How Safe is The Shroud of Turin?

imageBarbie Latza Nadeau (pictured), the Rome bureau chief for The Daily Beast, yesterday penned an article for news journal entitled, Who Stole John Paul’s Blood And Christ’s Foreskin?

The theft of John Paul II’s blood from a church in Abruzzo has been the worst case of relic theft since Jesus’s prepuce disappeared from Rome in 1983.

[ . . . ]

Relic theft is a common problem in Italy’s churches, especially those that are unattended in the outlying regions where surveillance cameras and guards are too costly.  And all of Italy’s churches are required to have at least one holy relic, as decreed in the Middle Ages. Among the most famous is the Shroud of Turin, which is thought to be a burial cloth placed over the face of Jesus, which is kept under guard at St. John the Baptist church in Turin. (emphasis mine)

Really, you’d think that a bureau chief in Rome for a major news outlet (15 million unique visitors per month), who has been in Rome since1996, would be able to offer a more accurate description of the shroud than “. . .  a burial cloth placed over the face of Jesus.”

Of far greater importance: Nadeau’s short article makes me wonder about how safe the shroud is, not just from theft but from terrorist attack? 

10 thoughts on “How Safe is The Shroud of Turin?”

  1. I have found the following link (but the text is wriitten in italian language !) :

    Title :
    Furto reliquia di papa Wojtyla, spunta la pista estera

    This article was published today :
    giovedì 30 gennaio 2014 h = 06:11

    — — —
    B.T.W. : reading the italian words :
    >… La chiesetta, che sorge alla falde aquilane del Gran Sasso, tra le frazioni di Camarda ed Assergi, è la prima dedicata a Karol Wojtyla, che il prossimo 27 settembre sarà canonizzato insieme ad un altro amatissimo pontefice, Giovanni XXIII.

    I have discovered an error : “27 settembre” instead of “27 aprile” !!!

    Here the conclusive part of the text (sorry, in italian language !) :
    >… La reliquia è un pezzettino di stoffa, contenuto in un’ampolla, dell’abito che il pontefice indossava durante l’attentato in piazza San Pietro, il 13 maggio 1981.
    = The relic is a little piece of cloth and it was contained in an ampulla (= small bottle or phial … Then it is easy to hide that relic !)

    >A donarla al santuario, nel 2011, fu l’arcivescovo di Cracovia Stanislaw Dziwisz, per 50 anni segretario di Wojtyla. E proprio dal cardinale è partito un appello a chi ha compiuto il furto sacrilego affinchè i profanatori del santuario della Ienca restituiscano la reliquia del Beato prima della sua canonizzazione. «La reliquia, del resto – afferma Dziwisz – non ha alcun valore commerciale, ma solo enorme peso affettivo legato alla devozione di tanti fedeli».
    — — —
    If you want to read the english text you have to translate the italian words
    otherwise, see also under :

    >In 2011, John Paul’s former private secretary, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, gave the local Abruzzo community the relic of the late pontiff’s blood, exhibited at the Shrine in San Pietro della Ienca. (L’Aquila)
    >Thieves broke into the Shrine in San Pietro della Ienca in the mountains east of Rome and stole a vial of Pope John Paul II’s blood.
    —- —
    and … try to read under the address :

  2. Phil Dayvault had offered his own plan for keeping the Shroud safe around ten years ago but there seems to have been no response.

  3. Louis wrote: “Phil Dayvault had offered his own plan for keeping the Shroud safe around ten years ago but there seems to have been no response.”

    Still safe, isn’t it?…(;-)

    Seriously…thanks, Louis, for remembering…however, the actual date of submission of the proposed protocol was in 1996.

    1. Hi Phil, you have a good cop’s instinct and if you do send a reminder to Turin I’m sure many Shroudies will also sign.

  4. Still safe, isn’t it?…(;-)

    Seriously…thanks, Louis, for remembering…however, the actual date of submission of the proposed protocol was in 1996.

    1. Dan correctly raised the question of the Shroud’s safety and just in case Phil decides to send Turin a reminder, with cc to Rome, newcomers in the Shroud scenario should know that Phil is a former FBI Special Agent.

  5. BBC is reporting:

    Italian police have recovered most of a piece of cloth stained with the blood of Pope John Paul ll after it was stolen from a church in Abruzzo.

    The cloth – from a cassock John Paul was wearing in 1981 when a gunman tried to assassinate him – was taken in a burglary last weekend.

    The cloth was found in separate pieces in a garage of one of the three men arrested in connection with the theft.

    It has been put back together with only a few filaments of gold missing.

    Police are still looking for the remaining fragments.

    On Thursday officers had found the gold and glass case in which the relic was held but said the cloth was still missing.

    But on Friday, Bishop Giovanni D’Ercole told a press conference in L’Aquila that the cloth had now also been found and pieced together.

    “I think John Paul has forgiven them. I think we have to do the same,” Bishop D’Ercole said.

    The relic was taken during a burglary of the San Pietro della Ienca church.

    The three suspects apparently threw the cloth away, not realising its value.

    A small crucifix that was stolen along with the reliquary has also been recovered.

    Abruzzo was a place of special significance to the ski-loving Pope, who died in 2005.

  6. I notice that shreds of John Paul II’s clothing are on sale for about $15, and numbers of chapels have drops of his blood, although none of that is for sale that I can find. It’s only a matter of time, I dare say. Good to see the relic trade still alive and kicking!

  7. Wherever a church is built, evil installs itself next door. One clear sign appeared last week. Whoever understands must have noticed it…

Comments are closed.