Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

1/6/2010 (5 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The lawsuit puts Scientology at risk of building a greater enmity with Catholics around the world.

Maria Pia Gardini, a Catholic author who was formerly a Scientologist and has returned to the Catholic Church, has written 'The Courage To Speak Out - Stories of Ex-Scientologists'.

Maria Pia Gardini, a Catholic author who was formerly a Scientologist and has returned to the Catholic Church, has written 'The Courage To Speak Out - Stories of Ex-Scientologists'.

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/6/2010 (5 years ago)

Published in Europe


WASHINGTON, D.C. (Catholic Online) – The Church of Scientology in Italy has announced it is initiating legal proceedings against the Daughters of St. Paul and Maria Pia Gardini, a Catholic author who was formerly a Scientologist and has returned to the Catholic Church.

In 2007 the Daughters of St. Paul's publishing house, Edizioni Paoline (Paoline Publications), published Gardini’s first book, ” I miei anni in Scientology” (“My years in Scientology”). The first week of December, 2009 they released her second book, “Il coraggio di parlare - storie di fuoriusciti da Scientology” (“The Courage To Speak Out - Stories of Ex-Scientologists”).

As reported on the Clerical Whispers Blog (clericalwhispers.blogspot.com), the books, co-authored by Italian Catholic journalist Alberto Laggia and Italian Catholic Maria Pia Gardini, have been widely reviewed in Italy.

“Gardini is a former adherent of Scientology and member of its Sea Org elite, who run everything in Scientology and its front groups under the leadership of David Miscavige. She returned to full practice of Catholicism after leaving.”

“Whispers” notes that the lawsuit, along with reports of forced abortions in Sea Org, puts Scientology and its leader David Miscavige at risk of building a greater enmity with Catholics around the world.

In September of 2009 a lawyer for the Church of Scientology in Italy sent a warning letter to Giardini and the publishing house, warning them that they were engaged in libelous attacks. The letter was also signed by the head of the Italian group.

In announcing the upcoming legal action, Paoline Publications was not specifically mentioned as it was in the September warning. However, they did state that the suit would name "whomever assisted her with activities that the Church considers detrimental to its image." Not only would this include the publisher but possibly the 14 ex-Scientologists who contributed to the second book.

Whispers referenced an interview with Gianni Leone, editor of the Italian language online magazine “Mondo Raro” based in the UK. In the interview a Paoline spokesperson said,

“We live in a free country and a publisher has the obligation to be as accurate and as steadfast as possible, because it is not a crime to report the facts when they exist and can be documented.”

“The issues which are dear to our hearts and about which we have and will continue to take a stand are peace, justice, dialogue among different religions and cultures, more from the viewpoint of what unites rather than from what divides them. In this time marked by fear and distrust of others, these are uncomfortable but urgent issues.”

The lawsuit just adds another line to the litany of issues and events plaguing Scientology, with opposition to the movement seemingly growing stronger in recent years. A number of tell-all books, in addition to the two by Ms. Giardini, are currently available.

In June of 2009 the St. Petersburg (FL) Times wrote a series of articles regarding Scientology called “The Truth Rundown.” In November, a Times editorial called for an investigation of the group.

The lawsuit strikes at the very heart of the mission of the Daughters of St. Paul.

For them, publishing is not a sidelight but a central focus of their ministry around the world. As their mission states: “We are women consecrated like Paul the Apostle to be apostles of Christ to the world of today, announcing the message of reconciliation using the means of communication.”

“Sisters with gifts and training in art, writing, design, editing, music, photography, public speaking, audio recording, administration, production and diffusion, work together, alongside the laity, in a many-faceted mission with the common goal of proclaiming Christ and his gift of salvation.”

According to their website, Blessed James Alberione founded the Daughters of St. Paul in Alba, Italy, in 1915. He chose a young seamstress, Teresa Merlo, to be the Co-Foundress of this new community of women and the first Mother General.

When the first sisters pronounced their vows on July 22, 1922, Teresa asked the Founder what name she should take. He responded, “Take the name Thecla, the first disciple of St. Paul.” And so these first Daughters of St. Paul began what would become within 15 years a congregation spread throughout the world, with an innovative apostolate that was precisely what the Church needed in the 20th Century.

In 1931 sisters were sent from Italy to open new houses in Brazil and Argentina, and in 1932, the congregation was founded in the United States.

The Daughters see a part of their mission as providing resources regarding dangerous influences on Catholic families, including cults. These two books are their first concerning Scientology.

Today, there are over 2500 Daughters of St. Paul internationally. As a part of their communications mission, they manage 14 bookstores in the U.S. and Canada, 47 in Italy, 3 in Australia along with many more around the world.

As Clerical Whispers stated, the Daughters of St. Paul have shown the courage of St. Paul and their founder, Blessed James Alberione.

-----

Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online. He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Europe

GRAPHIC VIDEO on website warns away French nationals against joining Islamist State Watch

Image of Indonesia, along with France, is launching campaigns to counter recruitment among young people from Islamic State.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The French government, in the weeks following the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris, has released a website and video aimed at countering extremism. The video specifically targets young French Muslims who may be seduced into joining jihadist terror group Islamic ... continue reading


RUMORS OF WARS: Under-reported conflicts in world leave little hope of change Watch

Image of Fighting in the east of Democratic Republic of Congo displaced some 770,000 people in 2014.

By Alex Whiting, Thomson Reuters Foundation

While wars in Syria, Iraq and Ukraine make headlines in the West, around 30 other conflicts receive little press coverage, and the resulting lack of pressure for change could have serious implications for millions of people, experts say. LONDON (Thomson Reuters ... continue reading


Was fearsome Blackbeard the Pirate - an old softie? New evidence suggests so Watch

Image of Blackbeard the Pirate was played by Ian McShane in

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Blackbeard the Pirate was legendary for his ruthlessness and terrorizing shipping lanes in the West Atlantic. However - there appears to have been a kinder, gentler side to his personality as well. Wreckage culled from the Queen Anne's Revenge suggests that ... continue reading


Astonishing skull find reveals new information on interbreeding between Neanderthals and the modern man Watch

Image of The relative rarity of human fossils from this period means these ancestors of all present-day non-African modern populations have remained largely enigmatic.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A skull in an Israeli cave recently is one of the earliest known evidence of primitive Europeans yet found. The archaeological find is shedding light on the migration of modern humans out of Africa. The find suggests humans and Neanderthals were interbreeding ... continue reading


Forced into prostitution: Greece's economic crisis has married women, mothers hitting streets Watch

Image of The situation of Grecian streets is worsening, as many of the Greek women now turning to prostitution don't bear even a passing resemblance to the drug-addled stereotype of the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Greece, at the heart of the European economic crisis of a few years past, has elected the "anti-austerity" organization the Syriza Party into office. Mass unemployment remains, with more than 50 percent on the nation's young people without work. An even seedier ... continue reading


The first tax revolt: 800 years later, the Magna Carta stands boldly as spiritual predecessor to the Bill of Rights and U.S. Constitution Watch

Image of A copy of the Magna Carta on display.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

This year will mark the eighth centennial of the signing of the Magna Carta by King John at Runnymede near Windsor, on June 15, 2015. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Magna Carta was one of the first documents that limited the power of the English crown, and ... continue reading


VIDEO: 70 years later, drone flies over infamous death camps showing the shocking and HORRIBLE extent of Nazi death camps Watch

Image of The gates of the Auschwitz death camp, which in English say

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In 2015, more than 1,500 survivors of the Holocaust returned to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland to mark the 60th anniversary of the death camp's liberation by Soviet troops. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On January 27, event organizers are ... continue reading


FEAR GRIPS VATICAN: 'Islamic State is clear. They want to kill the Pope' Watch

Image of Pope Francis has frequently spoken out against the Islamic State group. The Holy See has also voiced its support for U.S. air strikes in Iraq. This has led several to think that this increases the Pope's likelihood as a terrorist target.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Vatican is under heightened concern that a terrorist attack may be imminent. Iraq's ambassador to the Holy See, Habib Al Sadr, at the time warned that "what has been declared by the self-declared Islamic State is clear. They want to kill the Pope. The ... continue reading


Is Hitler funny? Leader of far-right German party steps down over inappropriate selfie Watch

Image of PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) is a German far-right group which is for deporting or denying entry for Muslims into Europe.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks earlier this month, as well as the numerous acts of terror perpetrated by Muslims throughout Europe over the last several years, Germany is seeing a resurgence of far-right radical groups whose attitudes and ... continue reading


Incredible footage of Lamborghini crashing at 200 MILES PER HOUR! Watch

Image of A Lamborghini Huracan crashed on the M7 motorway going 208 miles per hour. Both passenger and driver survived.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hungarian police have released footage of the first ever Lamborghini Huracan crash at more than 200 miles per hour. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2014 it was reported that a crash over 200mph occurred. A Huracan registered in the Czech Republic hit a barrier ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 18:15-20
15 Yahweh your God will raise up a prophet like me; ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 95:1-2, 6-7, 7-9
1 Come, let us cry out with joy to Yahweh, acclaim ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 1:21-28
21 They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 7:32-35
32 I should like you to have your minds free from all ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 1st, 2015 Image

St. Brigid of Ireland
February 1: Brigid was probably born at Faughart near Dundalk, Louth, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter