Emerging Artists Theatre presents the New York premiere of A Ritual of Faith, the controversial play by Brad Levinson. The work was inspired by the tragic and true story of Edgardo Mortara, a 6-year-old Jewish Italian boy abducted by the Catholic Church and raised by Pope Pius IX.
One night in Italy in the mid 1800's there are several loud knocks at the door. A police official enters a Jewish home and demands the removal of a boy by order of the Holy Inquisitor; the reason being the "fact" that the child must be "returned to his rightful parents--the Church." This is the result of an alleged secret baptism by a young Catholic servant girl. If the parents want their son back, their only recourse is to prove that the original baptism was a fraud. However, there are those that feel the boy will have a better life outside the Jewish ghetto in his new home under the auspices of the Catholic Church.