In response to the ENEA Report, the Rev. Dr. Peter Mullen, Rector of St Michael, Cornhill and St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in the City of London (only Anglicans can think up such interesting names for churches) writes:
When pressed to give his judgment on the shroud’s authenticity, Pope Benedict never went further than to affirm that it could prove a strengthening of faith among those who already believe. It is, he said, “an image which reminds us always of Christ’s suffering”. And this is surely right. To make this problematic piece of cloth the criterion for belief in the Resurrection is to be guilty of the same mixture of crass literalism and the misapplication of forensic science as that found in Richard Dawkins’s declaration that if God exists, we should be able to detect him with our telescopes.
It is an unsatisfactory faith which insists upon forensic proofs. Suppose that today’s consensus is that the shroud is genuine. Then do we all become devout believers? And must we then give up that belief if tomorrow there is a conclusive report to demonstrate that it is a medieval forgery?