Opinion piece from My Catholic Source:

Does the New Replica Disprove the Authenticity of the Shroud of Turin?

By: Ed Kelley

I love it when you can smell the bias right up front: "Shroud of Turin Once Again Proven a Fake". What can you expect from CNN and from a San Francisco "alternative" daily column by Tommi Avicolli-Mecca, author of something called "Smash the Church, Smash the State: The Early Years of Gay Liberation"? Hardly unbiased sources, are they?

As I look at the pictures, and read the articles one thing is for certain – they have made a cloth that looks like the face on the Shroud, but so far, that is it. The Shroud has undergone decades of research – it is the most studied relic in history – and yet there are still many characteristics that scientists cannot explain or reproduce. Several attempts to make a "copy" of the Shroud have scientifically turned out to be ridiculously simple by comparison to the actual Shroud. Some attempts to reproduce the Shroud have contained a few of the characteristics of the Shroud. Others have contained different characteristics of the Shroud. But none have even scratched the surface of the hundreds of known, unique and scientifically proven qualities that the Shroud holds. Most of these authentic characteristics would not be identifiable except for the many, very sophisticated modern tests that it has undergone. No attempted reproduction of the Shroud has passed more than a few of these scrupulous exams.

Only time will tell as to how accurate a copy this will turn out to be. I have rarely heard of any reproduction attempt that has continued to be studied after it has been initially revealed and held up as a "true copy" of the Shroud. Most likely, like all the other "explanations", it will turn out to be hollow ‘gotcha’ attempt, a "Hah!, look what we have done! We have created a copy that ‘proves’ the Shroud is a fake." Then, after the 15 minutes of fame has worn off, this fake will be tossed into the scrap-heap of other so-called proofs that go no further in their scientific study than the highly flawed radio carbon dating which "proved" the Shroud was a medieval fake based on a sample cut from an area still disputed as not being part of the original Shroud fabric.

The true Shroud is a photographic negative and the pictures shown in recent articles appear to show an image similar to the Shroud. Let’s assume that the pictures in the articles exhibit the same photographic negative characteristic as that of the Shroud. That makes it similar to the Shroud in one instance. The scientific community and their biased media accomplices should be asking if it also projects 3D characteristics under the VP-8 Image Analyzer. The Shroud does. Only one other "copy" has shown some 3D characteristics, albeit very distorted and disfigured. The Shroud’s 3D image is surprisingly detailed and clear.

They used pigmented paint, heating and washed the cloth afterwards to leave a stain on the cloth fibers. They suggest that the Shroud was similarly painted and that the pigment simply wore off over the centuries. Not true. The Shroud cloth’s fibrils, the fine strands of material that form the woven-together threads of the cloth, are not stained. The fibrils that make the image have decomposed at a more accelerated rate that the rest of the cloth fibers, making the sepia colored image that can only be seen at distance. There is no seepage of materials or stains. The image does not go beyond the uppermost strands of the threads. How can these scientists conclude that this was made by "paint" when there is no stain, just discolored fibrils? Are the threads of the cloth they made stained through the threads with the pigment they used? I’ll bet they are. An important note that frustrates scientists skeptical of the true Shroud – the only test that they have come up with that simulates rapid decomposition of the fibrils similar to Shroud – is enormous bursts of radiation, causing the exposed (upper fibrils on each thread) to decompose at a more rapid rate. (Can you say "Resurrection"?)

Other materials such as pollens that are only found in specific geographic regions that put the cloth in specific geographic areas are also on the Shroud. They did not "wear off over time" so why would we assume that pigment would be completely gone?

Why are there descriptions and drawings that show specific details on the true Shroud that predate any modern dating methods?

Is their image still visible when backlit or does it disappear like the image on the Shroud, indicating that there is no actual material comprising the image such as paint or stain?

Recently, scientists who work with and test the actual Shroud found that image information is on the topmost fibers of the other side of the cloth. But there is no image the fibers in the center of the threads. Can these scientists explain this? Get back to me when you have finished putting an image on the other side of your shroud and clean up the likely stained interiors of all the threads on your image. Make sure they line up exactly. Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Why did they put blood on after they made the image? Tests show that there is no image under the blood stains on the Shroud, indicating that the cloth was touching the body before the image on it was created. Please remake your image and put on real human blood before heating and washing the cloth.

One could go on endlessly about how remedial an attempt this is at actual scientific study. File this under "One more critical self-proclaimed scientist attempts to make a Shroud copy and ends up looking the fool". We may never know for sure exactly how the image was made on the Shroud of Turin. But one thing is certain – few other relics are as truly miraculous as the Shroud. And, if it is a fake, and all of these critics have "proven" that it is, why are they still trying so hard?

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