This is actually old news, from about 2 years ago, but I mentioned that I would re-visit the case of Mercia Pavel suing God for fraud at some point.
Incidentally, the reason why Pavel’s case was dismissed on the grounds that God did not have an address was something I wanted clarification on – it turns out that the lack of address was a problem as it meant that papers could not be served.
In finding that last little piece of the puzzle I came across the name of Luigi Cascioli, an Italian atheist.
Back in 2005, Cascioli filed a suit alleging fraud against an Italian priest who made the claim that Jesus Christ existed.
The basis for his claim was the fact that Italy has a law which forbids deceiving the public and that the priest had violated this by claiming Jesus was real. Cascioli said that the priest had no evidence to support his claim.
More specifically, Cascioli claimed that the laws of ‘the abuse of popular belief’ and ‘impersonation’ had been broken – in other words he claimed that the priest was intentionally deceiving people and giving a false name to someone through his contention that Jesus exists.
From Cascioli’s site –
Luigi Cascioli declares: Christ never existed
Court hearing at Viterbo court on April 29 th to bring an action against a parish priest
for “abuse of popular credulity”. Evidences: dossier-book “THE FABLE OF CHRIST”
ITALY – Viterbo – April Friday on 29th 2005 at 9.00 am the court hearing, regarding charge brougth by Luigi Cascioli against Don Enrico Righi Bagnoregio parish priest under accusation for the crimes ” abuse of popular credulity (661 italian penal code) and ” impersonation” (494 italian penal code) will be held on April 29th 2005 at 9.00 am at new Viterbo Magistrates Court. GIP Gaetano Mautone and PM Renzo Petroselli will be Magistrates at Hearing . Luigi Cascioli`s dossier-book “The fable of Christ” will be amongst the most important documents used as proofs during the Hearing. Journalists , Historians and people interested in this matter are invited.
29th on April 2005 at 9.00 am
at New Magistrates Court in Viterbo (Italy)
journalists, historians and whoever interested
are invited to partecipate to Hearing about lawsuit
against a parish priest for “abuse of popular credulity” and “impersonation”
available for interviews and comments in a series of scheduled conferences
to present his discovery in his declarative book “The Fable of Christ”
for information, invitations and interviews contact
Italy mobile +39 3393188116
with request of publication and circulation
The end result?
Cascioli was found guilty of filing a fraudulent suit against the priest and ordered to pay a $1,900 fine.