The St. Paul Inside the Walls Evangelization Center in Madison, New Jersey held a mock trial this week to debate the existence of God.
The trial was between a fictional family, brother and sister both vying for their deceased mother's fortune. One sibling believed in God, the other did not, and the mother's will states that her children must come to an agreement before the fortune is distributed. So, naturally, the case has gone to court.
St. Paul Evangelization Center held the trial as a way to garner interest in their church, particularly from those who may not believe in God, or who feel they are losing their faith.
Reverend Geno Sylva, executive director of St. Paul's told The Independent Press, "For people returning to the Church with open hearts and minds, they need to know dialogue is welcomed . . . Our goal at St Paul's is to provide a forum where life-changing issues can be discussed in a non-intimidating manner, while always holding strong to the teachings of the Gospel and the Catholic Church."
Sylva was confident the trial would at the very least make people think about God more often than they normally would, saying, "Such a controversial and public trial encourages some hefty discussion in an era when God is often ignored."
St. Paul's titled the event "The Trial a Century in the Making," and drew star legal professionals from the community. Actual federal judge Madeline Cox presided the mock trial. And Michael Critchley, accomplished lawyer of Critchley, Kinum and Vazquez represented God.
Prior to the event, confident of his win, Critchley told The Wall Street Journal, "When you examine all the relevant material I feel very comfortable you are meeting someone who is a supernatural being . . . I am very comfortable I have the right side philosophically ad scientifically."
The trial also drew talent from the world of academia. Arguing on the nonbeliever side was Professor John Lenz, Drew University Classics Department Chair. He was excited to be involved in the case and told The Journal prior to the event, "It's good for [St. Paul's] to realize that Catholicism is not the only position in religion, in philosophy and history in the world today."