Home > Event, St Louis 2014 > Program and Presenters for the St. Louis Shroud of Turin Conference

Program and Presenters for the St. Louis Shroud of Turin Conference

June 1, 2014

It’s online and merits your attention

imageThe IMPRESSIVE PROGRAM kicks off on Thursday evening with a Shroud Encounter Presentation by Russ Breault and wraps up Sunday morning with a presentation by The Most Rev. Michael John Sheridan. I count 42 presentations.

The LIST OF PRESENTERS is impressive. This is nicely organized with pictures of everyone. Each name in the list is clickable (just as the names are clickable on the Program page) if you want to review biographies; and you will.


Joseph S. Accetta, Ph.D. |  Mark Antonacci |  Frederick Baltz, M.D. |  Bruno Barberis

Cesar Barta  | Roger Bassett  |  Russ Breault  |  Sebastien Cataldo  |  Giulio Fanti

Tony Fleming  | Diana Fulbright  |  Thibault Heimburger, M.D.  |  Kelly P. Kearse

Michelina LeMargie, Ph.D. |  Arthur C. Lind, Ph. D. | Charles Mader, Ph.D.

Paul C. Maloney  |  Flavia Manservigi  | Emanuela Marinelli |  Jack Markwardt

David M. Onysko  | Ivan Polverari  |  Robert A. Rucker  | Daniel C. Scavone, Ph.D.

Raymond J. Schneider, P.E., Ph.D.  |  Jon Schoonover. Ph.D.  |  Peter M. Schumacher, Rev.

Barrie M. Schwortz  |  Michael Sheridan, Most Rev. |  Robert W. Siefker

Andrew Silverman, M.D.  |  Jeffrey Skurka, P.E. |  Petrus Soons, M.D.

Daniel S. Spicer, Ph.D.  | Kenneth Stevenson, Rev. |  Robert Villarreal

Categories: Event, St Louis 2014
  1. June 1, 2014 at 4:47 am

    Who is the scientific comittee of the conference?

  2. June 1, 2014 at 6:29 am

    Wow, this is impressive! Can’t believe Dr. Andrew Silverman is coming from England! Dr. Petrus Soons, from Peru! Plus, it ought to be fun watching the Italians Bruno Barberis and Giulio Fanti argue it out… better brush up on my Italian! All the other many very credible and highly published notables, without repeating the list above just some of the many: Barrie Schwortz (STURP), Russ Breault, Dan Scavone, Jack Markwardt, Mark Antonacci, Arthur Lind (STURP), Robert Villareal (STURP)! Just wish that Dr. John Jackson (STURP) would have presented a paper! Perhaps, though, he and his wife Rebecca have bought a ticket? I’ve bought my ticket!

  3. Hugh Farey
    June 1, 2014 at 6:33 am

    I would give my eye-teeth to attend, but sadly this comes at an awkward time for me and I don’t think I will be able to get away from work. I wish the conference every success, and look forward to reading the proceedings afterwards.

    • clublu22014
      June 1, 2014 at 6:45 am

      Hugh, I’d give you more than my eye-teeth for you to be there! I’d love to meet you in person and for you to sign my program-brochure!

  4. Joe Marino
    June 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    The conference committee is listed on the site. If O.K. means by scientific committee reviewers of scientific papers, the reviewers are selected sindonologists from all over the world who are not told the names of the authors. Likewise, the authors are not told the names of the reviewers.

    • June 1, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      Yes, I meant reviewers – I have no doubt that the works will present good level, but I am concerned how prestigous they are. On another forum, I am currently massacring one fool, who wrote one silly sceptical-article on the Shroud, and is refusing to accept any accept any paper except Damon et al, because Nature has impact factor of 38 or so, while Thermochimica Acta has around 1.

    • June 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      And BTW Joe, what do you think about the topic presented here https://shroudstory.com/2014/05/31/were-both-ventral-and-dorsal-corners-of-the-shroud-rewoven/

      • jmarino240
        June 1, 2014 at 1:26 pm

        A conference paper’s merit can always be debated; even reviewers disagree, which is why there is more than just one for each paper. Regarding the Evaristo passages, more documentation is certainly needed. I’ve inquired to Evaristo to see if anything more solid can be put forth.

  5. June 1, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    1. Joe, it is not this, the problem is propaganda. You know, ufologists also organize conferences, and Shroud sceptics like to compare us to them. That’s why I want to assure that the papers are properly reviewed by real specialists in appropriate field (history, medicine, physics, chemistry etc.), because sometimes I have to deal with guys who argue in the way: IF for Nature=38, for Thermochimica Acta=1, thus Damon et al. is better than Rogers.

    2. I don’t ask about Evaristo, but rather about how significant Quad mosaic argument is, and whether it is possible that the other corner is rewoven as well. And please, it would be good to post an answer for the second question in this topic https://shroudstory.com/2014/05/31/were-both-ventral-and-dorsal-corners-of-the-shroud-rewoven/

    • jmarino240
      June 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm

      O.K. I understand your concern but putting on a conference is not a perfect democratic process. If the organizers waited until everyone was satisfied with all the aspects, a conference would never happen. Some people like the one you mention already have their minds made up and nothing, even approval of the reviewers, is likely to change their mind. The organizers simply can’t let opinions like the person you cite affect the running of the conference. We know there will be criticisms and we just accept that. It’s also important to remember that one of the purposes of a conference is to stimulate new ideas, not necessarily just to make conclusions.

    • Thibault HEIMBURGER
      June 2, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Ok, you wrote (to Joe): ” And please, it would be good to post an answer for the second question in this topic https://shroudstory.com/2014/05/31/were-both-ventral-and-dorsal-corners-of-the-shroud-rewoven/

      What is this “second question” please ?

  6. June 2, 2014 at 4:25 am

    I believe what Ray Downing has made out of the Shroud, is accuraat, 100% the True Face of Jesus. What more do I want, I have a large print on canvas, the last new one 2, a real birthday present from my husband . Every day I look into the face of Yehoshua Ha Messiach(Jesus) and that alone gives me a warm feeling. People can have confereces or not, true is this is Jesus of Nazareth our Messiah, and raised from the dead. I believe He even follow us in all the things we do, cause there must be a fourth demension wich we can not see with our eyes. But this will be restored by the Lord himself.

  7. daveb of wellington nz
    June 2, 2014 at 6:28 am

    One cannot prejudge content, but the titles of a few papers on the more contentious, even “way out”, topics send shivers down my spine. I can only hope that permitted discussion will be sufficiently robust, and the authors appropriately challenged!

    • June 2, 2014 at 6:57 am

      Right, Dave. Thanks for pointing this out! It’s way beyond Downing and Shroud CD’s…e.g. “The Alpha-Particle Irradiation Process Solving the Mystery of the Shroud” by Robert Villarreal is one topic amongst the many that made me sit up and say: RREALLY!

    • jmarino240
      June 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      We had hoped to have question & answer sessions but so many papers were submitted and accepted that there is no room for the Q & A. There are plans, however, for people to make comments regarding the papers
      on the conference site.

      • June 3, 2014 at 1:01 am

        “We had hoped to have question & answer sessions but so many papers were submitted and accepted that there is no room for the Q & A”

        Surely by definition, a “conference” is supposed to be a venue at which knowledgeable and/or interested folk confer with one another. The conferring is supposed to be in the open, with everything on the record. A conference without verbal question-and-answer sessions is like a car with its axles up on blocks – with no contact between wheels and ground.

        The parody of real science that calls itself ‘sindonology’ continues as before.

        It puts one in mind of its counterpart in everyday life – “science” by pdf, where there is no opportunity for scrutiny, either by referees as in formal peer review, or even by “knowledgeable and/or other interested folk” as in the comment-enabled blogosphere.

  8. Charles Freeman
    June 2, 2014 at 10:19 am

    I hope that in his paper on the Shroud in Constantinople Jack Markwardt considers the hypothesis that the cloth seen by de Clari in the Blachernae Chapel might be part of the original collection of relics brought by Pulcheria, the sister of the Byzantine emperor Theodosius II, directly from Jerusalem in the early fifth century. That might be an important new avenue of research.
    A small point. Search though I might ( in lexicons and biblical reference works) I have never found the Greek word sindon translated as ‘burial cloth’ as it frequently is by Dan Scavone and here again in his abstract. Perhaps someone can ask him to provide the correct reference to its use as such.

    • Andrea Nicolotti
      June 2, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Charles, this is not “an important new avenue of research”. It was proposed first time on 1910 and repeated many times. But what Pulcheria brought to the Blachernae is not the presumed burial cloth of Jesus, but the bandage of His mother.

      • Charles Freeman
        June 2, 2014 at 11:50 am

        Andrea. Point taken (though it is often described as the robe of Mary) but I think it is important to stress that the Blachernae collection of relics had nothing to do with the imperial collection in the palace at the other end of Constantinople. The collection had different sources and I hope Markwardt stresses this. Of course there is no reason why even if an earlier history for a cloth with an image of Christ’s body on it in the Blachernae chapel can be found what was described by de Clari as if it were a single image is the Shroud of Turin with its double image.
        Personally I am not convinced at all by the Constantinople link for the Shroud but I do hope that we can have some fresh ideas for research at this conference and not simply a rehashing of old ones.

        • Andrea Nicolotti
          June 2, 2014 at 12:15 pm

          Charles, you hope, but I think your hope will be vain. Scavone published in 1989 his first relation about the (presumed) documentary evidence of the Shroud in Constantinople. Now we are in 2014, and he is going to repeat the same things, and we are still at the same point. I do not expect any kind of fresh idea in sindonological congresses from the historical point of wiew, particularly if outside Europe. I think it is the moment to stop at all with sindonological congresses, where people tell the same things to the same people, about an object closed in a case that they cannot see and study, and without any original research in the historical-archaeological-exegetical-biblical field. But this is another vain hope.

        • Joe Marino
          June 2, 2014 at 9:30 pm

          Prof. Bruno Barberis, Director of the International Center of Sindonology in Turin, will be making a presentation “Future Research on the Shroud.” There will also be a 90 minute roundtable on the subject. Those 2 things alone should be, as we Americans like to say, worth the price of admission.

          And Charles is correct that attendees will enjoy the get-together. Many of the attendees at the conference only see other attendees at these gatherings.

      • Charles Freeman
        June 2, 2014 at 2:25 pm

        I agree, Andrea, in that no one seems to have thought of setting out some of the problems associated with Shroud research and then asking independent experts in other fields to come in and give their thoughts. There are lots of historical avenues, particularly relating to early relic collections in France and links between medieval France and Jerusalem, that still have not been explored.
        Is there any paper on linen weaving?- this is another crucial area .
        It is worth thinking why these important areas are not actively incorporated into the programme.
        But I am sure everyone will enjoy the get-together!

      • Thomas
        June 3, 2014 at 3:30 am

        Charles and others
        I have tried in vain to find information on the epitaphios of Venice of the early 1200s. Schiller refers to this as the earliest epitaphios. Could the Venice epitaphios in fact be the shroud, looted from Constantinople?

  9. Louis
    June 2, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    A large part of our hope lies in excavations being conducted in Sanliurfa.

  10. June 2, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Andrea, Charles.

    Based on the modest sources available to me, and using some simple deduction , I can easily show that there were actually three different presumed burial linens in Constantinople: https://shroudstory.com/2014/05/11/the-three-byzantine-burial-cloths-of-jesus/

    It was proposed first time on 1910 and repeated many times.

    Yes. Hynek in his 1937 book treated it as an established fact.

    I think it is important to stress that the Blachernae collection of relics had nothing to do with the imperial collection in the palace at the other end of Constantinople.

    I think this argument is meaningless -based on the analysis of the unusual situation in Constantinople in 1203-1204.

    • Charles Freeman
      June 2, 2014 at 11:48 pm

      O .K. I am not presenting an argument – it is simply that these were very different shrines with different functions and collections. The collection of relics in the imperial palace was well protected and survived the 1204 sacking. The Blachernae chapel was open to the public with regular processions and displays of its relic collections ( as seen by de Clari). It got sacked in 1204 as it was so exposed on the coastline and a long way from the centre of town. There is absolutely no evidence or reason for moving a relic from the safety of the imperial palace ( where the emperors jealously guarded their impressive collection)to the exposed Blachernae in these troubled years.
      Access Holger Klein’s website and read his long article on the imperial relic collections.
      Anyway there is no reason why Jack Markwardt should not make a presentation that reflects the evidence as we know it. I would assume that he knows Klein’s work and perhaps that authority on the relics of Constantinople might even be prepared to be consulted. This is what I meant earlier about involving independent experts.
      Apart from researching the direct links between Northern France and Jerusalem in the relic ‘trade’, there really does need to be some more work done on linen weaving as it seems to have been neglected recently but new evidence of ancient and medieval cloth is accumulating all the time and , again, there would surely be someone who would be prepared to share what is going on.

      • Charles Freeman
        June 3, 2014 at 1:37 am

        One day I will research the Hundred Years War – starting with Jonathan Sumption’s massive history- to see whether relics were transferred as plunder. Margaret de Charny claimed that the Shroud came to her grandfather as ‘a spoil of war’ and he was fighting these wars against the English in a prominent position in the early 1350s so these would most likely to have been the ‘war’ in which the Shroud was a spoil. As there were many important relic collections in this region and,as the earlier 1204 crusade showed, relics could be looted in war and taken off to new homes, this is not impossible. Certainly worth including as an area of new research for the Roundtable to consider.

      • Charles Freeman
        June 3, 2014 at 1:58 am

        Another point to clarify. De Clari saw a shroud in the Church of Mary in Blachernae – he makes this quite clear. This was an ancient shrine dedicated to The Virgin Mary and embellished with relics of the Virgin and a famous icon of her by Pulcheria, the sister of the emperor Theodosius II. The original shrine and its relics are lost but a modest modern shrine is on the site today.
        In his abstract, Dan Scavone appears to have mixed this up with the Blachernae Palace Chapel. The Blachernae Imperial palace still exists in ruins- it is currently closed for excavations- I nosed around there a couple of years ago in the hope of taking a group to visit it. Presumably it had a chapel but this is distinct from the ancient shrine. I read somewhere that the palace was built so that the imperial family could have closer access to the shrine.

  11. jmarino240
    June 2, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Just a clarification about the roundtable I mentioned in the posting from 9:30 p.m.: it’s actually going to be an open discussion. Roundtable tends to imply just a few experts sitting around a table, but it will be a discussion in which conference attendees can participate.

  12. June 3, 2014 at 2:41 am

    Charles:

    The collection of relics in the imperial palace was well protected and survived the 1204 sacking. The Blachernae chapel was open to the public with regular processions and displays of its relic collections ( as seen by de Clari). It got sacked in 1204 as it was so exposed on the coastline and a long way from the centre of town. There is absolutely no evidence or reason for moving a relic from the safety of the imperial palace ( where the emperors jealously guarded their impressive collection)to the exposed Blachernae in these troubled years.

    Another point to clarify. De Clari saw a shroud in the Church of Mary in Blachernae – he makes this quite clear.

    Charles, I understand your point well -but this is not the slightest problem for the presence of the Shroud in Constantinople, as one can give several plausible hypothesis for moving the Shroud from Bucoleon into Blachernae and back. There is one scenario I give in my article http://ok.apologetyka.info/ateizm/ile-byo-pocien-pogrzebowych-jezusa-cz1,749.htm If you, or someone else asks, I can give a summary of it, but not at this moment, I am quite busy.

    • Charles Freeman
      June 3, 2014 at 10:27 am

      O.K. As there is not the slightest piece of evidence that any of the jealously guarded relics in the imperial palace were transferred outside the palace, surely it is futile to speculate why such a transfer might have taken place. Let’s just accept the de Clari saw a cloth with perhaps only a single image of Christ on it (cf. the Besancon Shroud) in the Shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary, theotokos in the Orthodox tradition, in the Blachernae district of Constantinople. There is absolutely no reason to link it with any relic in the imperial collection.
      Looking at the crammed programme put out, hardly even time to eat anything or have a comfort break over three days, there seems remarkably little opportunity to question the speakers. How is anyone going to be able to evaluate the papers? I hope there is space for critical responses unless the main point of the conference is simply to reinforce the idea that the Shroud has to be seen as a mystery beyond any critical ,iconographic or historical explanation.

      • Joe Marino
        June 3, 2014 at 10:41 am

        The conference site does not list the break, lunch and dinner times. Those will be listed in the printed program handed out at the conference. As I mentioned in another posting, there are plans for the ability to comment on the conference site about the papers. Authors’ emails will also be provided to attendees to facilitate exchanges. I do wish there had been time to fit in Q & A sessions but it’s nice to see that there are so many ideas for presentations.

        • June 3, 2014 at 10:52 am

          “I do wish there had been time to fit in Q & A sessions”

          Who in their right mind would want to sit through 20 presentations on the Friday, a total of 11 hours, without hearing a single question from the floor, with every single word or idea unchallengeable?

          Time HAS to be found to fit in Q/A sessions. For the typical 30 minute paper, make it 25+5. I’m sure the contributors will understand.

          Or it it less a conference, more a mutual appreciation society, or dare one say “Pay Pal conclave”?

        • Dan
          June 3, 2014 at 11:05 am

          I must say I agree with Colin.

        • Dan
          June 3, 2014 at 11:44 am

          Let me amend that. I agree with Colin except for that last little paragraph.

      • June 3, 2014 at 11:51 am

        O.K. As there is not the slightest piece of evidence that any of the jealously guarded relics in the imperial palace were transferred outside the palace, surely it is futile to speculate why such a transfer might have taken place. Let’s just accept the de Clari saw a cloth with perhaps only a single image of Christ on it (cf. the Besancon Shroud) in the Shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary, theotokos in the Orthodox tradition, in the Blachernae district of Constantinople. There is absolutely no reason to link it with any relic in the imperial collection.

        Charles, it is futile only for the convinced sceptics. There is one very valid reason why the shroud might have left his well guarded home at Bucoleon: the newly installed by the crusaders young emperor Alexios IV. Here is the translation of the key paragraph from my article:

        And then the shroud with image of Christ appears in Blachernae. In the same temple, where Byzantines in the year 860 were praying before the veil of Virgin Mary for the repulse of the Rus. Now, every Friday there is raised (Robert de Clari literally writes that it “raises”) a shroud with a visible figure of Christ – that is, someone greater than even the Mother of God. Had this show been performed there for a long time? Nothing indicates that, although it is known that during the Kommen period emperors started to prefer Blachernae Palace instead of the Great Palace, or the Bucoleon Palace. But in 1203 Constantinople, everything was possible. For example, that Alexios exhibited previosuly carefully hidden from the eyes of the common people burial linens; to calm down the people and convince them about divine support for his rule. The same people who could at any moment throw him out of throne -which eventually happened.

      • Charles Freeman
        June 3, 2014 at 12:24 pm

        Sorry,OK ,nothing that would convince a historian. De Clari does not report any crowds there and it was in the hippodrome that the emperors rallied support. Probably the cloth had probably been exhibited on a regular basis for centuries just as the icon of he Virgin in the same church had been.

        If you read Holger Klein ( and you must if you want to speculate about the relics in Constantinople) you will see that there’d were other relics that were paraded by emperors in the streets at times of crisis, e.g. fragments of the True Cross and favoured icons that were always placed higher in the hierarchy of relics than any of the burial linens.

        Methinks it is you who are fitting the story to your agenda!

  13. Hugh Farey
    June 3, 2014 at 11:24 am

    Does anyone know anything about the Bari Conference in September?

  14. June 3, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    Sorry,OK ,nothing that would convince a historian. De Clari does not report any crowds there and it was in the hippodrome that the emperors rallied support. Probably the cloth had probably been exhibited on a regular basis for centuries just as the icon of he Virgin in the same church had been.

    Rather nothing would convince a sceptic. For Zdzisław Pentek, the polish translator of de Clari’s chronicle, there has been no doubt that the shroud refferred by de Clari was actually the Shroud of Turin.

    To exhibit a holy relic on hippodrome instead of church?

    If you read Holger Klein ( and you must if you want to speculate about the relics in Constantinople) you will see that there’d were other relics that were paraded by emperors in the streets at times of crisis, e.g. fragments of the True Cross and favoured icons that were always placed higher in the hierarchy of relics than any of the burial linens.

    Yes -but this does not apply to the Shroud -moreover with the image of Christ. The common people are unworthy of seeing the splendor of the God-man himself. That’s how they thought.

    Methinks it is you who are fitting the story to your agenda!

    I have performed many fittings in my life, and I know that some of them are good some are not. But this is basic tool -we fit the story to the data, both you and me. The problem is whose fit is better.

    There are of course some weak points in all those testimonies about the presence of the Shroud in Constantinople -something you, Andrea, and other sceptics want to exploit. But the evidence for the presence of the Shroud in Constantinople is quite strong -especially when one combine iconographic arguments with historical documents.

    And BTW, as I presented, we can be sure that there were at least three different burial (including one with the image) cloths stored in Constantinople -the fact one should always have in mind.

  15. Charles Freeman
    June 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    OK. What we need is evidence . There is no evidence of any transfer. Do you know how far out of town the. Blachernae chapel is? How ever would an emperor expect to rally support there? Th e emperor would appear in the hippodrome next to the imperial palace to rally support in the largest arena in he city. The relics would be paraded in the streets around the hippodrome. In both cases you are in the centre of town.
    We all agree that there was a cloth with, perhaps only a single, image on it in the Blachernae Church. If your Polish translator believes that this cloth is the Shroud then we need the evidence that the same cloth was transferred or looted from there and ended up in Lirey. Perhaps he has this evidence.
    This still does not mean, of course, that the Blachernae Shroud was originally in the imperial palace as, although there is no evidence for this, it could have been bought to the Blachernae Church much earlier and directly from Jerusalem as the robe of the Virgin Mary was. We must not overlook the fact that before the Arab conquests Jerusalem was part of the Byzantine empire and that in 420 the arm of the martyr Stephen was also brought directly from Jerusalem into Constantinople. We simply do not know.

    • June 3, 2014 at 2:59 pm

      OK. What we need is evidence . There is no evidence of any transfer.

      There is no evidence for most of the events that took place, as they were simply not recorded by historians. And that’s not a problem.

      Do you know how far out of town the. Blachernae chapel is?

      About 6-7 km from Bucoleon palace -circa 1 h walk. Many people on the countryside, even today have longer way to go to church on Sunday.

      How ever would an emperor expect to rally support there? Th e emperor would appear in the hippodrome next to the imperial palace to rally support in the largest arena in he city. The relics would be paraded in the streets around the hippodrome.

      Byzantines liked much subtler way. The barbarian crusaders are walking on the streets of the City of Constantine. But no worry, the Christ Himself raises on His Shroud in popular Blachernae church -so everything will be fine. God favors the new emperor. That’s the message to deliver.

      This still does not mean, of course, that the Blachernae Shroud was originally in the imperial palace as, although there is no evidence for this, it could have been bought to the Blachernae Church much earlier and directly from Jerusalem as the robe of the Virgin Mary was.

      “Although there is no evidence for this…” -Charles can’t you see that you use double standards?

      One another important note. Several authors report that Nikephoros Kallistos (14th century ) reported that Empress Pulcheria placed burial linens of Christ in Blachernae church, when it was built. Quite possible. We know that circa 1380 a fragment of burial linens was sent from Constantinople to the bishop of Suzdal, and later Metropolitan of Moscow Dionysius I -long after the Shroud of Turin was displayed in Lirey.

      But we do know also that there were THREE different relics of Jesus burial cloths in Constantinople, including one with the image. Evidence here https://shroudofturin.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/burial-linens-of-constantinople.pdf

      Charles, I recommend reading this before playing next games.

      • Andrea Nicolotti
        June 3, 2014 at 3:47 pm

        Where Nikephoros Kallistos reported that Empress Pulcheria placed burial linens of Christ in Blachernae church?

      • Charles Freeman
        June 4, 2014 at 2:03 am

        O.K. You may not know this but it is a real problem for a historian if no evidence exists that an event took place.
        It is not my conference but faced with so many presentations ,I wish the organisers had insisted only on papers that said something new! This is especially true of the history papers.
        And there is no space for any report from Bari on what they discussed there in the month before even though some of the organisers from Bari will be present in St. Louis. Perhaps they will be the same papers given by Prof.Fanti and others, but perhaps there will be new evidence that deserves further discussion in St. Louis.
        And no real discussion by anyone other than in one paper that the Shroud might after all, with new research that no one has yet noticed, to be shown to be medieval.

  16. June 3, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    Where Nikephoros Kallistos reported that Empress Pulcheria placed burial linens of Christ in Blachernae church?

    Massimo Centini in “Alla Ricerca della Veronica” claims that in his “Church history” I. 32-33. I looked for the primary source, but unfortunately couldn’t find it in english.

    • Andrea Nicolotti
      June 3, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      O.K, with your last answer you make clear, if still necessary, the difference between an historian and a sindonologist. If you are not able to read a language, do not speak about this language. If you are not able to find a document, do not quote that document. If you have not seen it, do not speak about it. If your papers are based on internet, books based on other books or unreliable sources (and, in case of Centini, very unreliable), do not write papers. You are not obliged to do it. You can love the Shroud and believe in God also without writing pseudo-historical papers (like this one you have linked). Please, there’s no need to take offence, but this is why the sindonology, and in general this christian apologetic, is detrimental. Any discussion is totally useless, with you and 99% of other sindonologists that do what you do.

      • June 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm

        Thank you, Andrea for your ad hominem attacks.

      • Mike M
        June 3, 2014 at 6:10 pm

        “Any discussion is totally useless, with you and 99% of other sindonologists that do what you do.”
        I am not a historian or a Sindonologist, but I am curious, you haven’t given the reason why Centini was unreliable & Where did the 99% come from. Do you have any primary source to back it up or is it just gibberish like the rest of your comment?

        • Andrea Nicolotti
          June 4, 2014 at 6:58 am

          Mike, answer to your questions: 1) Centini is unreliable because I know him and his books, and he does not any analysis of the sources, but only copies from other books. He is not an expert, is an author of popular books based on secondary sources. A sort of populariser. So, he read this false statement about Kallistos in a book of sindonology, he did not check any primary source and just copied it. O.K read the book of Centini and copied it. And so on, from one to another book, without end. As I have just written, I found this error the first time in a book of sindonology in 1910 and now we, in 2014, are still here at the same point. 2) My 99% comes from my experience, because I have read several hundred books and articles about Shroud, and 99% are written with the same technique: repetition, recopying and guessing. 3) You ask me if I have any primary source. Obviously yes. But your question is misleading. OK wrote a statement based on a byzantine source, I asked the source and he admitted that never saw the source. You must ask him or Centini the source, not me. I am not the author of the statement. 4) My problem is not O.K. or Centini or any other person, is all the method sinonologists use 5) “Gibberish” means “unintelligible or meaningless language”. But my language is very intelligible: if you are not able to read a language, do not speak about this language. If you are not able to find a document, do not quote that document. If you have not seen it, do not speak about it. Very clear. Not gibberish, nor ad hominem attack. A simple rule of historical method. Rule number one. If you want to learn German, and your teacher does not speak German, you can tell him that if the wants to be a teacher of German, he must know German. It is not gibberish, nor ad hominem attack. It is common sense.

      • Mike M
        June 4, 2014 at 7:13 am

        So Centinin is unreliable because “you said so”, and your 99% comes from “your Experience” and you are angry because Sindonology and Christian Apologetics don’t use primary sources? Andrea… Look in the mirror
        “how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye”

      • June 4, 2014 at 9:16 am

        “If you are not able to read a language, do not speak about this language.”

        This should be amended to ‘do not speak authoritatively about this language’. Someone with even a cursory understanding of a language may have valid observations about it.

        “If you are not able to find a document, do not quote that document.”

        This should be amended to ‘if you are not able to find a document but still wish to quote that document then clearly state that you are doing just that’.

        “If you have not seen it, do not speak about it.”

        Amend to ‘do not speak about it authoritatively’. I have not seen Jesus, but I will continue to speak of him.

        “If your papers are based on internet, books based on other books or unreliable sources (and, in case of Centini, very unreliable), do not write papers.”

        Add to last line ‘do not write such papers without clearly stating your lack of fist-hand sources’.

        “You are not obliged to do it.”

        Well, duh.

        I’m all for constructive criticism that improves Shroud scholarship (sorely needed!) but not when it’s served without charity and clarity.

      • June 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm

        Mike M.: “you haven’t given the reason why Centini was unreliable”. Massimo Centini was born in 1955 and has a long career as an author of books. From the catalogue of an online bookshop, considering only the last few years, one finds that he has published 9 books in 2009, 13 in 2010, 9 in 2011, 5 in 2012, 9 in 2013, already 7 in 2014. I translate some titles:
        Witches in Piedmont: pages of history and mystery. The afterlife: the places of the soul. Plague in Turin: the city during the infection. Witchcraft in Insubria: popular tradition, the Inquisition and pagan rites between Lombardy and Piedmont. Unusual guide to the mysteries, secrets, legends and curiosities of Piedmont. Sacred medicine: travel among the magic-medical practices of Italian folklore. Killing for Satan: devil and crime in Piedmont. The Big Book of the mysteries of Piedmont, resolved and unresolved. The places of the Apocalypse: a journey in the footsteps of the “end of the world”. Fantastic creatures: fairies, goblins, monsters and devils: travel in popular mythology in Piedmont, Liguria and Aosta Valley. Brothels in Turin: when the brothels were open. The great Italian crimes, solved or unsolved. Sea monsters: mysterious creatures between myth, history and science. The symbolic language of esotericism. Wicked Italians: the most shocking facts and personages of our history. The last mystery: the Shroud and the Knights Templar: when history and myth merge. The strangler of women: the dramatic story of Vincenzo Verzeni “sexual sadist, vampire and devourer of human flesh”.
        I do not say that Centini is unreliable as an author, but he can hardly be ranked as a specialist in ancient Byzantine history.

        • Andrea Nicolotti
          June 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm

          “I do not say that Centini is unreliable as an author, but he can hardly be ranked as a specialist in ancient Byzantine history”.
          This is said with charity. You are very kind. Surely, if someone writes 13 books in a year, I do not have charity for him.

      • Mike M
        June 4, 2014 at 9:10 pm

        Gian Marco, thank you for the clarification. All I wanted from Andrea was some objectivity, all I got back was 99% subjectivity. Which is a problem for someone who demands objectivity from others. I also think the way he generalizes christian apologetics and Sindonologists is extreme and again very subjective, What about Sindonologists who are Agnostic or Jews?. Certainly the information you presented casts doubt on the quality of Massimo’s work, but still doesn’t provide proof that he was wrong at that specific reference.

  17. Andrea Nicolotti
    June 4, 2014 at 7:27 am

    Mike, your answer is very appropriate. Centini is perfect, O.K. is right, you too, I am a sinner I have a log in my eye, and today is cloudy. Ciao

    • June 4, 2014 at 7:48 am

      So Andrea, if you are so wise, tell us all what Kallistos actually wrote. At least you correct some misleading statement.

      • Andrea Nicolotti
        June 4, 2014 at 6:21 pm

        Nicephoros in Historia ecclesiastica XIV,2 nd XV,14 speaks about the translation at the Blachernae of the burial bands (ἐντάφια σπάργανα) of Holy Mary by Empress Pulcheria. The chapters I.32-33 you quoted (from Centini) do not speak absolutely about Blachernae in any form.

  18. June 5, 2014 at 2:28 am

    Nicephoros in Historia ecclesiastica XIV,2 nd XV,14 speaks about the translation at the Blachernae of the burial bands (ἐντάφια σπάργανα) of Holy Mary by Empress Pulcheria.

    One question for clarification: is there clearly specified that those ἐντάφια σπάργανα belonged to Mary?

    • Andrea Nicolotti
      June 5, 2014 at 7:26 am

      Obviously. If not, I would not have said it

      • June 5, 2014 at 7:31 am

        So can you provide us full quotations of appropriate verses? If there is so clearly stated that those are Mary’s ἐντάφια σπάργανα , so how the misconception with Jesus’ burial linens might have arised?

        • Andrea Nicolotti
          June 5, 2014 at 8:41 am

          You can find the text in Migne, PG 145-147. All Migne is online. To your question about how the misconception with Jesus’ burial linens might have arised, the answer is that as sindonologists want to find the Shroud of Turin at the Blachernae, they are inclined to force the history to put it there. And as they normally do not check their sources, misconceptions can survive for many many many years.

  19. June 5, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    You can find the text in Migne, PG 145-147. All Migne is online.

    Fine Andrea. You fulfilled your job, after I deliberately put a largely irrelevant note, that Several authors report that Nikephoros Kallistos (14th century ) reported that Empress Pulcheria placed burial linens of Christ in Blachernae church, when it was built.

    Actually I found this site http://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/fathers/migne-patrologia-graeca-volumes.asp?pg=13 some time ago looking for Kallistos, but downloading from it seems to be a little complicated.

    • Andrea Nicolotti
      June 5, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      145: https://archive.org/details/patrologicursus11migngoog
      146: http://books.google.it/books?id=mpNBAAAAcAAJ&redir_esc=y
      147: http://books.google.it/books?id=rIe6FDUeeg8C&redir_esc=y

      Irrilevant, not irrilevant… it is the method that does not work. This was only an example. Also the page you linked (https://shroudofturin.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/burial-linens-of-constantinople.pdf) is constructed with the same method, without serious quotations, without checking the texts, without any knowledge of the scientifical literature. Sindonologists and internet are the only source for you, it seems. The few texts quoted in Greek and Latin sometimes are wrong, sometimes the translation does not correspond to the original. It seems that you have no idea about this matter. And also, there is lack of critical approach to the texts. It seems that you are like me, if I try to write a paper on astrophysics…. obviously, all people sometimes is wrong, and I am too… but this is not question of oversights…
      At the end, you can do what you want, but when I see that this is the normal standard for sindonologists, in the last century, I can say and repeat that 99% of sindonology is detrimental.
      P.S. what Kallistos said is not so important, because if we have not other earlier sources, his statements about what Pulcheria did nine centuries before are very questionable

      • June 6, 2014 at 2:32 am

        Thanks, Andrea. As not being a professional historian, I try to utilize whatever I have at hand. That means I have torely on others. This does not mean that I don’t try to reach primary sources for verification purposes.

        So far, you haven’t refuted the conclusions from that paper.

        • Andrea Nicolotti
          June 6, 2014 at 5:59 am

          My aim is not to refute your paper. I have tried to explain that I consider your method unreliable, so from my point of wiew it is useless to start discussions about papers written in such a style. I think that now we have clear our positions, and we can draw our own conclusions. Thank you for the discussion.

  20. June 6, 2014 at 6:12 am

    My aim is not to refute your paper. I have tried to explain that I consider your method unreliable, so from my point of wiew it is useless to start discussions about papers written in such a style. I think that now we have clear our positions, and we can draw our own conclusions. Thank you for the discussion.

    Thank you, I understand your point of view. Being an amateur historian, my sources are obviously limited, but it does not mean that I am not trying to perform critical analysis of whatever I have (and reach primary sources, if possible). But of course one can be only as good, as his sources.

    You wrote Sindonologists and internet are the only source for you, it seems. The few texts quoted in Greek and Latin sometimes are wrong, sometimes the translation does not correspond to the original.

    Does it refer to the quotations in my paper, or is that just a general reflection?

    I honestly admit that you can be very helpful sometimes -when you are not prejudiced or irritating.

    • Andrea Nicolotti
      June 6, 2014 at 7:53 am

      1) I know that you try to perform critical analysis of whatever you have, but I think that you cannot do it properly, because you have not methodology, knowledge and means. And I am not saying that you DELIBERATELY falsifies the texts. It is not question of volition. The “critical analysys” of historical sources is not something you can “try” to do. It is the result of long academical studies and practice, everyday. If we (historians, philologians) exist, there is a reason, or not? Or if we have not reason to exist, and all people can do what we do with succes, this could be applied also to ALL professions: doctors, engineers, physicists, chemists …
      2) Yes, I refer to your paper. The Greek text is wrong, the translation is not consistent with the text, the Latin text is quoted in an uncorrect way.
      3) Surely I am irritating. Because I am a little brusque, and English is not my language, nor my preferred language. But if you want to believe me, I assure you that I am a very peaceful and understanding.. not on blogs, perhaps. But prejudiced, NEVER. What I say is not fruit of prejudice, is fruit of years passed studying and reading sindonological literature. I am post-judiced, not pre-juidiced. The judgement of the work of others is part of my job. It is an obligation for me, not a caprice

      • June 6, 2014 at 9:58 am

        This is very well put, Andrea. It is respectful – both of OK and of the role scholars do play. This blog needs more frank feedback like this.

  21. June 6, 2014 at 8:16 am

    2) Yes, I refer to your paper. The Greek text is wrong, the translation is not consistent with the text, the Latin text is quoted in an uncorrect way

    The Greek text is from Scavone, and the translation is his own paraphrase. Which latin text is quoted in uncorrect way (and what does it mean?).

    Any more errors?

    • Andrea Nicolotti
      June 6, 2014 at 8:29 am

      <<<<<The Greek text is from Scavone and the translation is his own paraphrase. <<<<

      This is not a justification, is another proof that your work is only a work of recopying. And when you copy wrong things, you are not capable of realizing that they are wrong

      • June 6, 2014 at 8:34 am

        No matter, everyone knows that I am not professional historian. And I give my sources. And this paper is not ‘scientifical’ in your understanding of this term.

        I asked: which Latin text is quoted in uncorrect way (and what is the significance of this)? And whether are there more errors, that I copied from others? I simply want to know this.

        • Andrea Nicolotti
          June 6, 2014 at 8:40 am

          Web sites and books of sindonology are not adequate “sources”. Your paper is not “scientific”, surely, but it is not correct, too. I think that the only proper thing you can do is cancel this paper from internet, because we have just on the web a lot of uncorrect informations, and we do not need one more (that will be read, linked, quoted, etc. etc.). If you want to conserve it, don’t ask me to make it a little less uncorrect. It is contrary to my principles of seriousness, I am sorry

  22. June 6, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Andrea, maybe it is ‘contrary to your principles of seriousness’ but it may be a good lesson for me, as a poor, naive, copying everything sindologist. If you tell me what’s really wrong there, I will not repeat those mistakes again and again.

    • Andrea Nicolotti
      June 6, 2014 at 12:07 pm

      I do not believe that it could be a good lesson for you “poor, naive, copying everything sindologist”. The only good thing that, in my opinion, you could do, is to cancel a lot of pages from your “Apologetyka” websites. But I am sure you are not going to do it. So, what you call “a good lesson”, it is only the occasion for you to correct some mistakes, without changing the general approach of your website, that I do not approve at all. So, I will not help you to improve something I do not consider improvable. At the contrary, I hope that someone, reading your site and seeing the mistakes, realize earlier and easier that it is not unreliable. Again, it is not because of you, it is because of what I consider my seriousness. When some days ago I said that 99% of sindonologists make history as you do, someone said that I am not objective. So, if it is true, you will find a lot of sindonologists with perfect knowledge of Latin, Greek and ancient sources that shall help you to correct all mistakes, without asking me, “prejudiced or irritating skeptic”, as you called me.

      • Andrea Nicolotti
        June 6, 2014 at 12:25 pm

        [that it is not unreliable = that it is not reliable]

      • June 6, 2014 at 2:16 pm

        Holy people, what a hate!

        The only good thing that, in my opinion, you could do, is to cancel a lot of pages from your “Apologetyka” websites. But I am sure you are not going to do it. So, what you call “a good lesson”, it is only the occasion for you to correct some mistakes, without changing the general approach of your website, that I do not approve at all.

        What do you even have against Apologetyka.info website? It is not even mine, but friend’s who allows me to publish articles there. It’s approach is, as the name suggest, Christian apologetics. Do you have something against it? Why? Have you even read those websites? Are you even able to do so (I know there is a Google translator, but anyway)? Czy znasz język polski, Andrea?

        As to the my article, do you even understand what this article is about? You claim it is not correct, but do not give explanation why. If it is indeed incorrect , then I want to know the reason. Publishing an article is an invitation for criticism -which may be beneficial even to the author. But you refuse it, instead crying something about “99% sindonologists.” Truly I don’t want to be in those 99 %, rather in the 1 % that check the sources, but I am still learning it. Don’t you help me, Andrea?

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