respected and influential historians of the era either got conned or made stuff up. Is that right?
I'm sort of reminded of the Washington Mutual commercial about Jen, the integrity-challenged lawyer:
"Is DNA really [finger quotes] 'evidence'?"...[shakes head, mouths "no"]
It wouldn't have made a bit of difference to him whether the witnesses wrote about Jesus while He was alive, because Cascioli wouldn't believe it anyway. Judging by his one-man campaign and wild accusations, I would say he is the one who should be charged with abuse of popular credulity, since he's appealing to the socialists and communists' beliefs.
And by the way...
He argued that all claims for the existence of Jesus from sources other than the Bible stem from authors who lived after the time of the hypothetical Jesus and were therefore not reliable witnesses.
Why doesn't he prove that they weren't reliable witnesses.
Teach the controversy
Mr. Cascioli is a bitter old buggar for whom no amount of evidence shall suffice. There is enough historical evidence to demonstrate that Christ existed. However, Mr. Cascioli will not allow the facts to get in the way of his bulls**t.
Didn't the ancient Jewish historian, Josephus mention Christ in his writings? I'm sure I've read of Him in there. Are they going to say that Josephus' account doesn't count?
For example - my dad is 80 years old and fought in WWII. I write down his first hand account. Is that an unreliable source because the author (me) was not alive during WWII?
Guess we'll have to jettison a lot of stuff, including most of Tacitus since he corresponded with the eyewitnesses (including Pliny the Younger's account of the eruption of Vesuvius) and didn't see most of the events himself.
Yep. Well, why confuse him with the facts when his mind is made up. Silly old coot.
Ooops! I missed this part of the article.
. . . just like those atheists who do the "Jesus Project" claim that any mention of miracles or deity was a "later interpolation".
Easy to disprove anything if you can just throw out the evidence you don't like . . .
If you had continued reading to the next line you would have learned;
"The judge had earlier refused to take up the case, but was overruled last month by the Court of Appeal..."
He's got an agenda, and he wont let the facts get in the way of a good smear.