As 2015 approaches there will be more calls for new tests to date the Shroud of Turin. The pope, because he is the legal owner of the cloth, should support new tests while remaining completely uninvolved in any discussions on protocols. He should make it clear that he will welcome for consideration a finalized proposal brought to him by a large multidisciplinary consortium of capable scholars. In the interest of credibility, the Centro’s role must be limited to reviewing and recommending acceptance or rejection of such a proposal following public hearings. The church and its officials must not negotiate protocols or participate in sampling or testing. As much as it may be an affront to academics and church officials, an independent auditing firm and several journalists should be involved in every phase of such a project.
Ideally, the first call for new tests should come from the pope. He might invite Oxford’s Christopher Ramsey and Arizona’s Timothy Jull to Rome to ask for a proposal.
How does the pope call for testing and then possibly reject an inadequate formal proposal? That would be difficult, it seems.