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