As most people interested in the historical Jesus are aware, a lawsuit was filed in Italy claiming that the Roman Catholic Church was misleading the public by claiming that Jesus actually existed. The lawsuit was filed by a rather (being charitable) not-particularly-smart individual named Luigi Cascioli whose writings can be found on his website. As I commented previously, his writings show that his work is fraught with errors, and the pleadings and memorandums he has filed in the lawsuit read like a person who is on the verge of inasanity. I am certain it didn't take much time for the judge in the case to decide on his course of action -- dismiss the lawsuit and ask the government to look into the question of whether Sr. Cascioli ought not be prosecuted for a form of malicious prosection.
Well, Sr. Cascioli has now shown an incredible lack of discernment concerning how badly he has been shot down. According to a banner flashing across his website, Sr. Cascioli has filed an appeal in the European Court of Human Rights as of March 18, 2006. He has apparently finally obtained a lawyer who may be able to spin his work to make him look a bit more sane, but I suspect that since all of the papers and pleadings that Sr. Cascioli filed on his own behalf in Italy become part of the record on appeal, the European Court of Human Rights will quickly come to the same conclusions as the Italian judge. A copy of the Application Under Article 34 of the Euopean Convention on Human Rights and Rules 45 and 47 of the Rules of Court can be found on Sr. Cascioli's website. I look forward to the time that the Statement of Facts and Argument which contains the substance of his claims is finally posted so that everyone can see for themselves the lack of substance of this appeal.
Incidentally, it appears that Sr. Cascioli is being a bit disingenuous with the European Court of Human Rights. His Application states
The object of the application is to establish by a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights that the Respondent Government has infringed and is continuing to infringe the Applicant’s rights in breach of Article 6 of the Convention, and to obtain just satisfaction for such breaches, including declaratory relief, and financial reparation for the moral prejudice caused to him, together with the legal costs and expenses incurred herein.
That, however, does not appear to be Sr. Cascioli's motivation at all. I suspect that his motivation is actually three-fold (the first two of which are based on my own speculations about his motivation). First, he is trying to sell his book -- a book that is apparently self-published and is not carried (at least, last time I checked) on any of the major Internet book sites like Amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com or borders.com. Second, he wants to push his atheistic agenda on the rest of society.
Sr. Cascioli's third objective I have discerned from his own admissions -- he simply wants to try to hurt the Roman Catholic Church. In a document on his website which was apparently filed with the court entitled "Comments of Luigi Cascioli about the hearing kept on 27th 22of January", he states (typos included):
Whatever is the decision of the Court of Strasburgo, (knowing the tentacles of the "Great Piovra" even if everything is possible, to thing is certain however: the Church will go out out from there tattered and with the broken bones. and this already me enough to be able to say: "The didn'ts live in vain!".
Let's face it. This is not about proving that Jesus didn't exist. This is not about Sr. Cascioli being denied his rights. This is admittedly about Sr. Cascioli's fall away from the Roman Catholic Church and his efforts to get even! He is like a divorcee who is wanting to hurt his ex-spouse. Ask any divorce attorney and they will tell you that many, many people who are divorced don't think clearly when they are going to court. Against all common sense, their goal is to hurt their former spouse no matter what the cost. They want to argue over nonsense if it will cause their spouse pain. Sr. Cascioli simply wants to hurt the Roman Catholic Church, and he doesn't care if what he says is the truth.