Did Jesus exist? Case dismissed
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.
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Vernon Clayson - 2/12/2006
Both of the people involved, old men with better things to do, will know, or not know, soon enough, whether Jesus exists as the church wants us to believe. I think Italian men should argue over women, wines and sauces, not religion, leave that silliness to the Muslims, it's the only thing they have going for themselves.