Rome – An Italian judge dismissed an atheist’s case that a small-town priest should stand trial for asserting that Jesus Christ existed, a lawyer said Friday.
The priest’s accuser, Luigi Cascioli, contended the Roman Catholic Church has been deceiving people for 2 000 years with a fable that Christ existed and he accused the priest of violating two laws with the assertion.
"The judge has ordered that the case be shelved," said Severo Bruno, a lawyer for the prelate, Reverend Enrico Righi.
"The Reverend Righi is very satisfied and moved," 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."
‘He is an old, small-town parish priest who never would have thought he’d be in the spotlight’ The ruling was released on Thursday in Viterbo, a town north of Rome. In his decision, Judge Gaetano Mautone also said prosecutors should investigate Cascioli for possible slander, the lawyer said.
Cascioli, a 72-year-old retired agronomist, filed a criminal complaint against Righi, his old schoolmate, in 2002 after Righi wrote in a parish bulletin that Jesus did indeed exist, and that he was born of a couple named Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth. [Source]
About what I expected would happen, though I kind of wished the trial would have gone ahead. If no publicity is bad publicity it might have had some interesting repercussions.