Comment by Hugh Farey on Aging

imageHugh writes in Might tactile chemography prove to be the super-model?:

Some people think that the “effects of aging” are that an originally bright clear image has faded/flaked to what it is now; and others that an originally completely invisible image became visible by darkening – those who habitually place their experiments in an oven for “aging.” We need to be clear about what “aging” really does.

What happens to non-modern linen bleached by different methods, over time under many different conditions: light, temperature both normal and extreme, moisture, natural radiation, all manner of pollutants in the air or in reliquaries and so forth.

There are the questions: do some or all of these things act differently on “imaged” fibers and non-imaged fibers?  How does age act on banding, whatever that is, because it has a visual affect on the image. In fact, is banding a symptom of aging? Why?

Colin Berry: Yes, it’s vitally important to match every tiny detail

Inés San Martín, a Vatican correspondent for Crux has written an interesting article: Is the Shroud of Turin real? Some say it doesn’t matter

Therein we find Joe Nickell saying:

Proponents lack any viable hypothesis for the image formation, and have dismissed re-creations that others have found convincing.

and Barrie Schwortz saying:

Despite being the most studied artifact in history …  modern science is still unable to explain the image or how it was made.

and also saying:

… no one in the past 40 years has been able to duplicate it or create any image with the same chemical and physical properties.

Well, yeah, duh, to what Nickell is saying. In every case there have been problems with the re-creations. It is all about details. That’s why they have been dismissed. 

But then isn’t Barrie’s argument stale. That’s not a criticism of Barrie, it is the situation. Just as we say that no one has figured out how the image was formed – which every student of logic knows is a big fat fallacy – we haven’t figured out anything better to say about the image except what it is not and to keep bringing up those chemical and physical details.


The Rev. Andrew Dalton, a Legionaries of Christ priest who’s a shroud expert, told Crux that although the Church respects the autonomy of the scientific community, there are details that simply couldn’t have been forged centuries ago.

Details like what?

Isn’t Colin Berry trying to figure out how the image was maybe formed by a forger with Thibault Heimburger reminding him about those pesky little details that “that simply couldn’t have been forged centuries ago.” Inés San Martín should be interviewing them. Here, right out of this blog, let’s look at two comments.

Thibault Heimburger (April 29, 2015 at 3:32 pm):


“These aspects of the TS that the new model is supposed to match” are very important.

Your new model, at the end, must match (or at least be compatible with) the fundamental surface distribution properties of the TS: superficiality (at fabric, thread and fiber level), uniformity of the image (no “hot point”, no spot, no “hole”), half tone and fuzzy contours, and bundles of fibers adjacent to uncolored fibers…

Now, if you think that these facts are not proved, despite the many photos you have, I can’t add anything.

If you think that those properties are not important at all, please explain…

The ” ‘scattered colored spots” (also seen in Garlaschelli’s shroud) is only my description of your hand imprint.

I’ll be in Turin until Sunday.

Colin Berry (April 29, 2015 at 10:25 pm):

Yes, it’s vitally important to match every tiny detail of the TS, as it existed when first produced. My new project will attempt to simulate in the kitchen the effect of centuries of subtle degradation on an image of unknown provenance, whether 700 or 2000 years old.

Seriously, TH, one has to recognize the limitations of any attempts at model building. That’s what we scientists, as distinct from physicians, engineers, technologists etc do – we build models. Recognizing the limitations of models, we are concerned primarily with the principles, especially when there are so many who claim for example that a 200nm thick image in unexplainable by conventional science (wrong, it is).

I am not trying to produce a facsimile copy of the TS (forgery Mark 2?) merely to show that its defining characteristics are consistent with medieval forgery. That’s as a counter to those pseudoscientific agenda-pushers who say they are not. (That’s my agenda – anti-pseudoscience). “Defining characteristic” must not turned into a trail (trial?) with no ending.

Hat tip to Joe Marino for sending the Crux article along.

Having Nightmares

clip_image001In an email, Russ Breault writes:

I had a dream last night.  For some reason I was dreaming of Charles Freeman and his painting theory.  I remembered conversations with Isabel Piczek at her studio.  She always develops her paintings, which are large scale murals, with a "cartoon" as she calls it.  I would call it a sketch that becomes the guide for where and how she would apply the paint.  I assume that almost all artists start with an outline, cartoon or sketch.  So in the case of Freeman’s theory, if all the paint has now flaked off, where is the outline?  Where is the underlying sketch? 

First of all, dreaming of Charles Freeman and his painting theory is not merely a dream, it’s a nightmare.

Anyway, when I first read about the shroud, I often read about how the image on the shroud had no outline. Isabel was often quoted and I found myself using the lack of an outline as an argument.  Then one day, I was on Fifth Avenue along the edge of Central Park in Manhattan. There is along this famous avenue, where the sidewalk is as wide as the road, an area where local artists sell their works hanging on a fence or spread out on the pavement. Occasionally, you will find an artist painting portraits of tourists. I watched one such artist at work.  He began with a smattering of seemingly random brush strokes with random colors from his palette. It was, for most of the time that he was painting, a work of pure chaos.  Then the portrait emerged, slowly at first. The was the moment of I think I see the face. Then, it was, of course that is a face. Finally, after maybe ten minutes, it was as hyper realistic as Albrecht Dürer’s self portrait, ca. 1500 AD (above). Watching this artist work was like watching the Harlem Globetrotters. No one shoots baskets like that. No one paints like that, without even a hint of an outline.

But they do. Ever watch Bob Ross on TV?  I’m thinking these days that some artists use outlines and some do not. That the shroud does not appear to have a surviving outline doesn’t impress me all that much any more. Link is

White Night of Faith: Pictures of a Different Kind of Shroud Exposition

The Shroud is a salutary shock, which invites you to not give up ever, and aiming high in life.

–Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia at the event

CLICK HERE to see several great pictures of this youth event in Turin


Computer Generated Young Jesus From Image on Shroud


Philip Willan writing in The Times:

Italian police are accustomed to “ageing” photographs of wanted gangsters to help them track down fugitive.

Now they have reversed the process to generate a photofit image of Jesus Christ as a child, using as their starting point the adult man captured in Turin’s famous shroud, believed by many Catholics to represent the face of the crucified Christ.

The computer-generated images were released to mark a two-month exhibition during which the 14-foot-long sheet, normally kept in a sealed container in a chapel next to Turin Cathedral, will remain on public display in the city. Pope Francis is due to visit . . .

The White Night of Faith

Seven thousand of Italy’s youth have arrived in Turin for a youth event of the Shroud Exposition, the White Night of Faith.




Might tactile chemography prove to be the super-model?

These are early days, but I’m (how shall we say?) quietly confident.

— Colin Berry

imageNo wine before its time.  And don’t read Colin Berry’s posts in his blog before they have aged for a few days to match his unorthodox posting style.  Now is the time. Fine wine indeed if you like something acidic. Give it time to breath. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you or I will like it. It is time to read Might this be how the Turin Shroud was faked, using medieval alchemy?

Colin writes in his blog:

Here it is folks: the best I can offer after more than 3 years  of almost non-stop experimentation : Model 9  ("the nitric acid model").

Alternative name (afterthought, added 25th April): this new technique produces what might be called a "tactile chemograph".  Maybe there was only one ever produced (the image that we now call the Turin Shroud).  The tactile chemograph may be thought of as a forerunner of the photograph. (In both instances, one produces a latent image from a real person without harming them in any way, one that can then be developed in a bath (or vapour chamber) with the appropriate developing chemicals.

There was the moment that Thibault Heimburger asked Colin to “explain in detail the advantages of your new hypothesis with regard to your ‘old’ scorch hypothesis.”  Colin provided ten points. You should read them all. Here are two to temp you:

6. The technique allows for blood (or blood substitute) to be applied at the same time as body-imprinting medium, provided the blood or substitute stays red in nitric acid fumes (real blood does not – it quickly turns a brown colour). Blood would have been applied after. i.e. directly on top of the gooey imprinting medium to account for there being no body image under Shroud “blood”.


8. When applied to new linen, the technique has a side-effect that would be seen as a bonus – artificial ageing of the linen. Centuries later, pro-authenticity chemists and others would be delighted to find there was less potential vanillin and more mechanical weakness than would be expected of medieval linen a mere 700 years old.

Jumping to the conclusion (maybe, for there is no predicting with Colin):

The Turin Shroud. was this the world’s first and only tactile chemograph (think of it as a primitive ‘photographic’ negative, except for one tiny detail. Neither light not any other kind of elect6romagnetic radiation played any part in its production. It relied on the human touch (well, gentle massage actually).

What finally persuaded this blogger to abandon thermal scorching, and move to liquid (or semi-liquid) imprinting? It was that paper that Joe Accetta PhD presented at the St.Louis gathering, 2014, in which he propsoed that the TS image had been produced by woodblock imprinting. Up till that time I’d always been sceptical re the use of any kind of liquid imprinting medium, considering that would risk a reverse-side image. But I concocted my own equivalent of Joe’s "oak gall" imprinting ink, in which the iron salts probably have a mordant action, as well as creating the ink by reaction with plant tannins. Here’s an image produced, substituting tannin-rich pomegranate rind extract for oak galls, supplemented with iron (II)sulphate.

That ‘wet’ image was as good, if not better than anything produced by scorching. Yes. there was some reverse-side penetration, but might that not be minimized by suitable modification of technique, or simply by using thicker linen (and the TS linen IS thick, as Hugh Farey has observed).

Once liquid imprinting was permitted as an option, then a host of new experimental options were opened up. Thanks Joe Accetta. You weaned me of those thermal scorches (but they were useful in other ways, showing that ANY negative imprint can model certain key features of the TS, notably negative image and 3D-enhancibility). Models in science do not need to tick all boxes simultaneously. One can run different models in parallel, each earning its keep in one or other respect, while patiently waiting for the day when the super-model suggests itself, one  that combines the best features of its precursors, not only mine, but those of Garlaschelli and Accetta in particular. Hugh Farey and Adrie van der Hoeven added some useful and thought-provoking grist to the mill too, though whether they and the previous two would approve of the end-result is another matter.

Might tactile chemography prove to be the super-model? We shall see. These are early days, but I’m (how shall we say?) quietly confident.

Oh oh! You can’t put the cork back in, can you?

Do go read Might this be how the Turin Shroud was faked, using medieval alchemy?

Flat Earth Society, Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) and Other Partisans

imageTwo days ago, Joe NIckell posted an article, Fake Turin Shroud Deceives National Geographic Author, on the CSI website (formerly known as CSICOP but now CSI,  The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry).

Joe begins:

When a great magazine like National Geographic speaks, the world naturally listens. We were especially glad this is so when—for its March 2015 cover article, “The War on Science”—it cited such attacks as those on climate change, evolution, vaccinations, and genetically altered food, as well as the moon landing. “Thanks, National Geographic,” we said (2015) in our magazine, Skeptical Inquirer.

And yet science—and truth—have since come under attack by an online article that bears the imprimatur of National Geographic. Written by Frank Viviano, the article “Why Shroud of Turin’s Secrets Continue to Elude Science” (2015) is so misleading, so replete with falsehoods, so lacking in basic facts about the notorious “shroud” that it is an affront to the proud name of National Geographic.

It is also a glaring example of how not to approach a controversy. Just as one would not get information about the curvature of the Earth from the Flat Earth Society alone, one should not primarily get “facts” about the Turin cloth from The Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) and other partisans. STURP’s leaders served on the executive council of the Holy Shroud Guild, which is devoted to the “cause” of the reputed relic. Viviano tells us in glowing terms of the “scientific disciplines” covered by STURP, without being aware that it lacked experts in art and forensic chemistry. We shall see presently why this matters, but let’s first look at the shameful portions of the shroud’s history that Viviano shamelessly omits.

And Joe concludes:

Scholarship and science have proven the Turin “shroud” a fake, from its incompatibility with first century burial cloths and procedures, its lack of historical record, and a bishop’s report that the forger had confessed, to the suspicious-looking “blood” that is really tempera paint, pigments making up the body image, and the radiocarbon dating that confirms the cloth originated at the time of its documented appearance in the fourteenth century—when it was fraudulently claimed to the be Holy Shroud of Christ. Such evidence against any secular object would be considered clear proof of inauthenticity.

Frank Viviano’s article is a disservice to science and unworthy to appear under the respected name National Geographic.

Of course, Joe is the model for unbiased information. Visit by clicking on his picture.

Tweeted Image of the Day: Viewing the Shroud


Student Newspaper Article About the Shroud

imageThere is an interesting perspective on the shroud by Nathanael Jones in Southern Accent, the student newspaper of Southern Adventist University, a Seventh Day Adventist school. The article is  What the Shroud of Turin and you have in common:

As the school year comes to a close and it’s time to start summer ministries, I was looking for a bit of new inspiration. Where is God? How can I know He’s with me? How can I see Him, know for sure that I’m not taking part in a make-believe ministry?

According to the Wall Street Journal, this past Sunday the Shroud of Turin was displayed for the first time in five years. The Shroud is a Catholic relic that they believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Over 1 million people reserved tickets to see it and the Pope has plans to pray in front of it in the coming months.

“Relics are proof that God shared our history,” said Paul Badde, a well-known Catholic author.

All of this got me thinking about whether protestant Christians have proof that God shared our history, since we don’t keep physical relics of God’s Holiness on earth, and if we do, what it is?

[. . . ]

To my way of thinking, there is a bit of misunderstanding about Catholics, Protestants in a broader context, the shroud as a relic and the meaning of proof. But I like the measure and spirit of the article.

Look at what happened between 1988 and 2015

imageA reader named Pike writes:

If new carbon 14 tests show similar results the Jacksons and Fantis of Sindone World will be doing a lot of telling us that radiation from the resurrection changed the date.  There will be new explanations.  Look at what happened between 1988 and 2015. The Turin Shroud is more real today than it was 25 years ago.

The Real Meaning Is Not Authenticity

imageCarol Glatz has an interesting piece in the Catholic Herald, ‘Obsession’ with authenticity hides Turin Shroud’s real meaning, says expert. That expert is Gian Maria Zaccone, scientific director of the Museum of the Shroud of Turin. He said it at a preview of the shroud exposition for journalists. Take a couple of minutes to read the entire article:

“It is up to one’s own personal judgment, that is, neither I nor anyone else can tell you that the Shroud is authentic or not; each person examines and works out what research has offered” and then makes up his or her own mind.

Church doctrine has long held that any reverence or honour given to a religious object or relic must be given to what it represents and not to the object itself, he said.

As I am getting ready to post the above, in comes an email from Joe Marino with a Google translation of a Vatican Insider article that features answers to questions by Zaccone and Andrea Nicolotti. Nicolotti is a frequent participant in this blog who has commented nearly two-hundred times. In the Vatican Insider article Nicolotti tells us (Googlized):

"The Church in the official discourse uses some caution, however, in practice (books, television, catechesis, conferences) promotes propaganda authenticity and discourages the contrary. This creates a lot of ambiguity. "

What Nicolotti is saying is the same thing I am beginning to hear more often. Stephen Jones used the term duplicitous, which is a bit harsh.  See yesterday’s posting, Ye shall know them by their photographs.

And so the question was posed: What should the Church do with the Shroud?

Nicolotti: "No, this is not a question for a historian. It is not my job to say what the Church should do. As far as I’m concerned I feel so overwhelming evidence medieval origin, which I can not understand how anyone can argue otherwise if not placing myself from a point of view devotional or emotional, not rational. "

Zaccone: "I agree that we need a historical, but we must give priority to the study of the object to get the answers we seek regarding the origin of the Shroud. Consider the historical research is very important in many ways, but not fundamental to the question of authenticity. The Church, as I said before, does what it has always historically done and continues to do: teaching propose that image to go to the heart of what it represents, according to the teaching that, through the representation, honor and worship you make it to the principal. "

N: "From the historical point of view it is necessary to perform a cleaning of all the false rumors and legends about the Shroud touted as true. A serious scientific study would be equally desirable. Let’s start with some certain items. The first historical are medieval. At the time, even those who possessed it affirmed the authenticity of the Shroud: called "figure or representation."The fabric – according to my conclusions, which had already reached some historians of weaving, unheeded – is technologically medieval. Twelve radiocarbon datings, performed in 1988 in three different laboratories, have called medieval. Then there are strong indications, such as the fact that no one in history for thirteen centuries, from the tomb of Jesus to the Middle Ages, has never spoken of this shroud; and when the bishop of Troyes and the pope have spoken for the first time, they did say that it was a fraud. So I conclude that it is extremely unlikely that this object dates from the time of Jesus. In addition, the image on the Shroud could not have produced by contact with a dead body without the intervention of a craftsman, and stains of "blood" are not realistic. Efforts are made to doubt this evidence, but I think no effectiveness. If we want to give priority to the devotional aspect, then there was no talk of authenticity. But the question always resurfaces, I can not dodge the issue. That the problem is not secondary demonstrated by the fact that the Shroud is constantly engaged in an effort to delegitimize the results of studies to the detriment of the authenticity, concocting complicated alternative explanations or by resorting to the subject of the miracle. It rejects arguments against and always has a tendency to cite research favorable authenticity (pollens, written, coins) without ever giving into account when they are rejected by the scientific community. Meanwhile access to the Shroud is foreclosed to scholars for decades: it is even forbidden to work on the high-resolution photographs, a situation quite simply unacceptable. "

Z: "I do not think can be considered closed the question of the origin of the Shroud. I’m not saying that is certainly true, I just say that you can not wipe out so simply a series of elements at least doubts, such as the formation of the image, which even today, despite the numerous theoretical and experimental studies carried out, remains without explanation because no one has yet managed to produce an equal. Also because the problems of interpretation of radiocarbon dating were already present in the literature relative to other datings addition to that of the Shroud. Also I think I have repeatedly made clear how the documents, particularly those medieval, can be interpreted in a more complex and not necessarily for the worse. And I would also like you cease to believe that any researcher – even if the value of goal – that enters the order of ideas that the Shroud may be authentic, thereby become unreliable when no object of derision. There must be a science of the Shroud, but scientists who study according to their specializations. I do not find correct that a nuclear physicist deals with history and vice versa. "

Short Shrift Article at HuffPo-UK

imageThere is, on a single page, an excellent AP video and an awful short-shrifting by Paul Vale, the New York based Night Editor for the Huffington Post UK on the HuffPo-UK site. The article is probably short enough to repost the whole thing without violating fair use. The video, unfortunately sandwiched in between the headline and the story, is well worth watching. It can be accessed by clicking on the picture on the right:

A piece of cloth scientifically proven to have no connection to Biblical times has gone on display in Italy, with millions expected to make the pilgrimage to see the medieval forgery. The infamous Shroud of Turin — a 14 foot piece of linen once believed to be Christ’s burial cloth — went on public display on Sunday after a 5-year hiatus, with Pope Francis reportedly planning to see the “sacred” garb in June.

The linen boasts a faded image of a bearded man, which for centuries was said to be an imprint of the face of Christ. However, in 1988 researchers dated the shroud with Carbon 14 testing, the results placing the garment’s creation within the period 1260-1390. Still, many members of the clergy dismissed the facts, with one Archbishop even decrying the findings as an "overseas Masonic plot" designed to discredit the Roman Catholic Church.

Recent Popes have been careful to avoid pronouncing on the issue, unwilling to reject the shroud while opting to highlight its more symbolic resonance. Yet despite its inauthenticity, the relic remains a big draw for tourists — believers and non-believers. "It’s an occasion that brings everybody together and aims to give a precise response to the violence in this world. It tells us that the way to build a fairer world is not violence, but love," Cesare Nosiglia, Turin’s current archbishop, told the Associated Press.

The shroud will remain on display in the Cathedral of Turin until June 24.

Ye shall know them by their photographs


An old friend who just discovered this blog writes:

We keep reading that the Catholic church does not have a position on the shroud. Like they can?  That’s BS!  Look at the picture on their website. It’s a big case of watch what I do and ignore what I say. Do you think all those bishops and priests are ( What’s the word? Venerating? ) what might be a medieval forgery? Give me a break. Ye shall know them by their fruits.

Ouch. Not good context. Matthew 7:15&16 (NRSV) reads, “15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits.”

Not good context at all.

The above picture that my friend included in his email is in rotation on the official exposition website,, and is currently the masthead for the Archdiocese’s official exposition Facebook and Twitter pages.

I get the point but is it valid?  Stephen Jones is saying similar things in his blog, absent the photograph:

As I have stated before, it is duplicitous (i.e. two-faced), of the Vatican to refuse to confirm or deny that the Shroud is authentic. By its actions of spending the equivalent of tens (if not hundreds) of millions of dollars preserving the Shroud and exhibiting it to millions of people as though it is authentic, the Vatican clearly does believe that the Shroud is authentic, so it should say so. Shroud anti-authenticists cite the Vatican’s refusal to state that the Shroud is authentic as evidence that it is not. I am not being anti-Catholic in this, I am being pro-truth! (italic emphasis is Steven’s)

For what it’s worth, I think the church is saying the right thing and showing the shroud in the right way.

Retracted Papers

clip_image001Remember all those posting in this blog about Alberto Carpinteri and his Piezonuclear something-or-other ideas about the shroud:

Piezonuclear What?

Aftershock of the Maybe-An-Earthquake-Did-It Earthquake

Jerry Coyne Pounces on the Earthquake Hypothesis

Some Perspective on Alberto Carpinteri

Breaking News: Another Day, Another Solution to the Image and the Carbon Dating

Full Disclosure: Author of ‘Earthquake’ paper is also editor of journal that published paper


Well, it turns out that Meccanica, an International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, has retracted several articles in which Carpinteri was involved. Reason given:

This article has been withdrawn by the Publisher and the Society in agreement with the Editor-in-Chief due to conflict of interest reasons. In a commitment to scientific integrity we decided to withdraw the article as the editorial process had been compromised.

They didn’t know that? Read Full Disclosure.

More likely, it has something to do with the St. Louis Conference paper, Earthquake-Induced Piezonuclear Reactions and the Image on the Shroud of Turin: Critical Remarks by Diana Fulbright and Paolo Di Lazzaro. Here is an abstract from the conference site:

Neutrons produced by hypothetical “piezonuclear” fission reactions have been proposed as causative for the formation of the image on the Shroud of Turin1.  According to this hypothesis, compressing solids can provoke nucleus-splitting reactions without emitting γ-rays or producing nuclear waste.  This involves an exponentially accelerated decay rate of a thorium isotope, according to results presented in 2.  The decay rate of the isotope 228Th in a water solution, compared with its natural decay rate, is said to be increased by a factor of 104 when exposed to cavitation, i.e., sound waves at 20 kHz and 100W, as might be produced by a very high-magnitude earthquake.  This claim has been disputed as not substantiated by the experimental evidence presented.

The Shroud image is said to have been formed by a hypothetical flux of thermal neutrons directed into the Shroud, which in turn interacts with atmospheric nitrogen to generate both protons (which are absorbed by the linen cellulose, producing a superficial coloration) and additional isotopes of 14C, captured by cellulose of the linen cloth, as proposed by Rinaudo4, thus skewing the radiocarbon dating of 1988.

However, Rinaudo posited the body as the source of the neutron-proton flux, producing the very superficial image on the inside of the cloth.  On the contrary, in the piezonuclear ssion hypothesis, the source of neutrons are rocks of the walls of the tomb. Therefore the flux of neutrons (and of secondary protons) is directed to the outside surface of the linen cloth.  As a consequence, the image would be on the outside of the cloth, in contradiction with the detailed results of STuRP studies.

The unique earthquakes in the Gospel of Matthew (27:51, 28:2), absent from the other Gospels, are subsumed into the piezonuclear hypothesis.  But they are completely unattested by any known independent historical source.   References to earthquakes at the time of the Crucifixion and/or the Resurrection, such as attributed to the unknown historian Thallos, The Narrative of Joseph of Arimathea and Dante’s Divine Comedycan scarcely be considered to support historical authenticity, as their source is none other than the Gospel of Matthew.

Moreover, image formation via the neutron flux-proton interaction hypothesis is said to have required an earthquake of 8 – 9 ML magnitude1 “which “should have razed Jerusalem to the ground”5, and could not have gone unnoticed by contemporary or later historians – i.e., Pliny, Josephus, Philo, Tacitus, not to mention the letters of Paul or Acts, which portrays the apostles openly teaching in the Temple (3:1 ff.) following the death of Jesus.

The premise that the earthquakes of Matthew may somehow have been involved in formation of the Shroud body image may be untenable, as neither occurred, according to the Evangelist, when the shroud could have been in contact with the body.

The Imams Who Came to See the Shroud

imageA Google translation of a story in Avvenire, an Italian language Catholic-focused daily newspaper about a group of imams who came to see the shroud:

There are some imams today in Turin with visitors queuing to admire in the Cathedral of the Holy Shroud. Among them,Mohamed Bahreddine, national president of the League of Imams . "It’s the first time we visit the Shroud. We want to broaden the dialogue – he said – our presence is a strong signal after what has happened in the world. We want to lead by example. We want to appeal to all, we are all brothers. Today we need closeness, to show that we are united, there is no need to say no to violence. " "We are for the maximum integration – said Amir Younes, head of the Intercultural Center Mecca of Turin – there is much interest in the Shroud and we are here to enrich our knowledge. Our presence is a sign of integration. "

Bahreddine and Younes drove in all’ostensione visit the Shroud, a group of Muslims. "Even to your celebrations for the end of Ramadan there are always representatives of the Church – explained Bahreddine – why we decided to come to give a signal, to say that we are all brothers and that we are citizens of this country is in this city" . "You – he added – a space to expand the dialogue and, especially after the dramatic events that are happening in recent months, we are here to launch a new appeal and say that we are all brothers." "Today we really need – intervened Younes – to demonstrate the closeness between Christians and Muslims, to say no to all forms of terrorism and violence and yes to living together. You have to be strong together."

With the group of Muslims was also don Tino Negri, director of the Diocesan Centre for Christian-Islamic dialogue Peirone Frederick. "I’m glad of this participation – he says – is the sign of a desire for integration and acceptance of religious and cultural differences."

At the end of the visit the representatives of the Muslim community have commented: "Today we have added to our culture another important piece and we hope we have given a beautiful message of brotherhood." "It is a journey through time and history – said Mohamed Bahreddine – where we saw the figure of Jesus in the vision of the Christian brothers. " For Amir Younes, "there is something that touches the soul, it is a moment that brings together people towards peace, a moment of which today we have much need and that is what we hope to happen even in our territories where war is waged for nothing. "

Charles Freeman and the Huffington Post Caption Writer

Skeptics have suggested various weird and wonderful ways in which it might have been
produced; they all contradict each other, and none is remotely plausible.

imageCarol Kuruvilla writes HuffPo’s story about the exposition:

In a 2011 book, British scholar Charles Freeman suggested that the shroud was created for medieval Easter rituals. The earliest mention of the shroud he could find was in 1355, when the cloth was displayed at a chapel in Lirey, France.

“On Easter morning the gospel accounts of the resurrection would be re-enacted with ‘disciples’ acting out a presentation in which they would enter a makeshift tomb and bring out the grave clothes to show that Christ had indeed risen,” Freeman told The Guardian.

Italy’s former royal family, the House of Savoy, acquired the shroud in 1453. Freeman says the family “converted” the cloth “into a high-prestige relic” in order to bolster the kingdom’s reputation.

A caption writer for an accompanying gallery of pictures had a different story to tell:

This image cannot be a medieval fake: the image does not match the style, technique, or concepts of medieval imagery, and it cannot be a painting or a rubbing. Skeptics have suggested various weird and wonderful ways in which it might have been produced; they all contradict each other, and none is remotely plausible.

And there is this caption for a photograph of the frontal full body image:

The Shroud was first photographed in 1898, revealing that it is an astonishingly realistic negative image. This unequivocally proves that the Shroud cannot be a medieval man-made forgery, for no one knew how to produce such an image in those days – or would have wanted to. And no, Leonardo couldn’t have either – apart from anything else, he was born a century after the Shroud is first documented in France.

And this caption for a picture of the Hungarian Pray Codex

Folio 28r of the Pray Codex, a Hungarian manuscript produced between 1192 and 1195, depicting two scenes from the Passion. Most people believe the Shroud is a fake due to the 1988 carbon-dating test, but the botched sampling of the cloth and the last-minute abandonment of agreed-upon procedures mean that the carbon-dating test had severe flaws. Carbon-dating is by no means 100% reliable, and the carbon-dating of ancient cloths appears to be particularly error-prone. Contamination or a medieval repair can account for the problematic Shroud test. This miniature painting, dating from the 1190s, depicts the Shroud, complete with a distinctive pattern of burn-marks, at least a century before the date suggested by the carbon-dating.

Cape May in April

If you will be in the area, you should attend. Cape May is, after all, only 2 hours and 43 minutes from Manhattan on the Garden State Parkway and 1 hour and 32 minutes from Philadelphia if you use the Atlantic City Expressway.


Carbon Date the Shroud Again?

imageJoe Marino writes:

I was checking out some of the videos and stories related to the opening of the exhibition.  In one video, Archbishop Nosiglia said the church is not against new testing.  One of the new articles quoted Pope John Paul II in 1998 saying continued research should be done.  I think researchers have done their part in continuing research but one can only do so much with the 1978 data.  I know the Pope has a lot of things on his plate but if Popes and Archbishops are giving lip service to research/new testing, he really needs to reevaluate the role of the Shroud in the church.  If new testing did not disprove the authenticity, it could bring a lot more people to Christianity.  There have been expositions in 1998, 2000, 2010 and the current one.  A tremendous amount of time, energy and money have been spent in each of those.  It would have been nice if some of that time, energy and money could have been put in another multi-disciplinary study.  We now have Barberis saying another C-14 test should be done.  As we saw at the St. Louis conference, there is a lot of debate among researchers whether it should be done.  If it is done, a lot would obviously depend on the background study and the various entities involved in the testing.  Heaven forbid if it would be anything like the 88 testing.

In referring to Barberis, Joe is, I think, referring to  SHROUD: TRACES OF BLOOD FROM THE "CARBON-14": WHAT DOES SCIENCE SAY, a Google Translation of an article, SINDONE, DALLE TRACCE EMATICHE AL "CARBONIO-14": COSA DICE LA SCIENZA  in Famiglia Cristiana.

I favor retesting. Bill Meacham (The Rape of the Shroud) continues to advocate for it. Some people believe that the shroud cannot be tested accurately and oppose such testing. One reason: they think that a resurrection miracle changed the ratio of carbon 14 to carbon 12.  Maybe. But how do you test for that?

Tweeted Photo of the Day Yesterday

Some of the first people to see the Shroud after the exposition opened yesterday.


The Archbishop of Turin Tweets






The #Sindone is a sign that the Lord has shared all our suffering.


–  Mons Nosiglia # AmorePiuGrande

Barrie Schwortz to Publish 118 Issues of Rex Morgan’s Shroud News

imageSo Stephen Jones tells us. Moreover:

I have decided to re-start (again!) my Shroud of Turin News. The last issue was in October 2013. What prompted me was that I have started scanning the 118 issues of fellow Australian Rex Morgan’s Shroud News, with his permission, for a new archive of that name on Barrie Schwortz’ According to Schwortz the Shroud News archive should commence "this summer," and will be announced in his imminent late April, update. Also, I had recently read Mark Guscin’s"Interview With Rex Morgan" in the BSTS Newsletter No. 63 of June 2006, in which Morgan [right] said:

There have been many letters asking me to resurrect Shroud News and I would much like to. The mountain of material I have assembled since the last one would enable me to produce issues for many more years.

While I do not claim that this is the successor to Morgan’s Shroud News(which is one reason I have called it "Shroud of Turin News"), I do hope that this new (or re-started) series will help in some small way to fill the void left by Morgan’s decision to not continue with his original Shroud News after December 2001. As before, I will add my comments to Shroud-related news and other articles in reverse chronological order (latest uppermost). My comments are in bold to distinguish them from the articles’.

I wish him luck.  And, certainly, all of us will appreciate the scanning work he is undertaking.