According to the Italian news agency AGI, Rai (Radiotelevisione Italiana), Italy’s public broadcasting corporation, will soon be airing a new documentary, "La notte della Sindone" — The Night of the Shroud.

I am told that it is provocative and highly informative, that it uses archival materials never before publically available. It is, as I understand it, the untold story behind the story of the 1988 radiocarbon dating.

imageApparently, in 1984, four years before the actual carbon dating of the Shroud, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Cardinal-Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (now Pope Benedict XVI), wrote a letter to the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Agostino Casaroli, endorsing carbon dating as part of a unified package of twenty-five experiments and studies. Unfortunately, it seems, only the carbon dating was allowed to go forward. Why? An actual plot to discredit the shroud?

I found disturbing quotes in at least two high-readership news venues:

  • Via Yahoo News Italy using Google Translate: (AGI) – Rome, May 6 – The weekly People, on newsstands from Saturday, May 7, has the exclusive previews of the film ” The Night of the Shroud”(aired in the coming days on Rai ). The documentary, archival content with the RAI, deals with the alleged ‘plot’ to fix the date of [the shroud to the Middle Ages].
  • Via Blitz quotidiano using Google Translate: "The Night of the Shroud ", [to be] broadcast in the coming days on Rai, [tells us] that there was an actual plot to undermine the authenticity ‘of Holy Shroud.
  • imageMoreover, according to several sources, the documentary film states that Pope John Paul II might have been ‘censored’ on the Shroud. The reason, implied by an article in Corriere Della Sera, is that the pope had referred to the shroud as a relic, thus imputing authenticity to it.

imageThe Night of the Shroud was directed by Francesca Saracino and produced by Paolo Monaci. It includes interviews with Franco Faia, John Jackson, Bill Meacham, Barrie Schwortz, Bob Villarreal and many others. The on camera host of the program is Italian actress Rosalinda Celentano (pictured), well known for her role as the "Devil" in Mel Gibson’s "Passion of the Christ."

If there ever was an Italian film with so many interviews with English speaking people that needs to be dubbed into English for the British and American audiences, this is it. It seems likely that in English it will become a blockbuster film of the Shroud of Turin genre.

We need to keep an eye on this story.