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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Europe

Fears regarding Pope Francis' health resurface after he says he is 'a bit old and sick' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Telling parishioners he is "a bit old and a bit sick," new fears for the health of Pope Francis have resurfaced. The pope asked a group of elderly and disabled people to pray for him, warning that he was also suffering from heath problems. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Queen Elizabeth meets royal baby Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The royal newborn baby to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, William and Kate, was finally visited by the 89-year-old Queen. She went to Kensington Palace and was introduced to her fifth great-grandchild Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, born May 2, 2015. The baby's first ... continue reading


Papal visit to Iraq possible, but staff 'will not allow him to at present' Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Large swatches of Iraq are under the iron-fisted rule of the Islamist States. Members of the Christian minority there have been forced from their homes where they seek refuge. Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil says he has spoken to Pope Francis about ... continue reading


Welcome to Liberland: Small patch claims to be world's newest country Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Liberland, the world's newest country, is a "pocket-sized" land that already has its own flag -- decorated with an eagle and a sun -- and its own motto: "To live and let live." Located by the River Danube, the self-declared nation's founders argued that it was neither ... continue reading


Putin's super soldier program? Russian military to equip army with mind controlled exoskeletons Watch

Image of Russia's recent announcement to equip its military with this technology by 2020 may alter the face of modern warfare.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems that Russian President Vladimir Putin is giving his army of aggression a new toy to play with, at least if recent claims by Russian media are to be believed. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Straight out of a science fiction book, Russia's state run ... continue reading


Pope's 'who am I to judge' put to test with appointment of French gay ambassador to Vatican Watch

Image of France nominated Laurent Stefanini earlier this year. The Vatican has yet to accept the appointment. Stefanini, a Catholic who worked for years in the French Embassy at the Vatican, is openly gay.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Of being gay, Pope Francis exclaimed, "Who am I to judge?" Vatican-watchers say that is now being put to the test with the first openly gay ambassador to the Vatican, Laurent Stefanini from France awaiting approval. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - France ... continue reading


Terrorist attack plans AGAINST THE VATICAN unveiled during police raids in Italy Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An al-Qaeda-linked terror cell, who once had direct contact with Osama bin Laden and planned an attack on the Vatican, has been uncovered and broken up during raids by the Italian police this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The group in question is believed ... continue reading


North African immigrants flooding Italy - as many as 200,000 could be there in a year Watch

Image of Arrivals of migrants usually spike in the spring and summer months due to more inclement weather in the Mediterranean.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Italy has become a gateway for many African and Middle Easterners fleeing their war-torn lands for peace and prosperity. It is estimated that as many as 5,000 migrants a week arrive in Italy by sea from North African ports. This is leading to a crisis, with ... continue reading


Pope urges Christians and Jews to UNITE to defeat persecution in Europe Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Meeting with a 30-member delegation of the Conference of European Rabbis, Pope Francis said that European Christians and Jews must stand together to defend one another from discrimination and persecution around the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Money running out, Greek government orders raid on government coffers Watch

Image of Hopes of securing a deal by the end of the month have faded, following a fraught week in which debt drama moved temporarily to Washington for the IMF's spring conference.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Greek government has ordered a mandatory transfer of cash reserves from state-owned enterprises to the central bank. The action is a frantic bid to gather enough cash to remain solvent. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Citing "extremely urgent and ... 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, Acts 15:1-6
1 Then some men came down from Judaea and taught the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 122:1-2, 3-4, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents Of David] I rejoiced that they ... Read More

Gospel, John 15:1-8
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 6th, 2015 Image

Bl. Edward Jones
May 6: Blessed Edward Jones and Anthony Middleton, Martyrs Edward Jones ... 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