This is something of big time attention in the mainstream media. Columnist Michael Potemra writes, Shroud of Turin: Vindication for Jeffrey Hart? in National Review Online:
For years, the scientific consensus about the Shroud of Turin was that it was a medieval forgery. Former NR senior editor Jeffrey Hart was a dissenter from that view — for a variety of reasons, he believed the Shroud was authentic. Now comes news that scientists at the University of Padua have established that the Shroud does in fact date back to the first century.
Does in fact? Those are pretty strong words. Anyway, continuing a bit down the page:
The walk of faith is a difficult one. In a world that denies God — a world of cruelty, brutality, violence, oppression of the weak by the strong, and persecution of those who stand up for the weak — it is often hard to hold on to the existence of a benevolent God. But God nonetheless gives people faith in Him, to each person according to His own design and measure; and we should be grateful for any hint He sends us that the accounts of Him are true. Of course, the Shroud of Turin is not proof of the Christian Faith. But — in this week, Holy Week, even more than usual – this news gives believers some encouragement.
For which I am very, very, thankful: If the world is right, Jesus was just a troublemaker who ran afoul of the authorities, and paid the price that troublemakers often do. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to hold on to the faith and hope that He was and is much more than that. Somebody once said that God’s absence is not that of a cruel and indifferent landlord, but closer to that of a loving father playing peek-a-boo with his toddler. Perhaps what we heard from Padua today was just such a peek-a-boo.