Student at Wooster have created a Global Catholicism in America  blog. Apparently it is only for the Spring 2010 semester. The student intend to provide a running commentary on current events dealing with Catholicism in America. If the first few posts are an indication of quality, I hope this blog lives on much longer (though they need to do some spell checking). Here is an article on the Shroud of Turin:

Debate on the Shroud of Turin’s authenticity arises again in the wake of its new exsposition (sic) in April and May of this year.

“The church has never pronounced itself in this sense. It has always left the question open to all those who want to seek its authenticity. I think it is a relic.” Pope John Paul II

Summary: The Shroud of Turin is believed by many Christians to be the burial clothe of Jesus. It is a 14 foot long cloth with what looks to be a bearded man, complete with wounds of crucifixtion, (sic) flogging and a crown of thorns. Scientists have run many tests on the shroud, including carbon-14 dating in 1988, and have come up with a date in the Middle ages.

Sceptics of the dating tecniques (sic) used have argued that the material that was tested came from a repair site and not the actual shroud. Others argue that because scientists have yet to discover, or agree on, a way the shroud’s image was created that an image like this could only be created by the divine. Pope John Paul II himself visited the shroud the last time it was on display 10 years ago and called it a “relic”. Now as the current Pope benedict (sic) XVI intends to visit Turin to see the shroud in May he must decide what to refer to the shroud as. An icon of Jesus that might not nessesarily (sic) touched him, a sign from God, or a relic of true authenticity.

A Vatican archivist by the name of Barbara Frale says that there is writing on the shroud proving it to be authentic and that of Jesus. Photographs have always been taken of the shroud as another way to study it and she claims that in older photos one can see text in three old Jerusalem languages “Jesus Nazerene”.

Class Themes: We looked at the “stuff” that Catholics have and how important these things are, relics are an important part of worship and belief. Catholics put power into objects touched by saints or the actual body parts of saints.

Questions: Is it important for  Pope Benedict XVI to agree with Pope John Paul II? Is it realistic that people still believe in the shroud even though carbon-14 dating has disproved its authenticity?

Coverage: Catholic News Service

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