Shroud of Turin goes on display amid new research

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Theories abound regarding the origins of the most tested religious object in history. AP

VATICAN CITY— The Shroud of Turin went on display for a special TV appearance Saturday amid new research disputing claims it’s a medieval fake and purporting to date the linen some say was Jesus’ burial cloth to around the time of his death.

Pope Francis sent a special video message to the event in Turin’s cathedral, but made no claim that the image on the shroud of a man with wounds similar to those suffered by Christ was really that of Jesus. He called the cloth an “icon,” not a relic — an important distinction.

“This image, impressed upon the cloth, speaks to our heart and moves us to climb the hill of Calvary, to look upon the wood of the Cross, and to immerse ourselves in the eloquent silence of love,” he said.

“This disfigured face resembles all those faces of men and women marred by a life which does not respect their dignity, by war and violence which afflict the weakest,” he said. “And yet, at the same time, the face in the Shroud conveys a great peace; this tortured body expresses a sovereign majesty.”

Many experts stand by carbon-dating of scraps of the cloth that date it to the 13th or 14th century. However, some have suggested the dating results might have been skewed by contamination and have called for a larger sample to be analyzed.

The Vatican has tiptoed around just what the cloth is, calling it a powerful symbol of Christ’s suffering while making no claim to its authenticity.

The 14-foot-long, 3.5-foot-wide (4.3-meter-long, 1 meter-wide) cloth is kept in a bulletproof, climate-controlled case in Turin’s cathedral, but is only rarely open to the public. The last time was in 2010 when more than 2 million people lined up to pray before it and then-Pope Benedict XVI visited.

The latest display coincided with Holy Saturday, when Catholics mark the period between Christ’s crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday. A few hundred people, many in wheelchairs, were invited inside the cathedral for the service, which was presided over by Turin’s archbishop. It was only the second time the shroud has gone on display specifically for a TV audience; the first was in 1973 at the request of Pope Paul VI, the Vatican said.

The display also coincided with the release of a book based on new scientific tests on the shroud that researchers say date the cloth to the 1st century.

The research in “The Mystery of the Shroud,” by Giulio Fanti of the University of Padua and journalist Saverio Gaeta, is based on chemical and mechanical tests on fibers of material extracted for the carbon-dating research. An article with the findings is expected to be submitted for peer-review, news reports say.

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  • Jake Lopez

    Definitely not Jesus’ image. If you will wrap something like a cloth or tissue paper to soak blood from left ear to front of face to right ear, the image formed will be wider. This shroud depicts a face in 3D..like it was simply painted by an artist.

    • Duke Dux Ducis

      sus ang mga scientist nga di masabi na painted yun ikaw pa kaya…

  • ever green

    Who cares about a shroud???? If you truly believe in God then shroud or no shroud it don’t matter. If you still need proof of the existence of God then shroud or no shroud it dont matter either…..

  • http://twitter.com/Olibo2 Olibo

    It’s one of the great hoaxes of all time.

    • Ivideo

      Like the catholic church, the biggest syndicate of all time.

      • boldyak

        …from a non catholic point of view..

      • Ivideo

        You can say, from a former catholic point of view. I was born catholic. My family, thru my religious parents initiative and out of our own money, built the only catholic church in our barrio in the early sixties. Barrio Balete was renamed by my father as Barrio San Agustin in honor of our new Patron San Agustin. BTW, it was also our family who personally bought the statue, the church bell and paid for all the 30 or so pews for the church. Every sunday, never missed, I personally pick up Fr. Guesse and acted as his sacristan when he celebrate mass in our barrio which is also at the expense of my family (stifle and foods).

        I can go on and on but I guess, nothing will change your stance anyway. I am no longer a catholic nor a member of any congregation but I am so very HAPPY. I am still a believer in my own way.

      • Paliwaweng

        correct, the main objective of the church was to enslave mankind and get more money from their followers.

      • Dominic

        When Jesus said, “I will build My church …” (Matt. 16:18) He obviously had some purpose in mind. Only church that can be traced back from St. Peter, whom Jesus intrusted his Church… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_popes

  • Fancy Tan

    “Respect is the key to Peace”

  • RedWarrior

    The best evidence that we can present to the truth behind the cloth used to wrap Jesus can be found in the Bible.
    When the servants learned that Christ has risen, they rushed to the burial place and…

    John20: 6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7 And the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. (KJV)

    This account of John, a reliable witness, tells us that the cloth used to wrap Jesus body is a separate cloth from the ones used to wrap His head. John is talking here about TWO sheets.
    While the shroud of tourin is one piece of cloth aleggedly used to wrap the whole body of what they call the christ.
    This is far different from what the Bible tells.

    • Horst Manure

      Assuming the Bible is correct and no written by a lot of experts who want to put their own spin on it all.

  • kilabot

    people has a foolish tendency to worship the creation not the creator;
    to defy nature and practice all sorts of perversion;
    so the world is always in birth pains;
    unable to finally be delivered.

  • Atawid

    There should be no contest on the truth of the shroud. Just follow what God tells us, “blessed are those who see and believe but more blessed are those who believe but have not seen”. It’s a matter of faith.

  • Mamang Pulis

    it’s a fake.

  • virgoyap

    Whether its real or fake it’s the believers themselves who will make it genuine.

  • penoy2012

    The Shoudn of Turin, – wheteher it’s fake or not, reflects the suffering of a man, “marred by a life which does not respect their dignity, by war and violence”. Hope it can change our mindset towards our fellow men.

  • Duke Dux Ducis

    andaming nag mamarunong eh mga scientist na nga at kung ano-anong test ang ginawa di parin ma explain kayo pa kaya!!!…you are against anti-catholic traditions kasi di naman kayo mga catholic in the first place…how can 1.2 Billion catholics go wrong…bat di nyo sabihin ang religion nyo cowards…

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