Correa: What were the religious affiliations of the team?
Schwortz: This was first a scientific research, and had nothing to do with religion or religious affiliation, but the team was made up of Catholics, a few Jewish guys like me, and some Protestants. To say whether they believed in the authenticity of the shroud at first is not established, but they did after we finished our studies.
Correa: You came in as scientists, what did you come out as?
Schwortz: To be accurate, I came in as a photographer well versed in technical issues. In the end I came out not just as a scientist, but as someone who had found a deeper meaning to things.
I was Jewish, and not very active in my own faith, but ultimately, because of the shroud, where I had to take a public role, I was forced to confront my own beliefs. I was 50 years old at that time, and I was not in a rush.
I had been raised in an Orthodox Jewish home, and God had been a part of my upbringing, but I had ignored Him for most of my life. When I established shroud.com and spoke out publicly, people started asking, "What do you believe in?" and since I wanted to be truthful about every bit of this, it forced me for the first time as an adult to look inside my heart and confront my faith.