Forbes Editors Need to Polish Up Their Headline Writing

imageThe latest Forbes/Science article by Kristina Killgrove is headlined: Mysteries Of The Black Death, Shroud Of Turin, And Origins of Early Americans Solved With DNA

Solved?  She had written:

Of course, since the shroud has been recognized since the Middle Ages as a possible religious relic, it has been handled and moved about for centuries.  There is unfortunately nothing in the new research to suggest a Medieval origin for the shroud and subsequent handling by people over the centuries is unreasonable.  The question of whether the shroud is indeed a 1st century AD artifact or a Medieval artifact is not solved by the new analysis.

The question of the origin of the Shroud of Turin may yet be solved in our lifetimes, particularly as DNA analysis is getting more reliable, faster, less expensive, and less destructive. But I suspect that there will always be believers on both sides of the authentication argument, no matter what the results show.

She didn’t say solved.

The Amazing Parts

People can see the most updated scientific evidence regarding the Shroud, and then they can make their own reasoned judgment regarding its authenticity.


imageNews from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas (bold emphasis is mine):

“The most amazing part of the Shroud is the majesty of the face.”

That statement from Jim Bertrand, a Shroud expert affiliated with the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado, rang true for Benedictine College students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding communities who saw his presentation, along with a life-sized replica of the Shroud, on the Atchison campus on October 8.

[…]

Bertrand has been studying the Shroud for more than 30 years and has been affiliated with the Shroud Center of Colorado since 2014. He talked about the history of the Shroud and the scientific evidence surrounding its authenticity, including new peer-reviewed scientific information regarding the dating of the Holy Shroud, which has been the subject of much debate.

“As a presenter of the Shroud, my mission is to unite Truth with the human heart,” he said. “People can see the most updated scientific evidence regarding the Shroud, and then they can make their own reasoned judgment regarding its authenticity. Whether a relic or an icon, the Shroud is a sacramental, leading us to a deeper relationship with Jesus.”

Bertrand presented a wealth of scientific evidence that supported the Shroud’s existence in 1st century Jerusalem. He noted botanical evidence of pollen from plants native to the area. He talked about geological evidence of soil found around the image’s feet, knees and nose that is of a particular type of rock only found in Jerusalem. He noted the biological studies of the blood stains, including the fact that they are still bright red due to the body’s release of bilirubin caused by a massive loss of blood, which supports Biblical accounts of Christ’s Passion.

He also talked about the 1978 carbon dating that placed the Shroud’s origin around 1250. The section tested turns out to have been from a corner of the Shroud repaired in Medieval times and containing cotton, satin and other fibers not found in the rest of the linen Shroud. There is also resin present that was used to join cotton threads to linen threads.

“It turned out to be the worst possible place to sample,” Bertrand said. He went on to show three other recent datings of the Shroud using chemical and mechanical tests. All three had wide ranges of dates for their results, but they all crossed the 1st century.

Reasoned judgment is fine. It’s the way it should be. But there is a real problem with the most updated scientific evidence.  Much of it is controversial. It is often not updated. And frequently not really so scientific as we make it out to be.  How good is that botanical evidence?  Is bilirubin really why the blood is still red? Was that corner repaired? Are those three other dating methods even valid?

The most amazing parts of the Shroud is how much we don’t know. I can’t make a reasoned judgment on the scientific evidence.

Maybe the devil made them post this

imageI thought it sounded familiar.* Here was a short paragraph of indisputable wishful thinking. Here it was being quoted in an article without any attribution that I could see, its author being used solely as a straw man to be wishfully disputed:

[…] some of the inexplicable anomalies that the shroud seems to posses: the 3-dimensional quality of the image; the laser-like transmission of the image that is beyond our present technology, etc? Frankly, I can’t explain them. Neither do I care to. Satan has been very good at getting our attention off of God and getting us to waste our time on trivialities. If Satan, as the father of lies, can disguise himself as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14), then he’s probably clever enough to provide some trickery in this world. […]

That part of a paragraph is from a short book, The Shroud of Turin: Holy or Hoax, by a fundamentalist preacher named Jon J. Cardwell of Anniston, Alabama. You can get a PDF of the book for free at Academia.edu. There are many little the-shroud-cannot-be-real gems in it like this:

The Hebrew word למרטים (L’Maratiym), which is translated “plucked off the hair,” literally means “to make bald.” Jesus Christ didn’t just have a tuft of His beard pulled out; His entire beard was plucked from His face!

And this:

according to Isaiah 52:14: “As many were astonied at Thee; His visage was so marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.”  In other words, the Christ’s appearance would be disfigured until He was unrecognizable as a human being.

No, I did not forget (sic). Astonished is spelled astonied in the King James version of the Bible.

And this:

A cursory study of the coinage and the sculptures of that day do so inform and testify. By all three cultures, long hair for men “would have been regarded as a token of effeminacy.”

You get the idea! So one wonders, did Cardwell even need to be disputed. Julie LaBrecque and Walid Shoebat think so. In a blog posting, Amazing Discoveries Reveal That The Shroud Of Turin Included The Gospels, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection And The Trinity, they start off with this:

The evidence for the Shroud of Turin being divinely made is overwhelming; not only is it beyond doubt that it is the very burial cloth used to bury Christ, but the Shroud survived throughout the ages from fires and the scrutiny of science and the slander of men it put an end to several hotly debated issues (as we shall see here). The Shroud was no manmade relic, for it possesses attributes that defy science proving it conforms to no known law of physics (more on that later). It even etched the Gospel message putting an end to theological disputes by debunking the iconoclast and the opposition to the veneration of images. It ended the debate whether Christ was crucified on a stake or a cross and it even confirmed Christian theology regarding the Holy Trinity leaving the ardent skeptic with no answer but to slander it by saying that it was made by the devil himself:

Beyond doubt? Really? And … leaving the ardent skeptic with no answer but to slander the shroud by saying that it was made by the devil himself? Tell that to Colin Berry or Joe Nickell.

Okay, let’s see what we have from LaBrecque and Shoebat. There is this over-stretched counterargument :

Is all this denial because God chose that the Shroud be entrusted to Catholics given in succession, and by this the Shroud also proves that God designed an apostolic succession?

Nice try.  What about the Coptics, Greek, Ethiopian, Syriac and Russian Orthodox, Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, Moravians, the Mar Thoma Orthodox when it comes to apostolic succession?

And, arguably, it was never really entrusted to the Catholics until Umberto II died in 1983.

There is this from LaBrecque and Shoebat (fasten your seatbelts and try to read it all):

It is here that we begin to see what baffles science. In 2004, Dame Piczek, a physicist, became fascinated by the total absence of distortion of the Shroud image, a physical impossibility if the body had been lying on solid rock. Piczek’s work strongly suggests that the image of Jesus was projected as a quantum hologram onto the cloth as His body underwent the process of Resurrection.

Piczek perhaps best known for her study of the Shroud of Turin was baffled “The entire Resurrection process is akin to the Big Bang creation of the universe when something was created from nothing,” explains Piczek. “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.”

She further explains:

“The Body is hovering between the upper and the lower sheet and there is NO TRACE OF GRAVITY. The lack of gravity is also further proven by the Shroud linen. The linen does not fall on top of the Body, but remains in its unnaturally stretched condition at some distance from the body.”

To fathom or even scientifically explain “no time” “no space” “no gravity” is an impossibility:

“According to the nature of event horizons the dead body must have left its image on the two surfaces of the event horizons. At the time of the explosion (when time stopped) of the event horizons these images were ejected onto both sides of the Shroud, with the body hovering parallel to the event horizons. This explains why the image shows a dead man, not the risen body, and also explains why the image is negative (went from a positive body image to the negative image like a camera film negative). This indicates how the image got onto the cloth.”

The complicated physics behind the image on the Shroud explained: “As quantum time collapses to absolute zero (time stopped moving) in the tomb of Christ, the two event horizons (one stopping events from above and the other stopping the events from below at the moment of the zero time collapse) going through the body get infinitely close to each other and eliminate each other.

And why would the devil, who loves death, want known that the transference of the Image to the cloth even speaks of a future resurrection event? …

Me: I’m about as far as you can get from being a fundamentalist or a biblical literalist. Even so, I would put my money on Genesis I with God hovering over the face of the waters and proclaiming, “Let there be light” and then taking a nap on the seventh day before I’d bet on any of Piczek’s ludicrous made-up physics.

imageMaybe the devil made LaBrecque and Shoebat post this piece. How would we know?  I mean, how can you  explain that a certain quoted fundamentalist preacher named Jon J. Cardwell of Anniston, Alabama was never even mentioned by name?  Maybe the devil didn’t want that?

* The devil made me tell a lie. I never thought that paragraph by Cardwell sounded familiar. I had never heard of him or his book. I went a-Googling for the source of that paragraph. 

What Type of Person Are You?

Tom Hoopes writes in the English edition of Aleteia, That Moment When You Start Taking Jesus Seriously:

There are two kinds of people attracted by the truth. First, there are people with highly attuned B.S.-detectors who want to find rock-bottom truth. They come to Christ through philosophy or scientific discovery or apologetics.

But then there are people who are not necessarily intellectuals but who delight in the “Amazing Faith Facts” side of Catholicism. The Shroud of Turin, the Our Lady of Guadalupe tilma or the blood of St. Januarius bring them in. These, too, thrill to the truth.  (emphasis mine)

And then there are those of us who …

More Carbon Dating and Other Studies of Christian Relics

The unit concluded that shroud was made between 1260 and 1390.

clip_image001Ruth Gledhill reports in Christian Today, in an article titled, Results on investigations into fragments of the True Cross coming soon:

Oxford University has launched a centre to study ancient Christian relics such as bones claimed to be those of St John the Evangelist, John the Baptist and fragments purported to be from the true Cross.

The new centre will be based at Keble College’s Advanced Studies Centre.

Researchers will use radiocarbon dating, genetics and theology to draw together research and findings from around the world to try and establish the authenticity or otherwise of some of the world’s most famous relics.

Some archaeologists already believe they have found pieces of the True Cross on which Jesus was crucified

The centre follows advances in science which now allow higher precision radiocarbon dating and DNA analysis that establishes common ancestries and likely geographic origin of individuals.

Oxford has led the field in this area. Researchers used the Radiocarbon Accelerator Unit to date the Shroud of Turin, believed by some to be the burial cloth of Christ. The unit concluded that shroud was made between 1260 and 1390.

Professor Thomas Higham of Oxford also led a team dating six small bone fragments found on an island in Bulgaria named Sveti Ivan, translated as St John, which turned out to be the bones were of a man who lived in the Middle East at the same time as Jesus.

In 2014, the team also analysed remains of a small finger bone attributed to John the Baptist that was associated with the famous Guelph Treasure. The sample from the finger bone was dated to 660-770 AD, which meant it was too young for St John the Baptist.

More recent work has included analysis of remains thought to be of St Luke, St David, and the True Cross, on which Jesus was crucified. The results of these investigations have yet to be published.

And there is more to the article.

The Shroud of Canterbury

imageLouis, in a comment, links to Raiders of the Lost Codex: Scholars Piece Together Ancient Bible by Matthias Schulz appearing in Spiegel Online International.

He then writes:

A bit off-track but worth reading.

What happens if the Turin Shroud is dated to the 1st century? Who will be its owner? Pope Francis, the Di Savoia royal family of Italy, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Istanbul (Constantinople), the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, the Syrian Orthodox, Chaldean, Greek Orthodox, Coptic, Armenian patriarchs of Jerusalem…. or the Saint James Vicariate in Jerusalem (Hebrew Speaking Catholics, under the Jewish-born South African Jesuit David Neuhaus) successors of Saint James, first bishop of Jerusalem, and a cousin of Jesus?

The monks at the Greek Orthodox Saint Catherine’s Monastery, at the foot of Mount Sinai Egypt, are now saying that Constantin von Tischendorf stole the pages from the Codex Sinaiticus, and many of these pages are scattered in different places. HRH Prince Charles is the President of the Saint Catherine’s Foundation.

Tischendorff has been called an “adventurer” and “thief”, he had a doctorate in philosophy and was a very good New Testament scholar.

Actually, based on the The Treaty of Brétigny, signed on 8 May 1360, the Shroud of Turin belongs to Queen Elizabeth II of England.  How do you not see that?

Emanuela Marinelli Review of Andrea Nicolotti’s “Legends”

imageEmanuela Marinelli reviews Andrea Nicolotti’s  Sindone. Storia e leggende di una reliquia controversa, over at the Collegamento pro Sindone website titled Against the Shroud. But with mixed cards.

Historian Andrea Nicolotti expects to make a clean sweep of all the «Iegends» that came out around the Sacred Linen of Turin: a thorough lie that is to be unmasked once and for all using the weapons of historic research. It is a pity that among those weapons there should not be some things that, on the contrary, Nicolotti uses very much: sarcasm and contempt towards [anyone] who does not think in the same way he does (the reviled «Shroud scholars»), ignored sources and opposite sign research, rash incursions in distant fields, at the science ones. In short, the classical «thesis book», obviously flattered by the major newspapers, that a well- known Shroud scholar read for «Storia in Rete»

imageimage

New Angle on the Supernatural?

imageJohn Thavis, former Rome bureau chief for Catholic News Service, author of The Vatican Diaries and the upcoming The Vatican Prophecies: Investigating Supernatural Signs, Apparitions, and Miracles in the Modern Age. (September 15) has penned an interesting article for Religion News Services. The new book has considerable material about the shroud. This article,  With Pope Francis, Catholic Church takes a new angle on the supernatural (COMMENTARY) also mentions the shroud:

At times, Francis seems to be redirecting attention from the miraculous to the more urgent, real-life demands of Christianity. Praying in June before the Shroud of Turin, which many believe to be the burial cloth of the crucified Christ, the pope avoided any mention of its much-debated authenticity. Instead, he said the image should inspire Christians to help all those who suffer or are persecuted.

Significant Response to the Preview of the Thermochimica Acta Editorial

… if one of the points of peer-reviewed literature is to help fine-tune the author’s thinking,
it seems a bit questionable that this editorial comes 10+ years after the original article by Rogers and the death of the author.

imageThibault Heimburger contacted the editors of the journal and has been invited to offer a response to the Thermochimica Acta editorial that is currently in “accepted for publication” status. He has agreed to do so and we can look forward to that. But that will only address some of the scientific issues with this preview article.  There are 115 comments so far in the thread Editorial in Thermochimica Acta by Bella, Garlaschelli and Samperi on Rogers’ 2005 Article and many of them take issue with other elements of the article.  What follows, taken from recent comments by Joe Marino, offers a significant response to the historical questions surrounding invisible mending.


by Joe Marino

The Middle Ages is generally considered to have been between the 5th and 15 centuries and the Early Renaissance is generally considered between the 14th and 17th centuries, so there is actually a bit of an overlap. So, I don’t think the use of “medieval” [as suggested by one reader] is a huge issue here. Regarding the invisible mending being a “pseudoscientific hypothesis,” … I would like to address several points in the authors’ editorial in addition to a previous posting countering their assertion that the invisible mending idea was based on low resolution photographs. They use the phrase “so called invisible mending.” The use of the pejorative “so called” is obviously meant to belittle the idea of invisible mending as a technique. For the validity of the technique, see for example:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Invisible_mending

http://www.thefrenchreweavers.com/faq.htm

http://www.invisible-mending.com.au/

Also, if you look at 2 articles I co-authored, various people postulated that different types of repairs may have been made on the Shroud over the years (see pre-1988 entries). Those articles can be found at:http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/chronology.pdf (link to 2nd article can be found at end of aforementioned link).

I would also like to address the authors statement: ” “No one has hypothesized this before 1988 (before C14 analysis gave an ‘undesired’ date for the linen); …”

Not true. Discussing preparations for the 1986 planning meeting in Turin, Gove writes in his 1995 book “Relic, Icon or Hoax: Carbon Dating the Turin Shroud” (Bristol and Philadelphia: Institute of Physics Publishing, 1996, pg. 90), “Tite felt there should be a textile expert present, if samples were to be taken, to make sure that we were getting a piece of cloth from the main body of the shroud on which the image was imprinted and not a rewoven area or a patch.”

Note that this 2 years before the 1988 dating.

The following passages about invisible mending on the Shroud are taken from the book “The Untold Story of the Holy Shroud” by Carlos Evaristo, the archivist for the Savoy family, who owned the Shroud until King Umberto died in 1983.

(pp.217-218).

According to the testimony of King Umberto II of Savoy (later recalled by friends, the exiled Monarch entertained in the 1950s, at Villa Italia, in Cascais, Portugal), oral tradition in the Savoy Royal Family confirmed that the Custodians of the Holy Shroud, from the earliest medieval period, had sporadically made copies of the Shroud,but also removed fragments from all around the outermost edges of the Burial Cloth, even as far inward as 10 centimeters and distributed these to close relatives, devotees and allies.

That a mysterious seam or pronounced crease mark is visible all along one length of the Shroud is a fact that has baffled Scientists, some of whom have gone as far as to ridiculously (?) propose that a removed section was used to bind the Shroud to the Body at the chin, hands and feet and then sewn back onto the sheet, at a later date.

What could also be probable is that this thick, long strip of the original cloth was removed at one point [and] cut up into sections for distribution in reliquaries.
Another possible scenario is that this strip was used in a transfer boiling ritual or else separated, thread by thread, so as to have been incorporated into Ex Extractum copies of the Holy Shroud.

Any one of these processes could have been carried out by the Canons guarding the Shroud at Lirey or Chambery without the consent or knowledge of whoever owned the Sacred Relic. Once carried out or the abuse discovered, the section could have ordered or rewoven, back onto the original whole or else the section in question was substituted with another piece of similar cloth.

pp. 218 & 220 (there is a picture on pg. 219)

According to King Umberto II, the pious practice of sharing Major Relics of the Holy Shroud was, according to tradition, continued by the first three Savoy Lords who possessed it, although they, unlike some of their predecessor Guardians, never purposely removed fragments from their areas with the image of the Corpus Sancti (Holy Body.)
Another fact confirmed by His Majesty was that it was traditionally affirmed, that at one point in the past, he edges of the Lenzuoli (Sheet) had become so tattered as to cause embarrassment or criticism of the Custodians, and those areas were repaired and rewoven using identical techniques, but obviously with similar, yet newer, materials containing dyes and other medieval manufacturing ingredients, in an attempt to better blend the new sections in, as best possible, with the original fabric.

In truth, the presence of medieval dyes was detected in these areas and this fact has been already pointed out by Scientists as additional proof of the inaccuracy of the 1988 Carbon 14 dating test results that placed the samples taken from these areas, as having been fabricated sometime in the middle ages.

In truth, any one of the aforementioned practices alone would also account, for not only the contamination of the fabric resulting in inaccurate Carbon 14 dating results, but also, the different types of linen, dyes, resins and fabric patches, discovered to have been present on the outermost edges of the sheet that usually held by Bishops during the exposition of the Sacred Relic to the public for veneration.

(pp. 265 & 267 (picture on pg. 266) of the Evaristo book.

The removal of all patches and of the reinforcement Holland Cloth backing of the Holy Shroud, in the year 2002, confirmed what King Umberto had stated, namely that small sections of the repaired and rewoven edges, had continually been removed from the Sacred Relic and probably as late as the second half of the 17th century. That the practice of removing small fragments and even full length or width threads from the outer edges [of] the Holy Shroud, was a family tradition only finally suppressed by Duke Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy, was another fact Umberto II of Savoy confirmed to Blue Army Founder and Shroud Devotee John Mathias Haffert, in the mid 1960’s.

It was the same Vittorio Amedeo II, who along with his wife, the Infanta Anna d’Orleans, personally assisted Blessed Sebastiano Valfre on June 6th, 1694, in repairing the Sacred Burial Cloth of the The Christ, shortly before transferring the Sacred Relic to the new Chapel of the Guarini. Later, it became a tradition on June 6th of each year for the Savoy Royal Family to distribute relics of the backing cloth.

It was in 1694, that in accordance to the Savoy Family tradition, some of the removed sections of thread were then woven into full size replicas of the Sindone (Shroud) for private or public veneration in Convents and Cathedrals during popular Holy Week celebrations. Unlike the meticulous repair work that had been carried out in previous centuries by religious expert weavers following the damage caused to the Shroud by fires and which left little trace of the removed sections, the intervention of the Savoy and the Blessed was aimed primarily at replacing the cloth backing of the Relic giving it added thickness and strength and also a better contrast to the image.

The last intervention by religious sisters had been considered poor by the various members of the House of Savoy since, rather than reweaving the areas nearest the outermost edges that were either missing or had frayed from manipulation and wear, they had camouflaged them with cloth coverings and patches.

The backing of black cloth added by Blessed Sebastiano Valfre was later removed byPrincess Maria Clotilde di Savoia, (1843-1911) Consort of Prince Napoleon, who substituted it for a pink silk on April 28th, 1868, on account of the backing having also become deteriorated from manipulation and removal of pieces for relics.

Note what Piero Savarino, who was scientific advisor to the Turinese Cardinal Poletto, wrote.

In a 1998 booklet, he stated that the 1988 C-14 testing might have been erroneous due to “extraneous thread left over from invisible mending‟ routinely carried out in the past on parts of the cloth in poor repair. Savarino went on to emphasize: ―…if the sample taken had been the subject of invisible mending‟ the carbon-dating results would not be reliable. What is more, the site from which the samples actually were taken does not preclude this hypothesis. (Source: Savarino, P. and Barberis, B. “Shroud, Carbon Dating and Calculus of Probabilities.” London: St. Paul‘s, 1988, pp.21-22.)

Now, it’s possible that in the original Italian, “invisible mending” might not equate specifically to the type of technique we hypothesized, but it’s another strong example of the fact that it is known that repairs have been made to the Shroud, making such a technique plausible.

The authors of the editorial conclude “The work of the late Dr. Rogers has been exploited to support a pseudoscientific hypothesis which is in no way confirmed by the reported data.”

The ascription of the word “pseudoscientific” to a clearly scientific theory again suggests a bias on the part of the authors. I agree with the last part of their last sentence that “the scientific community and the general public can only be misled by this paper,” but with application to their own paper. Rogers was a brilliant scientist who was not easily exploited and was actually one of the founders of Thermochimica Acta. He actually thought he would be able to prove me and my late wife wrong in 5 minutes, and said he was actually embarrassed to have to say we were right. His 2005 paper fully supported our claims from 2000. In addition, another paper by me and my wife was published in 2008 in a peer-reviewed journal called Chemistry Today and was titled “Discrepancies in the radiocarbon dating area of the Turin shroud (http://www.shroud.com/pdfs/benfordmarino2008.pdf)

Finally, if one of the points of peer-reviewed literature is to help fine-tune the author’s thinking, it seems a bit questionable that this editorial comes 10+ years after the original article by Rogers and the death of the author.

Hey, Guardian. That’s My Job

imageLast week, The Guardian dredged up a 1988 article for us; maybe some editor thought we missed Turin Shroud leak starts unholy row. Following the lead which reads, “Scholars at Oxford University believe the linen, said to have wrapped the body of Jesus, may be a fake,” the article begins:

Representatives of the Archbishop of Turin condemned Oxford University last night for allowing news to leak out that the Turin Shroud – revered by Roman Catholics as a bloodstained relic of the crucified Christ – is a medieval forgery. They announced that the university could not possibly know.

The furore began after Dr Richard Luckett, a fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge, wrote in the Evening Standard yesterday that a date of 1350 “looks likely” for the 14ft piece of linen, which bears the imprint of the face, the thorns, and wounds of Jesus’s body.

He referred to laboratories as “leaky institutions”. A fragment of the shroud is being radiocarbon-dated at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at Oxford. At Magdalene the message was that Dr Luckett was away for the weekend.

It is now twenty-seven years later, and just in case we still had questions, The Guardian included this last line with a link that reads, “Scientists and the church still disagree about the authenticity of the shroud.”

Despite the fact that the cloth was radiocarbon-dated to the 14th century in 1988, an array of theories continue to be presented to support its authenticity – including, this year, the idea from scientists at the Politecnico di Torino that an earthquake in AD 33 may have caused a release of neutrons responsible for the formation of the image.

But, according to research by British scholar and author Charles Freeman, to be published in the journal History Today, the truth is that the shroud is not only medieval, just as the radiocarbon dating suggests, but that it is likely to have been created for medieval Easter rituals – an explanation that flies in the face of what he called “intense and sometimes absurd speculation” that coalesces around it.

Doesn’t the mainstream media understand that it is the job of bloggers to dredge up old news that nobody cares about when we don’t have anything else to say?

Another article on the Jalsa Salana UK Convention

image… warrants our attention. It is from Catholic Herald: Turin Shroud replica displayed at Ahmadiyya Muslim convention in Hampshire by Carolyn Wickware:

Barrie Schwortz, a leading expert on the Shroud, spoke at the event

More than 30,000 Muslims gathered in Hampshire this weekend to hear Barrie Schwortz, an Orthodox Jew, discuss the significance of the Shroud of Turin, a Christian artefact.

The Jalsa Salana UK Convention is run by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which believes the Shroud of Turin bears the image of Jesus, alive in the tomb after his crucifixion.

[…]

In the Jewish tradition, to which Mr Schwortz adheres, Jesus and his mission are completely rejected.

While most Orthodox Muslims believe Jesus was a righteous prophet, who was never crucified and, instead, ascended bodily to heaven, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community believes he was crucified but survived after his friends restored him to health with healing ointments and herbs.

Interesting Article on the Turin Shroud Museum

clip_image001You want to read Leanne Ogasawara’s CABINETS OF WONDER: THE SHROUD OF TURIN & THE MUSEUM OF JURASSIC TECHNOLOGY at 3 Quarks Daily:

This small museum is run by the Confraternity of the Most Holy Shroud, an order founded in 1598 to promote the devotion and worship of the shroud. It was absolutely grueling to get there, walking across Turin in a blazing heatwave and then having to wait till they finally re-opened the museum after their long afternoon break. It was incredibly hot and from the street, you couldn’t see the church (where the famous replica is kept) so we were never sure if we were in the right place.

She: Are you sure this is it? It doesn’t really look like a museum

He: Well, I am just going by that sign over the door

So, we waited drinking warm coke without ice in an airless cafe on the corner. When finally the doors creaked open, we found ourselves in was really the quirkiest museum I have ever been in–so quirky, in fact, that it immediately called to mind the Museum of Jurassic Technology in LA! I still can’t decide which is quirkier.

Like the "Cabinet of Curiosities" in LA, the Turin Shroud Museum immediately strikes one as a kind of hodgepodge collection of artifacts, blending actual relics of historic significance along with other hard to explain items that must have simply struck the confraternity’s collective fancy. Also like the Jurassic Museum, there is a striking combination of science and myth. That is to say, one steps in off the street to find themselves in a Borgesian world.  (It could always be worse, right?)

The shroud itself is kept elsewhere and only on view once in a great while (we had missed the last showing by only a few weeks).

[…]

Despite the fact that we were both enormously prone to disbelief–my astronomer, because he thinks of himself as a scientist; and me, because I am a devotee of Umberto Eco and have learned quite a lot about the ins and outs of the medieval relic trade… still, would you believe, I became incredibly moved and broke down and cried after I left the place?

[…]

For me as a visitor of the shroud museum, it didn’t matter whether the shroud dated from the Christ’s death or whether it is a fabulous Medieval creation (which I think is the case based mainly on the carbon dating results, but I will never know, will I?) It simply didn’t matter because the museum was not there to persuade but rather existed to exhibit a centuries-old collection of artifacts related to the holy cloth that was brought from Chambery to Turin in 1578.

As I mentioned, in all the museum literature the image of the man seen in the shroud was always referred to as "the man of the shroud" and what one sees in graphic detail is the absolutely gruesome way this man died. Beaten to a pulp, he was then tortured to death–and it can all be "seen" in the relic. It’s all there, from the nail wounds, the blood from his head and swollen cheek to the horrible postmortem injury to the side. Every drop of blood in the fabric speaks of brutality. And walking through the exhibits, contemplating the final hours of a man who was brutally beaten, whipped and then crucified–made to die slowly (maybe in front of his mother) one simply could not help but draw to mind the tremendous suffering going on in the world today–things we know about but turn away from. If it didn’t happen to a man called Jesus of Nazareth, we know it happened to others since it was an ancient form of the death penalty practiced across the Roman empire, among other places. And this kind of cruelty continues today.

Funny; a photo in the story is from the old SEAM museum in New Mexico.

Here is a good video of the museum in Turin:

Colin Berry’s Long Running Investigation of the Shroud

imageI call your attention to Hugh Farey’s piece, LOTTO V. LUWU – A LONG RUNNING INVESTIGATION BY COLIN BERRY, appearing in the latest newsletter, issue 81, of the British Society for the Turin Shroud (BSTS).

The photograph is of Colin.

It begins:

For several years Colin Berry has been investigating ways by which the image on the Shroud could have been manufactured, and he has finally arrived at what he hopes is a satisfactory explanation. In many ways, though, the journey has been more valuable than the final achievement, as the variety and imagination of his experiments have enhanced our understanding of many of the characteristics of the Shroud, and demonstrated inaccuracies in long held beliefs.

And ends:

Although Berry says he has hung up his test tubes for the present, several loose ends are still available for tying up. Although Ray Rogers was convinced there was a thin starch coating all over the Shroud, Heller and Adler, in 1988, didn’t find any. And if the image relates, as the STuRP team suggested, only to the material of the Shroud and not to any coating or imprinting medium, then some interaction between the xanthoproteic events on the medium and the underlying linen should be investigated.

But you must read all of it.

Including the Truth About the Shroud of Turin

imageFrom a fascinating articles three days ago in Forbes Life by Jim Dobson, Vatican For Sale: Very Wealthy Rent the Sistine Chapel, Dine with the Pope and Buy Secret Archives:

Beyond the Tower of Winds are rooms lined with 50 miles (roughly the length of the Panama Canal), filled with dark wooden shelves. Inside are hundreds of thousands of volumes (some almost two feet thick) filled with antiquated parchment. This is the Vatican secret archive, the most mysterious collection of documents in the world.

Among the historic documents are: Handwritten records of Galileo’s trial before the Inquisition; the 1530 petition from England’s House of Lords asking the Pope to annul Henry VIII’s marriage to Catherine of Aragon; letters from Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis during the U.S. Civil War; the papal bull excommunicating Martin Luther, and letters from Michelangelo including one where he complained about not receiving payment for his work on the Sistine Chapel.

Some of the more controversial, and much argued theories about hidden documents include; documentation of the Jesus bloodline; secular historical proof of Jesus’s existence, with correspondence between Saint Paul and Emperor Nero; secular historical proof via the same correspondence that Jesus did not exist; and contemporary depictions of Jesus (formal portraits of Jesus made by people who actually saw and depicted him in real life).

Many historians and scholars have also hinted the Church has hidden the existence of various Biblical relics, either the relics themselves, or reliable documentation as to their whereabouts, including the Ark of the Covenant, the Holy Grail, the True Cross, the truth about the Shroud of Turin, and many others.

Once, Napoleon had the whole of the secret archive transported to Paris. In 1817 it was eventually returned with countless documents missing. Private investors have speculated about what truly is available in the public sector, hidden for decades.

For now, the future of the Vatican is certainly changing forever. Many more opportunities will be unveiled in the coming year with fund raising efforts giving help to a lot of people less fortunate…. thanks to Pope Francis.

(emphasis mine)

Tantalizingly Close Enough?

In The Imaginative Conservative, Fr. Dwight Longenecker summarizes the scientific work of Paolo Di Lazzaro (pictured) and his colleagues. The article is entitled The Shroud of Turin: Evidence for Everything? :

So what formed the image? The best description is that it is an extremely delicate singe marking. Italian physicist Paolo Di Lazzaro concedes in an article for National Geographic that every scientific attempt to replicate it in a lab has failed. “Its precise hue is highly unusual, and the color’s penetration into the fabric is extremely thin, less than 0.7 micrometers (0.000028 inches), one-thirtieth the diameter of an individual fiber in a single 200-fiber linen thread.”

[…]

They came tantalizingly close to replicating the image’s distinctive color on a few square centimeters of fabric. However, they were unable to match all the physical and chemical characteristics of the shroud image, and reproducing a whole human figure was far beyond them. De Lazzaro explained that the ultraviolet light necessary to reproduce the image of the crucified man “exceeds the maximum power released by all ultraviolet light sources available today.” The time for such a burst would be shorter than one forty-billionth of a second, and the intensity of the ultra violet light would have to be around several billion watts.”

As good a summary of De Lazzaro’s work as I have seen. But is tantalizingly close close enough?

imageWe’ve featured Fr. Dwight Longenecker many times in this blog. He is a graduate of Oxford University. He was an Evangelical Christian, later an Anglican priest and is now a Catholic priest.  He is the author of sixteen books and contributes to many magazines, papers and journals including Crisis, Integrated Catholic Life, National Catholic Register and Intercollegiate Review.

Scientist Barrie Schwortz

imageI was about to post something about Ann Schneible’s CNA Daily News article, How one skeptical scientist came to believe the Shroud of Turin (appearing also on the EWTN site, the Catholic Channel of Patheos and now at least 17 other blogs).

Bad headline, I thought.  Barrie Schwortz knows a lot about science, particularly about matters that pertain to the shroud. He explains it well. He gets it. He respects it. He works well with many scientists. But he is not a scientist.  Colin Berry will react strongly to calling Barrie a scientist. 

It’s not just the headline, however. It is clear that Schneible thinks Barrie is a scientist:

When it comes to testifying to this meeting point between faith and science, Schwortz is in a unique position: he has never converted to Christianity, but remains a practicing Jew. And this, he says, makes his witness as a scientist all the more credible.

I’m confident Barrie didn’t refer to himself as a scientist or imply that he was. I am sure also that Schneible did not, at a minimum, review the biographical sketch elements of her article with Barrie. She should have. 

It is otherwise a good article.  I disagree with my friend Barrie on some matters. In the following, that which appears in quotes is presumably a direct quotation:

This means “there’s a correlation between image density – lights and darks on the image – and cloth to body distance.”

“The only way that can happen is by some interaction between cloth and body,” he said. “It can’t be projected. It’s not a photograph – photographs don’t have that kind of information, artworks don’t.”

clip_image001I don’t share that opinion. I don’t agree that the 3D data (image density) necessarily indicates cloth to body distance.  It may. Nevertheless, it has not been proven. It is bad science to speak about cloth to body distance as though that was the only possibility. While I believe, for many reasons, that the shroud is really Christ’s burial cloth, I cannot go so far as to say that you can rule out art in some form as the basis for the 3D data (see Should we be rethinking the VP8 and 3D images?).  Moreover, it is absolutely wrong to say that photographs cannot have that property (See Good 3D from a conventional photograph).  Nor, do I think you can rule out some scientific or extra-scientific explanation that does not depend on cloth to body distance. 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. Some “real” scientists think the 3D data represents cloth to body distance and how should I know since I’m not a scientist but then again some “real” scientists think ….

Here is part of what Colin has to say:

There’s just one tiny fly in the ointment. Barrie M.Schworts is  and never has been a scientist. He was not recruited to STURP as a scientist, meaning there should not have been that reference to “fellow scientists”. He was recruited as a Documenting Photographer. Quite what’s in his portfolio of photographs is anyone’s guess, given the copyright restrictions that Schwortz has placed on his work, even that of fellow Documenting Photographer Mark Evans (thanks to Thibault Heimburger for getting some of those crucial Evans pix released, being the basis for most if not all the claims for the Shroud’s allegedly unusual microscopic characteristics).  Were it not for the photoarchive that appeared on Mario Latendresse’s Shroud Scope, based on the Durante 2002 photos, this blogger would have a mere tens or scores of postings only, not the hundreds he has accumulated over 3.5 years.

One wonders what a real scientist by the name of Barrie M.Schwortz in a parallel universe would have to say about the bowdlerized reference to the image’s 3D properties, making them out to be something near-miraculous, despite easily demonstrated with 2D imprints, even cartoons with no 3D properties. The latter are due to the way the differences in light v dark  on the xy plane are converted to imaginary height on a new vertical z axis….

But Colin, I must disagree with you on that cartoon you cite (see Colin Berry is up with an interesting posting about 3D enhancement).

Barrie Schwortz to Speak at 49th Annual Jalsa Salana UK Convention in Hampshire, England

imageYou may recall that in May, on the 28th, I posted Did Jesus Survive the Crucifixion?  The posting was mostly about an article that appeared in May issue of The Review of Religions by Arif Khan, The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin. The Review of Religions is a significant international magazine published by the Ahmadiyya Muslim community.

As it turns out, I didn’t do the issue justice. What alerted me to that fact is a Facebook entry, last night, by Barrie Schwortz:

In their May 2015 issue (http://reviewofreligions.org/date/2015/05/), the London based publication, The Review of Religions, reprinted several of my Shroud articles and published a new article about the Sudarium by staff writer Arif Khan. The 113 year old magazine is published by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in the U.K. and their May issue also included a large selection of my 1978 photographs. The issue was received very favorably and the publishers have graciously invited me to attend and speak at their 49th annual Jalsa Salana UK Convention in Hampshire, England this August. I immediately contacted Pam Moon in West Midlands, England, who created the beautiful Shroud of Turin Exhibition (http://www.shroudofturinexhibition.com/Shroud_of_…/Home.html) which she tours around the U.K. and she has happily agreed to bring her exhibit to the Hampshire event as well.

This marks the first time either Pam or I have ever spoken to an Islamic group and we are very grateful to Review Editor Amer Safir, his staff and the Ahmadiyya community for this wonderful invitation. I will provide more details in our Summer Website Update in August. Last year’s Jalsa event had more than 30,000 attendees. Here is a link to some excellent BBC coverage of their 2013 event: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23903377

Here is a partial table of contents of the May issue:



The Sudarium of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin
There exists another cloth, closely related to the Shroud of Turin, that is far less famous but has an equally controversial claim–the Sudarium of Oviedo. (Arif Khan – UK)


A Brief Review of the Recent CNN Documentary & Further Comments on the Medieval Photograph Theory
Renowned Shroud expert Barrie Schwortz gives his opinion on CNN’s recent documentary on the Shroud of Turin. (Barrie Schwortz – USA)


The Oviedo Cloth by Mark Guscin
Mark Guscin is one of the few scholars to have written about the Sudarium of Oviedo in English. Here we review his important book. (Arif Khan – UK)

 


Jesus In India
An incredible hypothesis – Jesusas survives the crucifixion and travels East to India. Is this a deluded theory– or does history give support to this? (Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad – The Promised Messiah & Mahdi (as))

Because If It Looks Unbelievable

21st century version appears to be images of Christ in food or other household objects.

imageMartin Saunders, writing in Christian Today wants to see if you can spot the Christian hoax you’re most prone to being tricked by, of which the Shroud of Turin is one. The others are:

  • Noah’s Ark in Eastern Turkey
  • John Wayne’s deathbed conversion from Catholicism to evangelical Christianity
  • a petition to stop a film portraying a gay Jesus
  • how Einstein defeated his atheist professor in front of a roomful of fellow students

Of the Shroud, Saunders writes:

Although for years many believed it was genuinely the burial cloth used on Jesus, the Turin Shroud is now widely accepted to date from medieval times. Not only that; in turns out to be one of an estimated 40 similar cloths alleged to bear the facial imprint of the Son of God. While Internet speculation continues to circulate occasionally about ‘exciting new evidence’ that the shroud is genuine after all, the 21st century version appears to be images of Christ in food or other household objects. Jesus has been discovered in a Naan bread, a pizza, an orange, a grilled cheese sandwich, and even a Polish Pierogi dumpling, which the owner sold on eBay for $1775. And that one’s not even a hoax.

and concludes his thinking:

All of which tells us that a side-effect of faith is an occasional disposition to gullibility. That certainly doesn’t prove we’re all entirely misguided, but it is a note of caution. The proliferation of Christian Internet hoaxes mean that we should always think for at least a moment before sharing that amazing story. Because if it looks unbelievable, there might just be a good reason for that…

A Reflection on the Shroud and Zechariah

I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of mercy and supplication, so that when they look on him whom they have thrust through they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and they will grieve for him as one grieves over a firstborn.

— Zechariah 12:10


imageDeacon Andy Weiss at the New Mexico Shroud Exhibit and Museum (iSEAM) has put together a new “reflection on the Shroud in light of primarily Zechariah 12:10, including "they shall look upon him whom they have pierced." Do read, Shroud & Zechariah: A Reflection:

I come to study of the Shroud in a most unexpected way. I know several Shroud researchers who would make the same claim, some of whom are my good friends, such as Deacon Pete Schumacher & Barrie Schwortz. These seem to be accidents or chance, but is there really anything as chance? Perhaps so or perhaps not – it sure does take faith to believe such a proposition. But when I look upon the image of the Shroud, I see it in a unique way…with my own two eyes. No one has ever seen the Shroud in the same way.

[…]

To put it bluntly, Jesus was beaten to a bloody pulp and I am startled. They did this to him while missing all the vital organs on purpose so as not to kill him. Then they stripped him naked to shame him some more. Yet I am saying they. Yes in history specific people did this. Yet my sins caused all this. If I were the only sinner on earth, Jesus would have come and died this horrific death for just me. Yet that is not the case, looking around at the state of the world, I think. But I am talking about me and my relation to this man. I am to see this and understand, reads the passage.

Do read, Shroud & Zechariah: A Reflection

Barrie Schwortz, Colin Berry and Some Good Reporting in Fort Wayne

"Now I can see this will be my legacy," Barrie Schwortz said. "And that’s a gift. I’ve been given a great blessing in doing this work."

And Colin Berry commenting on the newspaper’s website, said “It’s refreshing to see one of STURP’s old hands, so to speak, still expressing a degree of caution
re the authenticity of the Shroud.”


imageYesterday, Fort Wayne’s Pulitzer Prize-winning broadsheet daily, The News-Sentinel, carried an excellent article by Kevin Kilbane (pictured with a tie). One gets the sense, however, that there is more than just excellent reporting and writing going on here; Barrie Schwortz, the subject of the story (pictured with the hat) is a marvelous spokesman for the shroud. He is so for the most convinced among us and the most skeptical, as well.

When Pope Francis visited and prayed before the Shroud of Turin on June 21, many people who believe the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ thought the pope would declare it to be authentic.

Barrie M. Schwortz, whose official photos documented the first modern scientific examination of the Shroud in 1978, thought Pope Francis would be more restrained in his comments, and he was right.

clip_image001What if later research determines the shroud doesn’t contain the image of a crucified Christ, Schwortz explained during a stop Thursday night in Fort Wayne.

[…]

Schwortz, who is Jewish, has believed since the mid-1990s that the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus. Through his website and speaking appearances, he sees it as his role to share the Shroud’s story with all those who couldn’t be there with the 1978 research team.

"Now I can see this will be my legacy," he said. "And that’s a gift. I’ve been given a great blessing in doing this work."

imageIt was also good to see our friend and new hand shroud researcher Colin Berry (pictured with neither tie or hat) commenting on the newspaper’s website. Because comments on newspaper websites often drift away quickly, I am repeating it in its entirety, here:

It’s refreshing to see one of STURP’s old hands, so to speak, still expressing a degree of caution re the authenticity of the Shroud. Yes, there is still much to be learned. STURP barely scratched the surface as to what the image is (sticky tape samples being the less damaging alternative to ‘scratching’ the surface!) as distinct from telling us what is not (definitely NOT a painting, despite attempts by some, notably historian Charles Freeman, to resurrect that notion with arguments that simply fail to address or do justice to decades of scientific investigation).

However, this Shroud researcher (3.5 years of testing different models) must take issue with a term employed here and pretty well every where else in the media, namely the description of the linen as a BURIAL shroud. I invite writer Kevin Kilbane and readers to go back to the Gospels and read what is said about Joseph of Arimathea and his arrival at the CROSS, not tomb, with fine linen. There is no indication that the linen was intended for use as a burial shroud (Nicodemus providing the wherewithal). It was merely for discreet and dignified transport from cross to nearby tomb. Once that is appreciated, then it greatly reduces the number of models that need to be tested, especially those that see the Shroud as having captured by some mysterious ‘photographic’ process the instant of Resurrection. Instead, one can view the image as a contact imprint, left in blood and PERSPIRATION. One then asks whether the Shroud bears a 2000 year old contact imprint, the body image being highly aged yellowed sweat, or a medieval attempt to reproduce what a then 1300 year old sweat imprint (plus blood) might have looked like.

My own preference is for the second of those. The current preferred model is one where a human volunteer is ‘painted’ from head to toe in a paste of flour and water and then overlaid with linen, gently pressed around contours, to leave a contact imprint. The imprint is then developed chemically, maybe with nitric acid to turn the imprint from white to yellow, or even by simple pressing with a hot iron!

Being an imprint explains the negative image, and even those ‘mysterious’ 3D properties revealed by modern computer software.

Do read the whole article, Shroud of Turin study photographer believes new technology possibly could answer some questions

Techno-Science and the Shroud

imageThe latest National Catholic Register has an article by Fr. Dwight Longenecker on the history of the shroud’s “techno-scientific” era: Pia to now.

A reader who tipped me off to this article wrote, “I wouldn’t put it this way. In my opinion, there is a lot to doubt about the existing carbon 14 dating and any conclusions….”

I wouldn’t put it this way, either. The article is well written but some statements are in need of some serious editing. Can you spot the issues here?

The shroud lay virtually unknown for 1,900 years and would have been dismissed as a grubby medieval forgery if it hadn’t been for the advances of modern technoscience.

and

Shroud believers suggested that the fire that nearly destroyed the shroud in 1532 could have affected the carbon-14 dating, and closer examination revealed that the area from which the linen was taken for testing was not only the area handled by those displaying the shroud over the centuries, but it had been repaired by almost invisible interweaving in the 14th century.

and

Then, in 2012, an Italian academic who had been studying the mystery of the shroud for years released what seems to be the best theory to explain the shroud’s image. Giulio Fanti, an Italian professor of mechanical and thermal measurement at Padua University, reports that the only technique to come close to reproducing the image on the shroud is ultraviolet radiation.

This blog has extensively covered the writings of Fr. Longenecker.

Christian Faith Eroded to the Very Core?

Why does the greatest opposition to the recognition of the authenticity of the shroud of Christ come from those within the Church?

Paul Badde  has a thought provoking piece in The Catholic World Report blog: Turin and Manoppello: "Resurrexit sicut dixit" (the lead is shown above). 

Of, “the most important thing in the most important passages,” Badde writes:

Or, which of us has not heard at least once from our pastor, or our bishop, the phrase "He saw and believed" during the Easter homily? This phrase is a critical passage in the Gospel of John which we have heard since childhood. Yet, in Christian exegesis it becomes almost invisible, as if it weren’t there at all. Like a "third tower" in the Cologne cathedral. This is understandable. After all, what does this phrase mean? The empty tomb, by itself, is not the thing that would bring about believing. A half an hour before, in the same place, Mary Magdalene – according to John – had only seen that “the Lord has been taken away”. Nothing was there for believing.

[…]

Being the genius of the language which he was, Luther had clearly seen here in the text that John had not said everything. Therefore he attempted to resolve the apparent contradiction as if it were a damaged parchment — that it was necessary to lightly "mend” this passage and also supplement it. After him, the only comparable cunning was that of Rudolf Bultmann, who, in order to resolve the many contradictions of the Gospels that he could not explain, concluded that here his Rabbi Jeshua was not raised from the dead, but only in the kerygma, i.e. in the preaching of the disciples, they only said that he had risen. In other words, the resurrection of the Son of God made man was in truth a resurrection in Christian preaching. Also in Christian chattering. Please do not laugh! It was not just a crazy idea. The fact should not be overlooked that the same apostolic cowards, who before the death of Jesus had fled (including John), are the same ones who, suddenly, after his death all boldly began to speak of Jesus as the messiah. This should therefore be understood as resurrection – but certainly not an unrealistic resurrection from the dead of Christ who was slain. So if ever the "bones of Jesus" should be found in Jerusalem, the "believing" of Rudolf Bultmann would certainly not be shaken, as he was able to say.

Since that time, in any case, the "empty tomb" no longer has a home in the heart of Christian theology. It can be understood and interpreted seriously only as a kind of religious metaphor. So maybe the last members of the faithful in the church will still want to believe in the simple overcoming of death through Jesus Christ. The (last) eloquent pastors in front of them know better, because, after all it is in their preaching that God is (presumably) risen. But hello! This is the disturbing Kerygma: the greatest mythological theological creature of all time. It’s the unicorn from Tubingen and, of course, a bunch of garbage.

We don’t need to say more than that, in this way, the Christian faith has been eroded to the very core, because, in the wake of this new heretical dogma, most theologians have long been convinced that the reporting in the Gospels cannot generally be considered reliable. And of course this applies in particular to the most incredible miracle of the whole Bible: the resurrection of Jesus (with skin and hair and with wounds healed) from the world of the dead.

READ ON

Inline image from WCR site. Caption: “The Holy Face of Manoppello, with the hand of Cardinal Koch behind it. (Photo courtesy of author)

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