If you had looked three days ago, you might have noticed the name of a new contributor to David Rolfe’s Shroud Affair Crowd Funding Campaign: The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dr. Rowan Williams, who until just this past March was the Archbishop of Canterbury (+Rowan Cantuar), the senior bishop of the Church of England and the symbolic head of the Anglican Communion, the primus inter pares (first among equals) of all Anglican primates worldwide. A friend and confidant of Pope Benedict XVI, known widely as a brilliant theologian and a man of towering intellect (Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Literature and the Learned Society of Wales), he is today Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge.
In the early hours of the morning, today, the following press release appeared on the web.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury backs The Shroud Affair
Dr. Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge and former Archbishop of Canterbury, comes out in favour of a new project focussed on the Shroud of Turin designed to bring it back into the academic domain.
The project is: The Shroud Affair, currently the subject of an Indiegogo Crowd Funding campaign that can be viewed here. http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-shroud-affair
Dr. Rowan Williams (left) said: "David Rolfe’s original film The Silent Witness and its associated publicity made a big impact back in the 70’s and I find the evidence based on the development of iconography developed by Ian Wilson that links the Shroud with the Edessa image and expounded in that film persuasive. At the same time, a close look at the single C14 test performed in 1988 seems to leave some loose ends. This might be easier to put aside if anyone had been able to come up with an explanation for the image which, so far, has not been forthcoming. So, I welcome David Rolfe’s initiative and share with him the hope that at some point a properly structured scientific examination might try again to address the Shroud’s secrets. In any event, it would be pleasing to find a way for cinema-goers to become acquainted with a story that, thanks to that single C14 test, is fast becoming forgotten."
David Rolfe (right) said: "For a long time the few trying to reconcile the conflict between the mass of data that supports the genuine antiquity of the Shroud and the single, suspect C14 test that has overshadowed it have felt as if we have been crying in the wilderness. To have Dr. Williams’ public endorsement and practical support for The Shroud Affair campaign and what it represents is a significant step forward. When will other academics have the courage to revisit this subject? If the image was purported to be a pharaoh or any another character from ancient history, academia would not rest until it had fathomed the nature of the image. As it is, the Shroud ‘s image remains a total mystery. What are they afraid of?”
The former heads of both the Anglican and Catholic Church have now both now made a significant gesture in refocussing scientific attention on the Shroud. Dr. Williams by the endorsement above and ex Pope Benedict making an unscheduled worldwide TV transmission of the Shroud his valedictory act.
Download PDF Here.
Links in the first paragraph are all to Wikipedia articles. Picture of Dr. Rowan Williams and Pope Benedict XVI accompanied the press release and is from Getty Images.