Man to prove God's existence!

Luigi Cascioli, a man who once studied for priesthood but became so disillusioned that he became a militant atheist instead, could end up causing a stir in the entire Christian community.

india Updated: Jan 03, 2006 18:17 IST

Luigi Cascioli, a man who once studied for priesthood but became so disillusioned that he became a militant atheist instead, could end up causing a stir in the entire Christian community if a Catholic priest he is suing fails to prove in court that Jesus Christ did in fact exist.

Cascioli, the author of a book called The Fable of Christ, began legal proceedings against Father Righi three years ago in retaliation to the priest's denouncement of him in the parish newsletter for questioning Christ's historical existence.

And he has now got a judge in Viterbo, Italy, to set a preliminary hearing for the end of the month. Though the judge had earlier refused to take up the case, he was overruled by the Court of Appeal, which agreed that Cascioli had a reasonable case for his accusation that Father Righi was "abusing popular credulity".

Cascioli's contention is that the Church is misleading people, and that as there is no reliable evidence that proves that Jesus lived and died in 1st-century Palestine apart from the Gospel accounts, there is no real basis of the Christian faith.

He also argues that all the claims for the existence of Christ, other than the Bible, stem from authors who lived "after the time of the hypothetical Jesus" and were therefore not reliable witnesses.

Though the Vatican has refused to comment on the case, Father Righi, however, is confident that he will be able to prove Christ's existence beyond the shadow of a doubt.

First Published: Jan 03, 2006 18:17 IST