MUST READ: For a science and religion story, this story has staying power. Nick Squires hit an out-of-the-park home run six days before Christmas. Today, he is re-writing the same story in the same newspaper, The Telegraph, and citing new sources. In the meantime many other news sites reported the same story with different wording but very little variation. Several hundred blogs reported the story. I have had more posts on this story then on any other shroud story I can remember. Here we go:
Dateline: Nick Squires, Rome, December 29, 2011:
Headline: Vatican’s official newspaper says science cannot explain Turin Shroud
Lede: The Vatican’s official newspaper has given strong endorsement to research by Italian scientists which suggests that the Turin Shroud cannot be a medieval fake and may be the authentic burial cloth of Christ.
"For science, the shroud continues to be an ‘impossible object’ – impossible to falsify," L’Osservatore Romano said in a lengthy article on Thursday.
After conducting five years of advanced laser experiments, a team of experts from Enea, the National Agency for New Technologies and Energy, concluded that the imprint of a bearded man’s face and crucified body could not be reproduced by modern scientific techniques.
. . .
The researchers presented their results with "extreme caution" and had stopped short of putting forward theories that "strayed from science", the Vatican daily said.
But the implication of their work was that the enigmatic marks on the cloth were created at the moment of Christ’s Resurrection by some sort of miracle.
. . .
Monsignor Giuseppe Ghiberti, the president of the Turin commission responsible for the relic, told the newspaper: "Revelations about the shroud easily assume a sensational tone, but in this case the measured way the scientists speak of their research is to be appreciated. It’s a rare thing that gives the news added seriousness".
He said the Catholic Church would welcome more tests being conducted on the holy relic.
"New technologies will enable non-invasive experiments to be conducted on the fabric. But it will be important to respect scientific rigour and procedures, in order to avoid sensationalism and to respect the great religious meaning that the shroud has for Christians."
. . .
I must admit, I am not ready to easily accept, “But the implication of their work was that the enigmatic marks on the cloth were created at the moment of Christ’s Resurrection by some sort of miracle.”