we had talked about this case before, but it sounds like it's about to be decided.
let me see, they will:
a) on a technicality, invalide the suit
b) find out that jesus existed
c) find out that jesus did not exist
they'd be embarrassed to go with b) but they'd be in deep doo-doo if they went with c)
but good for you, luigi!
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A court in the town of Viterbo, north of Rome, is considering a case brought by Luigi Cascioli, a devoted atheist.
Mr Cascioli sued Father Righi in 2002 after the priest attacked him in print for casting doubt over the legitimacy of the Christian gospels.
The atheist contends that Christianity relies on purely anecdotal evidence.
Lawyers for the priest and Mr Cascioli appeared before the judge in a brief hearing on Friday to argue whether the case should be thrown out and if Father Righi should stand trial, the AP news agency reported.
A decision is expected on Monday.
"The point is not to establish whether Jesus existed or not, but if there is a question of possible fraud," Mr Cascioli's lawyer, Mauro Fonzo, told reporters.
Mr Cascioli, 76, was once a trainee priest, but drifted away from the Church and has spent much of his life as a committed atheist and anti-religion campaigner.
"This complaint does not wish to contest the freedom of Christians to profess their faith," he writes on his website.
He has written extensively on the subject, and his book, The Fable of Christ, provoked Father Righi into a public critique in a church newsletter in 2002.
The priest has countered that millions around the world have long believed in the evidence of the Gospels as well as thousands of other religious and secular writings.
"If Cascioli does not see the sun in the sky at midday, he cannot sue me because I see it and he does not," he has said.