“For centuries the cult of Simonino has spread hatred and the most sinister anti-Semitic violence, not only in Trento, not only in Italy, but throughout Europe. The story has become a symbol of a certain type of Catholic anti-Jewish prejudice which has been the cause of many grievances and sufferings and with which the Church has accepted, only in recent times, to confront itself. This visit also wants to be an acknowledgment of this path, today a harbinger of a new season of encounter and mutual understanding which also arise in the sign of the principles enshrined in the Nostra Aetate declaration”.
This was stated by the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities Noemi Di Segni, who visited on Sunday the exhibition “The invention of the culprit. The ‘case’ of Simonino of Trento, from propaganda to history” at the Museo Diocesano Tridentino in Trento.
At the center of the set-up is the story of Simonino, declared a victim of a Jewish ritual murder and revered for centuries as an innocent martyr. A piece of “fake news” and a propaganda machine based on ancient prejudices with which the Catholic world has only recently reckoned.
Next to President Di Segni were the Israeli ambassador to the Holy See, Oren David, and the president of the Jewish community of Merano Elisabetta Rossi Borenstein.
The visit to Trento took place at the invitation of the president of the Trentino section of the Italy-Israel association Marcello Malfer. Before the in-depth analysis of the exhibition, curated by Domenica Primerano with Domizio Cattoi, Lorenza Liandru and Valentina Perini and the collaboration of Emanuele Curzel and Aldo Galli, the group met with the mayor Alessandro Andreatta and with the emeritus bishop Luigi Bressan.
“The path of dialogue is long and complex. A construction site that is always open, characterized by many challenges overcome and by unresolved problems on which it is necessary to deal with the utmost coherence and awareness. However, what we are experiencing is a season that generates many fruits, with positive repercussions that benefit the entire community. A principle to keep in mind. Especially in a delicate moment like this, marked by the advance of old and new words of hatred that endanger the holding of modern democratic conquests.” Di Segni added.