A reader writes, “These two articles (see below) may be why Fanti’s book had to come before peer-review which might be difficult to impossible in Catholic Italy.”
I don’t know about that. Maybe so. But, here are the two articles, both from Vatican Insider. This will undoubtedly be a long running dispute between Giulio Fanti and the Archbishop of Turin acting as Papal custodian of the Holy Shroud. The articles are presented here, below their Italian title, as Microsoft Bing Translations (difficult but essential):
1) Riserve del CIS sul volume Fanti-Gaeta, la replica del professore
A note from the International Centre of Sindonology and the response of the scholar at the University of Padua
With reference to the news of the publication by the Publisher Rizzoli volume "the mystery of the shroud" by Giulio Fanti and Saverio Gaeta, in which the following would be searches on material that is supposed to come from the shroud of Turin, the International Centre of Sindonology in Turin expressed their reservations before an approach to the theme that is based on elements such as the analysis of tissue samples whose membership in the sindonico is at least dubious cloth and not verifiable anywaybecause no traceability.
The intervention of the CIS
In this regard the CIS refer to official statements on "experiments and analysis concerning the Holy Shroud" already released-on the occasion of other similar attempts in the past about alleged sindonico-material samples by Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini in September 1995 and by Cardinal Severino Poletto the May 4, 2009, acting as "Papal Custodians of the Shroud" and therefore also on behalf of the Holy See, owner of the shroud.
"There are more and more reports of experiments done on samples of sindonico material in order to verify the results of analyses carried out by the carbon 14 method in the summer of 1988. As far as the objective can be legitimate and the Church recognizes each scientist’s right to do the research which it deems appropriate in the context of its science, in this case it is necessary to clarify that: a) no new material is taken place on the Holy Shroud after April 21, 1988 and both the property and the custody of the Shroud has not that there can be residual material of that hand-picking; b) If this material existed, the guardian recalls that the property has not given anyone permission to keep track and make any use and please those interested to put it back in the hands of the same; c) since there is no degree of membership security of materials which were to be carried out such experiments at the sindonico, the property sheet and the custody State that they cannot recognize any serious value to the results of the alleged experiments; d) obviously this does not apply for searches initiated with material taken with express permission of the keeper during the October 1978 examinations; and) in the climate of mutual confidence with the world of scientists, the Holy See, and Archbishop of Turin invite scientists to wait until the time has come for a concerted research program organically. "
Giovanni Cardinal Saldarini
Archbishop of Turin
Papal custodian of the Holy Shroud
Turin, September 1995
«On mass media appeared in recent times news regarding research on purported sindonico material, various goals service. On them the Papal Custodian of the shroud feels duty-bound to adopt a position, on the line of the affidavits released in 1995 by his predecessor, Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini.
Is undisputed for the Church that every scientist has the right to make appropriate searches in sindonico field within its competence, respecting the feelings of the faithful and the property rights of the shroud. You must, however, make some clarifications regarding the use of purported material sindonico: no new withdrawal of material for research purposes on the Holy Shroud took place after April 21, 1988 and both the property and the custody of the Shroud has not that there can be residual material of that third hand picking. What has been achieved in the restoration of 2002 was immediately inventoried and placed under seal, a total and exclusive disposal and discretion of the Holy See. Since there is no degree of safety on the sindonico cover membership of materials on which were performed the experiments in question, the property and custody claim that they cannot recognize any serious value to the results of such experiments. In the climate of mutual confidence with the world of scientists, the Holy See, and Archbishop of Turin invite scientists to wait until the appropriate time has come for a clear and serious organically concerted research programme. It is announced that the research program is still suspended until the next Exposition, while hopefully to start a realization in the aftermath. "
Severino Cardinal Poletto
Archbishop of Turin
Papal custodian of the Holy Shroud
Turin, May 4, 2009
The answer of Professor Fahmi
In response to the reserves of the International Centre of Sindonology where it talks about "tissue samples whose membership to sindonico is at least dubious cloth and not verifiable anyway, as devoid of any traceability" I am forced to respond even to defend the honour of my University I funded the studies described in the book published by Rizzoli.
1. who responded Probably hasn’t had a way to read the book that contains just an appendix concerning the traceability of the samples.
2. samples in question originate from those that Cardinal Saldarini to point d) excludes from its declaration because "material taken with express permission of the keeper during the October 1978 exams".
3. as indicated in the declarations of Cardinal Saldarini and Poletto, yours truly took contacts for resitituzione samples.
4. the results of research published can be confirmed by parallel testing conducted by the CIS. The undersigned is available to provide the know-how to do so.
2) Sindone, la battaglia dei reperti. Ma Fanti li ha buoni…
In view of the exposition scheduled Saturday afternoon television, continues the debate on the sacred linen studies. The note of Monsignor Nosiglia
It’s a few days into the new library book of infantrymen and Gaeta on the Shroud. Prof. Fahmi, of the University of Padua, presents the results of experiments on sindonici fragments in its possession. From these it appears that the curtain sindonico is compatible with the era in which Jesus Christ was crucified. A further denial to questionable, and discussed, a result of examinations to C14, spoiled by miscalculations, and dated the fabric to the middle ages.
Yesterday a note from Turin International Centre of Sindonology, and Archbishop of Turin, mons. Cesare Nosiglia, put stakes in the work of foot soldiers. Cannot be attributed to ” any serious value ” to the results of research on the Shroud mentioned in volume, Ansa said the Papal Custodian of sindonico sheet, the Archbishop of Turin Cesare Nosiglia. ” Since there is no degree of membership security of materials which were to be carried out such experiments at sindonico sheet-reads a note from monsignor Nosiglia-ownership and custody claim that they cannot recognize any serious value to the results of such alleged experiments. ”
The Archbishop of Turin confirms the statements already released, at similar attempts in the past about alleged sindonico samples, by his predecessors, Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini and Cardinal Severino Poletto. ” Perhaps it would be useful and necessary to resume searches-added monsignor Nosiglia-but at the moment there is no activity in this direction. We will evaluate with the Holy See, what you need to do. ”
A little later came the clarification by Giulio Fanti, according to which the samples are based on new research on the Shroud "originate from those that Cardinal Giovanni Saldarini excluded from his statement why material taken with express permission of the keeper during the October 1978 exams". According to the International Center for Sindonology (CIS) the examined materials are not "trackable" with certainty and so this would thwart research trust. But for professor finds his Foot examined are absolutely "trackable and come, as evidenced by documents in his possession, from former 1978 levies."Research results published-also claims Fahmi-may be confirmed by parallel testing conducted by the CIS ". In his note the scholar declares himself "available to provide its know-how for this purpose".
And this last sentence certainly takes on a meaning of provocation. But the story of withdrawals of material from the Shroud, which formed a kind of nightmare for city managers, is varied and complex. And let’s say right away that the prof. Fahmi had original material available.
Summary: there have been withdrawals of sindonico material in both 1978 and in 1988. In both cases were authorized by the custodian of the shroud, Archbishop (later Cardinal) Anastasio Ballestrero, with the agreement of the owner, Humbert II of Savoy in 1978, and John Paul II in 1988. Reportedly in sindonologi environments for a long time, prof. Foot soldiers would receive some fibers taken from the Shroud in 1978 by prof. Ray Rogers, one of American scientists of Sturp.
But in the 1988 John Riggi of Numana, the expert who cut the Shroud for the examination to C14, with the agreement of Cardinal Ballestrero, retained some fibers of the Shroud, collected fragments of blood and aspirated dust samples present between linen and canvas. The conditional is a must; He was not drafted any withdrawal verbal for the C14, let alone for a semi-official collection like that. But it is very likely that after the death of Riggi, in 2008, a portion of the material preserved by a special Foundation at jacks has come. After the death of Cardinal Ballestrero,. Saldarini issued a statement, asking that any sindonico material in freedom was made. But it does not appear that anyone has complied to the request.
All this finally: prof. Fahmi has carried out investigations on certain sindonico and authentic material, although outside the control of the International Centre of Sindonology. And furthermore to 25 years away from the C14 whose credibility the results of Fahmi contribute further erode, perhaps you could begin to assume a continuation of the research program at the time designed by Sturp, the Shroud of Turin Research Project, the international group of scientists who in 1978 produced a harvest of reliable and proven scientific results on the Shroud.
On the present was Archbishop of Turin with a note.
"With reference to the news published by the Rizzoli Publisher of the book "the mystery of the shroud" by Giulio Fanti and Saverio Gaeta, which the following searches would be on material that is supposed to come from the Shroud, the Papal Custodian of the Shroud contained confirmation about it in official statements on "experiments and analysis concerning the Holy Shroud" already issued – on the occasion of other similar attempts in the past about alleged sindonico – goods from stock samples its predecessors: by Cardinal Giovanni
Saldarini in September 1995 and by Cardinal Severino Poletto the May 4, 2009.
In particular insists that there is no security on the materials which were to be carried out such experiments at the sindonico, the property sheet and the custody State that they cannot recognize any serious value to the results of these alleged experiments.
Given that the Archbishop’s official website tells us, “Recent experimental studies (by Leoncio A. Garza-Valdes in San Antonio (Texas) and by Dmitrij A. Kouznetsov and Andrej Ivanov in Moscow) have furthermore opened the sientific debate about the tissue dating once again, with results seeming to prove a possible and considerable chemical and biological contamination of the tissue and therefore making it fundamental to start a wider research program to study and value the problem of introduction of a correction factor to the radio carbon date,” who would you trust?
It’s a mindset. A canonically unauthorized scientific experiment cannot produce results.
No matter if Fanti’s sample are truly coming from the Shroud or not or if those samples are truly representative of the main body of the Shroud, the problem is elsewhere…
No credible, profesionnal and honest scientist would ever dare to use this kind of very ancient dust samples (these samples were taken from the backside of the cloth 35 years ago folks!) that are very volatile (nobody can be certain what proportion of this dust went on the Shroud at the time of the entombment of the Shroud man and what proportion of this dust became in contact with the Shroud at a much later date during all the vivicissitudes of the cloth and also what proportion of this dust is a modern contamination that happened after the sampling was done) in order to prove anything regarding the Shroud!!!
At best, the conclusions of the analyses done on this highly questionable material should have been presented to the public by Fanti et al. as being only interesting CLUES (NOT PROOFS) regarding the authenticity of the cloth and it should have been specified that such clues cannot prove anything (scientifically speaking) regarding the Shroud. Fanti and his gang should also have specified that these clues are truly waiting for a proper scientific confirmation that could ONLY happen when a new series of direct testing can be allowed on the Shroud by the Vatican.
Until that happen, sorry but the results of Fanti’s study of that very old dust material can only be considered as anecdotal at best and highly questionable if we want to stay scientifically sound. In the end, I put these results in the same category than Max Frei’s conclusions regarding the pollens and even then, I think I’m generous because Frei’s samples were at least fresh samples just taken from the cloth’s surface, on the contrary to Fanti’s very old samples. And people should also consider the fact that Fanti’s material was taken by Riggi on the BACK SURFACE of the cloth, which was back then in DIRECT CONTACT with the Holland cloth, which could have lead to some contamination and could also have facilitate the trapping of some more recent material in between the 2 cloths that had nothing to do with the origin of the Shroud or with the places where the cloth could have been kept.
I think any unbiased, honest and intelligent person should agree with me about all this.
In the event that Fanti and his colleagues positively demonstrate that the age of linen can be accurately determined solely by its elasticity, then they have done a service to science regardless of any consideration of the shroud. If, by their method, they have identified a linen fibre as being 2000 years old, then there is a fairly limited provenance to such a fibre. If that fibre comes from anywhere in the vicinity of the shroud, back or front, authorised or not, then a substantial piece of evidence has been added to the shroud corpus of knowledge. The same applies to their IR or Ramon spectroscopy dating procedures.
Oh boy do the “ifs” of your comment are important…
The translation above contains some delightful but somewhat misleading idiosyncracies (Translating Prof. Fanti as “infantryman” or “footsoldier” for example; and translating “sottoscrito” as “yours truly”), so I hope a clearer, if slightly freer translation of Fanti’s riposte to his critics may be helpful:
“1. The correspondents to Vatican Insider have not been able to read the appendix to my book which clearly explains the provenance of the samples.
2. The samples are from what Cardinal Saldarini specifically refers to in his point d): “material taken with the explicit permission of the Custodian during the STURP investigation in October 1978.”
3. According to the requirements of Cardinals Saldarini and Poletto, the undersigned has contracted for the return of his samples.
4. The results of his published research are reproducible and could be confirmed by parallel tests conducted by the CIS. The undersigned is ready to share his knowledge and experience for this purpose.”
It seems clear the Fanti felt obliged to point this out as the article to which he was replying implied that he was using samples taken without permission either in 1988 or 2002. His declaration has been quickly followed by some nervous backtracking by the Archbishop of Turin, Cesare Nosiglia, to the effect that even if the taking of the samples was authorised, the length of time since 1978 has rendered their provenance insecure. Which indeed may be correct.
Why has CIS not published anything about its “parallel tests”?
They haven’t carried out any. Fanti is offering to help them confirm his findings should they wish to do so, not saying that anything similar has been done before.
So, the question that is raised is, Then on what basis did Professor Barberis tell Vatican Insider – La Stampa recently that Fanti was not scientific in his findings? What does he know and how did he come to know about what he stated?
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