Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

1/6/2010 (4 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 (4 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 November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Europe

Evangelical, Missionary Pope Francis Calls Europe to Return to Jesus Christ and Christian Roots Watch

Image of The European Parliament building

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

I believe that Europe has many resources for going forward. It's like a sickness that Europe has today. A wound. And the greatest resource is the person of Jesus. Europe, return to Jesus! Return to that Jesus whom you have said was not in your roots! And this is ... continue reading


Father William Nolan appointed by Pope Francis as Bishop of Galloway Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has appointed Father William Nolan, vicar general of Motherwell, as Bishop of Galloway. Father Nolan says he is "over-awed" by the appointment. He has served in the parish of Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride, for 20 years. Nolan will replace ... continue reading


Rome's Colosseum to host cultural events again Watch

Image of Occasional concerts are held inside the Colosseum but the rebuilding of the arena's wooden flooring would allow more frequent events.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It once hosted bloody sports galore, with gladiators fighting to the death as well as Christians being thrown to the lions. Now, Rome, Colosseum will begin hosting less blood-soaked events. Italy's culture minister has given the green light for special events ... continue reading


Pope Francis appoints Robert Sarah to head the Vatican's congregation of liturgical practices Watch

Image of Robert Sarah, the 46-year-old president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, has been named by Pope Francis to head a congregation on liturgical practices.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal Robert Sarah of Guinea has been appointed the new head for the Vatican congregation that oversees and determines the liturgical practices of the Catholic Church world wide. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis made the appointment on November ... continue reading


SCARY VIDEO! What the heck blew up in Russia's sky? Was it a meteor or something stranger?! Watch

Image of A still taken from footage of the phenomena that took place in Russia on November 14.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

What was the mysterious phenomena that occurred in Russia and was witnessed and captured on camera by dozens of motorists? It appears that nobody knows for sure, and even experts are left scratching their heads while they struggle to find reasonable explanations. ... continue reading


Who really was Jack the Ripper? New evidence points to one man Watch

Image of A criminologist from England may have new evidence that points towards the real identity of Jack the Ripper.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new theory about the identity of infamous 19th century London serial killer Jack the Ripper may explain why the murderer was able to elude contemporary and modern authorities for so long and escape justice. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dr. Gareth Norris, a ... continue reading


Which countries drink the most beer? Our list may surprise you! Watch

Image of Beer is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Who still drinks beer?  Beer is one of the most widely consumed beverages, behind water and tea.  Beer is also a Catholic tradition, alongside wine-making, and has been widely practiced in monasteries, especially in Europe. Now, a list has emerged detailing ... continue reading


To raise money for the poor, Pope Francis to raffle gifts Watch

Image of The tickets are only a modest €10, but this includes a new Fiat Panda 4x4, with all optional extras.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Talking the talk, walking the walk: Pope Francis has done it again. The pontiff is raffling gifts that have been given to him in order to raise money for the poor. Posters announcing the raffle have gone up all over Vatican City. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Russia could destabilize Eastern Europe if Ukraine left unchecked, Merkel warns Watch

Image of It's exceedingly tough talk from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She says that Russia's annexation of Crimea and subsequent destabilization of eastern Ukraine

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's exceedingly tough talk from German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She says that Russia's annexation of Crimea and subsequent destabilization of eastern Ukraine "called the whole of the European peaceful order into question." Adding to the gloomy outlook was a ... continue reading


The Pope Who Builds Showers for the Poor under St Peters Rattles our Comfort Zones Watch

Image of Pope Francis embracing Jesus in the face of the poor

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Those who love the poor - like Jesus loved the poor- are an instruction manual for the rest of us. They are a sign of the kingdom, making it present in their wake. We have such a man in this Pope named Francis. He recognizes that poverty is more than a lack of ... 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, Revelation 15:1-4
1 And I saw in heaven another sign, great and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 7-8, 9
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2014 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at Diest, Brabant. He ... 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