This takes us to the crucial question: is the Sudarium of Oviedo “the cloth that was about his head” mentioned in the Gospel according to John 20: 6-7? It must be remembered that this is possible precisely because, being soaked in blood, it had to be kept in the tomb, in accordance with Jewish burial customs.
The striking points of similarity between the Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin make it possible to deduce that they had been used on the same corpse. If, therefore, more concrete evidence can demonstrate that both cloths were really in contact with the same dead body the 1988 radiocarbon dating would have to be laid to rest. There can be no doubt that the cloth preserved in Spain has importance to Shroud history. However, the issue is very complex, because although there are points relating to authenticity, an association would also have to be established with Jesus. A lot more work needs to be done and the views of experts in the field of medicine demand attention; the issues that are pending are not few.
It is not possible to say when exactly the Church will allow another in-depth examination of the two relics. Fortunately, research has not come to a standstill in Spain and the latest findings have come from the able hands of Dr. Juan Manuel Miñarro López, professor of Sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Seville. His masterly monograph, entitled Sobre la Compatibilidad de la Síndone y el Sudarium (On the Compatibility of the Shroud and the Sudarium), richly illustrated with images, diagrams and photographs, was published in the no. 56, January- June issue of Linteum, the high quality journal published in the Spanish language by the Centro Español de Sindonologia in Valencia, Spain. The Sudarium has been confined to an undeserved silence beyond Spain. It is time, therefore, for Spanish and more American scientists to get together and produce new in-depth studies. The CES, made up of highly qualified members, many of whom teach at universities or work in other institutions, is aware of the need to set aside language barriers and is in the process of producing a scientific magazine in English. If their research continues at this rate it may well be that the Sudarium of Oviedo is the key to interpreting the Shroud of Turin, as maintained by Professor Jorge-Manuel Rodríguez Almenar, president of the organisation.
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