don Clemente Benetti


Born in Borgo,he was a priest since 1880, the founder of the Cassa Rurale in Scurelle and a scholar of an homogenous accounting method applicable to all credit institutions in Trentino. He participated in the establishment assembly of the Federation of credit institutions and cooperative associations and in the years that followed he was at the top of the confessional cooperative movement.

In 1898 he suggested to review the statute of the credit institutions so that their catholic print would appear more explicit and he was against the institution of the bank of Saint Vigilius, which was too far from the ecclesiastical hierarchies in Trentino, and he sided instead with the catholic Bank in Trentino, of which he was also counsellor.

After he moved to Trento he took the chair of Italian and German language at the Archiepiscopal College, he was an administration member of the diocesan committee and he was a translator and administrator for the daily newspaper “la Voce Cattolica”.

He was engaged as a translator and populariser: he translated in fact the five volumes by P. Weiss from German: “"Apologia del Cristianesimo” and different pamphlets by the archeologist P.Grisar. He translated "Storia dei Papi dalla fine del medioevo", "I Papi del Medioevo" by Pasteur. He wrote "I Convertiti del secolo decimonono" (Trento, 1812); "Appunti critici da servire al Giudizio di Girolamo Savonarola" (Trento, 1898); "La questione sociale, ovvero istituzioni di sociologia" (Trento, 1897). . He founded the Library of the Episcopal Gymnasium that he enriched with more than 15,000 volumes.

After his death, in 1923, he was remembered in the magazine “Cooperazione Trentina” as “a passionate cooperative member. He knew how to reconcile the holiness of priestly life with a sincere and unselfish love for the cause of people. The Federation remembers him with affection and is thankful for his work as a simple cooperative member at first and then as a federal counsellor. His love and his example may be an incentive for us”.

Further reading:

Fabio Giacomoni, Renzo Tommasi, Le radici della cooperazione di consumo in Trentino, 100 personaggi per 100 anni SAIT, SAIT, 1999. pp 79-81