“In fact, the thesis launched is that if Jesus is buried there with his family, then the resurrection would be no more than an invention of his disciples,” he noted.
The archbishop continued: “However, leaving to one side the inconsistency of the archaeological proof, which has been utterly contested by Israeli archaeologists, the factual event of Jesus’ resurrection is rigorously documented in the New Testament by the five accounts of the apparitions: four of the Gospels and St. Paul’s.”
“All critical studies in these two centuries have shown that in the profound truth of the accounts of the apparitions there is non-debatable historicity,” he said.
A historical encounter Archbishop Forte said: “There is a vacuum between Good Friday, when the disciples abandoned Jesus, and Easter Sunday, when they became witnesses of the Risen One, with a drive and courage that impelled them to proclaim the good news to the ends of the earth, even to giving their lives for him.
“What happened? The profane historian cannot explain it. The Gospels imply it: There was an encounter that changed their lives. “And this encounter, recounted in the passages of the apparitions, is characterized by an essential fact: The initiative is not from the disciples, but from him who is alive, as the book of the Acts of the Apostles states.”
“This means that it isn’t something that happens in the disciples but something that happens to them,” said Archbishop Forte.
“Beginning with this fact,” he said, “in the course of history Christ has been proclaimed with a drive that has involved geniuses of thought, not visionaries, from Augustine of Hippo to Thomas Aquinas, down to Teresa of Calcutta, to give three examples.”
Finally, Archbishop Forte asked: “Why is the media so interested in keeping Jesus in its sights?”
“Obviously because, in the depths of the West’s culture, and not just of the West, Jesus is such a decisive and important point of reference, that everything that affects him affects us.”