“The imagery of Jews blood-letting a Christian child to bake the matzah is a travesty dated two weeks before Passover and Easter... The blood libel is still bleeding!”
Paris, 27 March 2020
In a letter to Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre Director for International Relations, Dr. Shimon Samuels expressed shock at a recently published painting by Giovanni Gasparro. This Italian artist views himself as a devout Catholic, but apparently rejects the principles of the Second Vatican Council and Nostra Aetate.
The letter explained that, “Gasparro’s new painting represents the ‘Martirio di San Simonino da Trento per Omicidio Rituale Ebraico’ (‘Martyrdom of Saint Simon of Trent for Ritual Jewish Homicide’), the rerun of a 1475 blood libel depicting Jews in antisemitic imagery, ‘celebrating’ the blood-letting of a Christian child to bake the Passover bread.”
The horrible imagery of the blood libel, as depicted by Giuseppe Gasparro today and in a late
15th century illustration.
The Centre reminded that, “At that time, this blood libel not only resulted in the torture and execution of the local Jewish community, but its imagery provoked a widespread surge in antisemitic violence throughout Europe. Today's rendering of the blood libel by Gasparro is ever more graphic and is bound to be diffused through social media.”
Samuels argued that, “the issuing date of the painting was 24 March - the traditional ‘Feast day of San Simonino,’ to be followed by a conference scheduled for 3 April - now postponed due to the pandemic - on ‘The invention of the guilty and the concealment of the innocent - The case of San Simonino of Trento,’ speaker: Don Francesco Ricossa, who is dedicated to spreading the blood libel.”
See link: <https://sansimoninotrento.wordpress.com/>
This nostalgic website opens with a prayer: “God, restorer of innocence, for whose name the blessed Simon was killed with a very harsh death by the perfidious Jews..."
The letter continued: “Your Eminence, it is very disturbing that these festivals and conferences annually take place around Passover and Easter... The Second Vatican Council acted to forbid the veneration of Simon of Trent, in order to combat antisemitism in the Church. Nostra Aetate also began a long sought healing relationship between Christianity and Judaism.”
The Centre added: “As you are aware, on 20 January, the Wiesenthal Centre met in audience with the Holy Father, Pope Francis, who made a passionate statement condemning antisemitism.”
“The work of Gasparro is apparently welcomed in Italian churches, but this painting clearly foments scapegoating in a climate of recurrent fake news, thereby undermining Vatican policy, and should receive a forthright public condemnation... We would appreciate Your Eminence’s assistance, as the blood libel is still bleeding!” concluded Samuels.