What did Stephen Jones just say?


Stephen Jones is also commenting on Rep. Rebecca Hamilton’s article 2013 Favs: New Tests Date the Shroud from the Time of Christ in Patheos. Stephen writes:

But as I wrote in my post, "Shroud of Turin News, October 2013:

"But if the Shroud is a deliberate fraud, then it would almost certainly be a work of Satan, and no Church that calls itself Christian should be promoting a deliberate fraud (much less a work of Satan)!"

So I for one do not believe that the Risen Lord Jesus, who sits at the Father’s right hand and controls everything . . . would allow such a convincing fake as the Shroud would then be, to exist.

So 2013 was a great year for the Shroud. I look forward to what the Lord has in store for us Shroud pro-authenticists in 2014?

“So I for one . . . ” is clearly the most profoundly interesting  Shroud of Turin quotation for 2014, so far.

21 thoughts on “What did Stephen Jones just say?”

  1. So all existing relics are authentic if Jones thinks they seem convincing and Jesus didn’t smash them.

  2. It’s a troubling argument in a convoluted and unnecessary discussion — doubly so, since it furthers the internecine squabbles to which Protestants and Catholics habitually revert. The nested comment is criticizing the Catholic Church for taking a position of ‘strategic ambiguity’ toward the shroud — not unlike Israel’s carefully cultivated silence regarding whether it possesses nuclear weapons. Sorry for the ominous metaphor; perhaps I’m just as susceptible to the same old habits.

    I think it’s clear to anyone who understands the Shroud (even if only a little, like me) and the way Popes communicate, knows that Francis, Benedict, John Paul, and probably many of their predecessors, all believed the Shroud is authentic. But it’s also a physical object. Like all relics, it is subject to the vagaries of time, alteration, and inexact science. It’s entirely understandable and proper the Church doesn’t go about affixing a “Papal Thumbs Up!” to objects whose sole (soul?) purpose is to draw the faithful closer to Christ — not to become articles of contention or even worship in their own right. Sure it would be nice to have the Pope on board in some official capacity; it would also make it that much easier for people to dismiss the entire ship. So, I suppose we’ll just have to settle for the “Papal Wink and a Nod.”

  3. So perhaps with so much fanaticism being expressed one could suggest that the TS be exposed for a while in Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London to see what the reaction is like? Anglicans in England are more likely to believe in ghosts and unexplained psychic phenomena than in any Catholic relic.

    1. What in the world are you talking about, Louis? And what does my being Anglican have to do with any of this? And where do you get your ideas about what Anglicans believe?

      1. Hi Dan, I was not referring to you at all, but to the “internecine squabbles” about which Jeffrey says something. I think highly of many Anglicans, particularly those in the High Church camp, read their books, like the liturgy, find the Book of Common Prayer wonderful, and so on. But I have noticed that those in the Evangelical camp within the Church have a very anti-Catholic bias.

        But since it is one Anglican Church, with High Church, Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical divisions, the suggestion is that an exposition could be made at London’s Saint Paul’s Cathedral to see what the reaction would be like. Then go ahead and strike at the papacy, which has left the blanks to be filled by science. This is answering what was posted in “What did Stephen Jones just say?”

        I must reiterate that it is easier to convince people in England, Anglicans or not, about the existence of ghosts and spirits than in the authenticity of the TS. I had personal experience near Sheffield, on the way to Reading, in England. It is the reason the Catholic Church in England has kept quiet about the Shroud.

        Even a Jesuit-educated Catholic like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle moved to the Spiritualist camp….

    2. One of the “Anglicans in England” who is sufficiently enthusiastic about Shroud studies that he contributed to David Rolfe’s attempt to raise money for a feature film was Dr Rowan Williams, former Archbishop of Canterbury.

      1. That’s true, however Dr. Rowan Williams is just one among millions of Anglicans, and quasi-Catholic, like Dan! People in England were scandalised when the photograph where he appeared kneeling, kissing Pope John Paul’s ring appeared in the press.

    3. I’m not aware of any fanaticism here — not from me or Stephen Jones at any rate. To simplify: Catholics and Protestants have had their ‘differences’ to say the least. It got ugly for a few hundred years there, but we’ve mostly ironed things out (the Peace of Westphalia helped). Still, things can be contentious at times. On a good day it’s like the atmosphere at a Harvard-Yale football game. On a bad day, well, Northern Ireland comes to mind.

      My take on Stephen’s position is that he resents (too strong?) the Church trying to “have it both ways” where the Shroud is concerned. I understand his frustration; sometimes I even share it. Still, I think the Holy See’s refusal to commit itself one way or the other is both doctrinally sound and, frankly, wise.

      Now, within that ‘strategic ambiguity’ as I referred to it, individual people can still make colossally unwise decisions, but that’s probably a topic for another thread.

  4. Belief in the authenticity of the Shroud is not essential to salvation, and consequently there will be no infallible papal pronouncement one way or the other. There is more freedom in the Catholic Church than might generally be thought. Try attending any group discussion among Catholics; you’d find there’s a general diversity of belief and emphasis, and plenty to disagree about among themselves. That’s been the feedback I’ve had from Protestants at inter-faith discussions, surprised at this observation.

  5. Good comment Daveb. I grew up as an Anglican, although only loosely, before converting to Catholicism a few years ago. I actually find Catholicism more open minded and less rigid than Anglicanism – certainly less formal (at least the high Anglican cathedral my family in Wellington were connected with was very formal and rigid).I particularly detested the nationalistic / militaristic elements of Anglicanism, which I found quite un-Christian.
    Of course there are many forms of Anglicanism so my criticisms should be understood in the context of the form I experienced.

  6. Back to topic, I find Jones’ comments bizarre, and philosophically flawed. I for one don’t believe in the highly interventionist and controlling God he does – using his logic God should have intervened in all manner of evil events across the World’s history.

    1. I don’t think them particularly bizarre but agree they are flawed. The irony is that this line of argument would impart to an object — the Shroud — the same degree of divinely-inspired infallibility Protestants find so unacceptable when claimed by the papacy. In other words, they would have the Holy Spirit acting upon objects but not through minds and souls consecrated to the service of God. Come to think of it, I guess that is just the tiniest bit bizarre. ;)

  7. Mr Jones is becoming like Erick Von Daniken who could not conceive that human beings could construct pyramids or sail across the Pacific without the aid of aliens. But they did. If the Shroud is a fake then Jones prefers to take solace in knowing it was the Devil who tricked him – not some mundane artisan who might have actually thought he was making a holy icon. A medieval Colin Berry would be worse for him than Old Nic. ;)

  8. How about virtual votives with jogging armband? E-candles are only 99 cents. Are we losing something?

  9. Stephen Jones may well have to change his position, now that the Church to which he belongs could be on the way to a radical change in belief, prompted when Archbishop Justin Welby opened a gate, much to the dismay of the Pakistani-born Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester, who some Anglicans were hoping would become the Archbishop of Canterbury.

    So if Satan has been kicked out of England, he may have landed in Turin, where he would perhaps feel more at home, given that the city is said to have a big share of satanic sects. There was even some talk about such involvement when the Cathedral caught fire. But there is nothing to fear, the Vatican has a growing number of exorcists and the authorities do their job well. And, for Christians at least, faith in Jesus implies not fearing any evil entity.


    1. It may well be that Satan is being kicked out of England but he clearly has found a home in cyberspace. Louis had posted this comment before and when I went to reply it was ripped from my computers and destroyed. It was not in the trash folder or the spam folder or even in my backup folder in the i-clouds of cyber heaven. I reached for the last refuge of wayward comments, my iPhone, but just as I did so, I heard that toilet-flushing ringtone in my pocket telling me that a file was irretrievably erased. Louis was kind enough to repost it.

      If we could just do away with the Telegraph, the Daily Mail and Stephen Jones’ blog it might not be necessary to let the world know that we Anglicans are squabbling again. Here in U.S., where Anglicans are called Episcopalians except for the breakaways which are called Reformed Anglicans, Unreformed Anglicans, Unrepentant Anglicans, and Wannabe Anglicans. (Wannabe, that sure sounds Australian). In the U.S. we have a female presiding bishop who is also a scientist, which really upsets the fundamentalist few. I mean, who would let a women be a scientist? (Or using logic from the other blog, who would let a scientist be a woman?) In the U.S., as far as I know, we are not dumbing down the Liturgy of Baptism. Godparents are still supposed to renounce Satan, although we no longer check for finger crossing.

  10. Dan has kept us up to date on the divisions in the Anglican Church, particularly in the US, where it is known as the Episcopal Church. One has the feeling that the Episcopal Church tends to be more conservative, in keeping with the attitude of the several conservative churches in a largely Protestant country. In England it is possible to attribute the more liberal approach to the influence of the so-called Enlightenment, which was felt strongly there and continues to have effect.

    Such squabbles are not limited to the Anglican Church, they can be seen in Catholicism, in mainline and other Protestant denominations and even in the Orthodox church. But what is really at issue here goes much more deeper, it is the problem of evil, the “mysterium iniquitatis”, that has still not been resolved. Leibniz did not really provide a solution and Chardin had to kind of brush it under the carpet as a side effect in his evolutionary theory. Privatio boni also has its problems, it created a gulf between two very close friends, C.G.Jung and Father Victor White, and if the friendship did not really come to an end it was because there was a spiritual bond between them that would make a complete parting of the ways very painful to both.

    So if a personified form of evil called “Satan” is dismissed — the Lord’s Prayer says “deliver us from evil” and the Catechism of the Catholic Church refers to the “Evil One”— we will still not have resolved a serious issue that has to dealt with, whether we like it or not. It is not only the Godparents of a child to be baptised but also the child that have to live in a world where there is a lot more evil than most people imagine, evil that can assume forms that are very subtle. It is high time that the biblical scholars and theologians of the different Churches get together to discuss the issue, whether it can be a part or not in the quest for Christian unity. Highly qualified scholars are going deeper into the question about why Satanism is a religious position of alterity rather than as a religious other in certain milieus and others, as qualified as them, are devoting their time and energy to wondering if there is “divine evil”.

    As for the comment on this thread that Dan did not lake long to discover was irretrievably erased, I noticed that it had vanished at my end almost a split second after it was written and posted in a big hurry, and with a sigh of relief. It is the triumph of good over evil, but that is for another occasion…

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: