Last week it was widely reported in the press that Italian scientist Luigi Garlaschelli claimed to have reproduced the Shroud of Turin with materials and techniques available in the middle ages. Garlaschelli concludes therefore that the shroud to is a fake.
In response Barrie M. Schwortz, documenting photographer of the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) which has spent thousands of hours studying the shroud itself, derides the reports as "science by press release". Noting that the work of scientists is normally submitted for peer review, which was not done in this case, a quick reading of the press release indicates that "…it is apparent immediately that the author knows very little about the actual Shroud of Turin." He further notes that a detailed scientific response to this press release is being drafted by the online Shroud Science Group.
The Catholic Church never has formally asserted that the shroud is the actual burial cloth of Christ but recognizes that it serves as a valuable reminder of the passion of Jesus. However it appears that, in this year when the shroud is again to be publicly displayed, opponents of the shroud feel compelled to try to undermine claims of authenticity and are willing to misrepresent science to accomplish that end.