Easter Ink

imageThe New York Times’ just-in-time-for-Easter story, Findings Reignite Debate  on Claim of Jesus’ Bones:

JERUSALEM — Hailed by some as the most significant of all Christian relics but dismissed by skeptics amid accusations of forgery, misinterpretation and reckless speculation, two ancient artifacts found here have set off a fierce archaeological and theological debate in recent decades.

At the heart of the quarrel is an assortment of inscriptions that led some to suggest Jesus of Nazareth was married and fathered a child, and that the Resurrection could never have happened.

Now, the earth may have yielded new secrets about these disputed antiquities. A Jerusalem-based geologist believes he has established a common bond between them that strengthens the case for their authenticity and importance.

Of course, what else but James’ Ossuary and the Lost Tomb of Jesus.

ON THE OTHER HAND, others think the Shroud of Turin is the most significant of all Christian relics. There is a very well written article by Myra Adams in The National Review, What Does the Shroud of Turin Prove about Easter?

Beginning this evening, Christians around the globe will begin their annual celebration of Easter, or Resurrection Sunday, commemorating what they consider to be the greatest event in human history. The basis for the world’s largest religion is the belief that, in Jerusalem around a.d. 33, an itinerant Jewish rabbi died as a result of crucifixion and after three days rose from the dead, fulfilling his own and numerous other ancient Messianic prophecies found in the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament.

Sounding too much like science fiction, this tale is easily dismissed by non-believers. However, millions of Christians firmly believe that material scientific proof of the Christ’s resurrection actually exists today, and that evidence is called the Shroud of Turin.

[…]

The Shroud’s public exposition, highlighted by the pope’s visit, naturally will also generate a debate about the Shroud’s authenticity. If you have read this far, but are laughing at the idea that the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus and proof of his resurrection, you should know certain numerous indisputable scientific facts. In fact, they are far too many for this space, but here are some highlights.

Russ is mentioned:

An expert on the historic relationship between Adolf Hitler and the Shroud of Turin, Breault lectures on the subject. Hitler thought that the Shroud of Turin was the burial cloth of Jesus and wanted to possess it, believing that it would give him supernatural powers with which he could win the Second World War.

And so is Barrie:

Given that ISIS has publicly warned the nation of Italy that it is a terrorism target, Schwortz is concerned for the Shroud’s security, telling National Review that “the authorities there are very hesitant to discuss their security arrangements with anyone, but you can be sure that extra measures are being taken in light of the recent threats from ISIS.” One can only hope that, as Italian authorities were able (with the help of divine intervention, some say) to thwart Hitler from finding the Shroud in 1943, their present-day successors will be able to keep it far from the reach of ISIS.

“The Shroud is actually an itemized receipt documenting the extraordinary price that was paid when God sent his only Son to redeem the world,” Russ Breault tells National Review. His statement is based in faith as much as in science, but to that I say, Happy Easter!

Indeed, Happy Easter everyone!

The Wabash Shroudie

imageEric Olson and a cameraman for 21 Alive, a local ABC affiliate in the Wabash area, have posted a wonderful story, Wabash Man to open Museum on Shroud of Turin. The story  along with some really excellent video is on the station’s website. The Wabash man, as all American shroudies know, is everyone’s friend, Richard Orareo:

imageWABASH, Indiana (21Alive)  –  It is the most iconic relic of the Christian faith…the Shroud of Turin…the linen cloth many believe covered the body of Christ as it lay in the tomb. A cloth on which the image of a man, battered and bloodied, is inexorably etched on the surface. A relic venerated the world over, and particularly in one corner of 21 country.

In Wabash Indiana, in what was once the founder of the Honeywell Corporation Mark Honeywell’s private movie theatre, Richard Orareo is building the National Museum of the Holy Shroud.

Orareo is a former educator, a devoted Catholic and for forty years now a prolific collector of images, books and relics related to the Shroud of Turin.

The Shroud was brought from the Holy Land to Europe during the Crusades. It spent centuries in the care of the House of Savoy, the royal family of the Italian state of Turin, who bequeathed it to the Pope in 1983. Orareo’s collection includes rare photographs, including the first ever taken of the Shroud in 1898. Rare silk images of the Shroud dating back to the 15th century. This small box contains relics, pieces of bone, from the four Apostles Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But it is that image, that face burned onto the linen cloth that is the real focus of his life’s work.

The video runs for about three minutes. It is worth your time.

Details of Pope Francis’ Two Day Visit to Turin

imageMore information about the pope’s planned two day visit were announced by Turin’s Archbishop Cesare Nosiglia on March 26th. Here, the Catholic News Agency details them:

After his arrival, Francis will make his way to the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, where he will venerate the shroud and pause for a short prayer at the tomb of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, another patron of the youth, who is buried in the cathedral.

In addition to the meeting with the Pope’s relatives [on the second day], other highlights of his trip include Mass, a meeting with prisoners – some of whom are immigrants or homeless, a visit with sick disabled persons.

Francis will also hold an encounter with the area’s youth, and will have lunch with some of them on the 21st, during which he will respond to questions they ask ahead of time.

The whole story from CNA: CLICK HERE

Live from the Vatican YouTube Channel: Ostention of the Holy Shrowd

Noon in Rome (7:00 am EDT)

image

Barrie Schwortz: Not a Painting, Photograph, Scorch or Rubbing

clip_image001Today’s Windsor Star tells of an exhibit about the Shroud of Turin now going on in Windsor, Canada. During the course of the exhibit, Barrie Schwortz gave several lectures. Rick Dawes, in writing the news article, Replica Shroud of Turin draws thousands of curious Windsorites, quotes Barrie saying:

“I got to be in the room with this piece of cloth for five days and nights, hands on,” Schwortz said. “We are the only ones in its history to be given that (sort of) access to it.

“We were there to determine how the image was formed, we failed in that (but) we were able to determine what it was not … it was not a painting, it was a photograph, it was not a scorch, it’s not a rubbing … those are all the conventional ways.”

Divine or artistic impressions aside, few definitive conclusions can be made about the shroud’s origin but Schwortz said the discussion is timely for Catholics during the season of Lent, leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

“There are a lot of stories of what was done to Jesus (on Good Friday) but this cloth documents it with complete forensic accuracy and it bears an image that modern science still cannot explain,” Schwortz said.

Note: The above image is a thumbnail image of a photograph appearing in today’s Windsor Star

Two Articles on the Shroud’s History

They appear in the Italian language daily L’Indro (the links include translation into English):

image1)  Shroud: before the Middle Ages did not exist: The Mandylion is not the Shroud of Turin, which appeared only in 1355 in Lirey by Andrea Nicolotti

Google Translate says:  A much exploited in past to attribute an ancient history in a relic that is lacking is to take the hypothetical events attributed to a relic different and apply them to that, or to argue that two relics are actually the same thing. There are some stories that concern ancient images acheropite, ie ‘not made ​​by human hands’, fabrics on which it would miraculously imprinted the image of Christ. One of them is the Veronica, another is called Mandylion , ie ‘handkerchief’ or ‘towel’ of Edessa . The clip_image001legend on this handkerchief took its first steps in the V century as an appendix of another apocryphal legend and free of historical verisimilitude, already known in the previous century, which told of a correspondence exchanged between Jesus and King Abgar V of Edessa . In the text known as the ‘ Doctrine of Addai ‘it is said that King Abgar had sent his messenger to Jesus, who not only gave him a letter, but he also painted a portrait. Towards the middle of the sixth century, the legend was further modified and instead of the painted colors there was talk of a miraculous image : seeing the inability of the messenger in painting the portrait, Jesus would have washed his face and he wiped with a towel ; and on the fabric would miraculously imprinted the image of his face

image2) From the Mandylion Shroud: Reconstruction of the history of the Mandylion of Edessa in Lirey by Filippo Burgarella

Google Translate says:  To which attributes the discovery of the icon hidden for centuries in a niche of the walls of Edessa and prodigiously duplicated. A ‘icon, then, on two different media: the original on a towel folded four times (‘ rhakos tetradiplon ‘) and the copy on tile (‘ Keramion ‘). It was believed that the copy was formed by contact with the original on Keramion place to protect that niche. An Icon that in both formats ‘achiropita’, ie not painted by the hand of man, even to distinguish it from the pagan idols, facts instead of human hands (‘deadly works facta’) as reaffirm the imperial laws. Since then it was kept in the cathedral rebuilt by Emperor Justinian made. In 639 Edessa falls under Islamic rule, which saves the icon from the havoc of the Byzantine iconoclasts. From then on it is called Mandylion….

By the Numbers: The Shroud of Turin Episode of Finding Jesus

imageAccording to Michael O’Connell in The Hollywood Reporter, CNN’s Jesus Series Tops Cable News on Sunday

Christianity remains a hot topic on TV, even for cable news. As other networks (NBC, Nat Geo) ready scripted outings about Jesus Christ timed to the upcoming Easter holiday, CNN got a jump on the religious rush this Sunday night with the premiere of its new doc series, Finding Jesus.

The one-hour debut of the program topped all of cable news last night, per early Nielsen ratings, averaging 1.14 million viewers. That topped Fox News Channel (634,000) and MSNBC (275,000) combined and now ranks as CNN’s second-biggest original series opening behind 2014’s The Sixties….

Finding Jesus also made a solid showing among adults 25-54, averaging 371,000 over FNC and MSNBC’s shared 111,000 viewers.

Daily Beast Review of CNN’s Shroud of Turin Episode

imagePoet and scholar Jay Parini, author of Jesus: The Human Face of God, writing in The Daily Beast, reviews the CNN series and particularly last night’s episode on the Shroud of Turin:

The television version is typical, well, television. The music is overly dramatic. There are trite dramatized scenes of Jesus being arrested and tried, nailed to the cross, his body being wrapped in a shroud, and so forth. These scenes are not, in fact, so much dramatic as illustrative: we get visual representations of what people are talking about. The better moments are those where we get the actual history of the Shroud: its sudden appearance in the middle of the 14th century, its even more stunning acquisition of huge importance to the faithful when, in 1898, an amateur photographer took a picture of the Shroud and a positive image of a man appeared. Was this the actual face of Jesus?

Decades of scientific investigation of the Shroud ensued, with the conclusion by art historian Nicholas Allen in 1988 that the Shroud is a fake but an interesting one that pushes the history of photography back five hundred years. A further series of radiocarbon tests on the Shroud in 1988 suggested that it dated to the 13th or 14th century, although even this has come into question, as scientists go deeper, looking at pollen samples and so forth.

The mystery was really never solved. It was complicated by the Sudarium. A sudarium is simply a piece of cloth (like a handkerchief) put over the face of a recently deceased person, and one of these corresponding to the Shroud itself was found to have ancient origins dating to about 700 CE by radiocarbon testing. But there are many complications, and—to fully understand them—one really needs the companion book. The television version glosses over the details, as it must; yet the details are riveting. By way of conclusion, Fr. Martin says, “When we look at the authenticity of the Shroud, my gut tells me that it’s real.”

Real or fake, to me, seem the wrong categories. Useful or not as aids to faith and spiritual reflection might be better categories.

From a small news segment on CNN

imageBilly Hallowell writes in The Blaze, Is the Shroud of Turin ‘Real’ — and Why Are People Still Talking About Jesus 2,000 Years Later? Pastor’s Candid Response:

With the forthcoming CNN series “Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery” set to premiere on March 1, the network brought a pastor involved with the production on-air and asked whether he believes the Shroud of Turin — a relic that many believe was Jesus’ burial cloth — is authentic.

That preacher, Erwin Raphael McManus of Mosaic Church in Las Angeles, California, offered a candid response before offering some additional views on the intrigue surrounding Christ.

“I think, no,” he responded. “But I don’t think that necessarily matters.”

Despite his view that the shroud likely wasn’t used during Jesus’ burial, McManus said that the relic’s authenticity or lack thereof has little impact on the continued quest to understand Christ — an investigation that has continued among believers and skeptics, alike, through the ages.

Hints About Shroud of Turin Episode in CNN Series

My hope certainly is that it will help educate people.

Today, just a day before it premiers, we learn from the Christian Post, that a ‘Finding Jesus’ Expert Says CNN Series Will Investigate Shroud of Turin; Admits Skepticism:

Mark Goodacre, [pictured, right] who’s the professor of New Testament and Christian Origins in the Department of Religious Studies at Duke University, is a featured expert on the series. He said recently that ultimately, viewers will have to decide whether to accept the findings as fact or opinion.

"Well, I think [the series] is going to be elements of fact and opinion," Goodacre told The Christian Post on Friday. "Take Sunday’s episode, which focuses on the Shroud of Turin; there’s been a huge debate about the authenticity of the shroud over the last hundred years. Some people are convinced that it’s the real deal, I’m personally skeptical about its authenticity. I think that it’s much more likely to be a medieval forgery, but even then, I think it’s still fascinating as an artifact from the middle ages."

Other expert commentary will be featured from the likes of Ivy League academics from Yale, Harvard, Princeton and Oxford universities who will provide theological insight. They include Erwin MacManus, senior pastor of MOSAIC Los Angeles, and Rev. Paul Raushenbush, executive religion editor of The Huffington Post, among others.

Award-winning journalist and filmmaker David Gibson, who co-authored Finding Jesus along with Michael Mckinley, the book that inspired the CNN series, will also be featured.

"My hope certainly is that it will help educate people. The best kind of education is when you get people asking questions," said Goodacre. "You get people engaging with the subject matter and they think, ‘that’s interesting, I want to know more about that,’ and they go and explore a bit more for themselves. I teach this stuff for a living, and I think the best kind of teaching is the one that gets people asking questions."

Bruno Barberis Interview: ‘The only serious and honest behavior’

The literature in this area is vast, ranging from the statement
that the Shroud is painted a self-portrait of Leonardo,
that it is the work of a medieval forger  who used techniques not known to us, 
that which makes the Shroud ‘ scientific proof of the resurrection ‘, or 
… a radiation characteristic … as if the resurrection itself was a natural event….

clip_image001MUST READ:  It isn’t easy with a Google translation.  Organize a workshop around the Shroud: Interview with Bruno Barberis, President of the International Center of Sindonology Turin, however, is important.

(also original link in Italian)

Here is one example:

[The Question]  The debate around the Shroud at that point has arrived and what is your opinion on the debate in recent decades?

[Barberis’ Answer]  In recent years there has been a lively debate considerably around the Shroud, perhaps as never before in the past, facilitated, without a doubt, an exceptional sounding board provided by modern means of communication. This debate was triggered mainly (but not only) by the now famous radiocarbon dating of the Shroud cloth made in 1988, the result of which (medieval dating of the Shroud) sparked a confrontation not only between scientists and scholars, but also in public opinion. The scientific debate was to take place, as is right and logical, exclusively within those research groups who have decided to grapple with the complex and thorny issue of evaluating the date of the Shroud cloth, with the opportunity to make known experimental results and related theoretical considerations at meetings or scientific congresses. In fact it did not happen, because the debate became incorporated arguments often anything but scientific. Also the media have certainly facilitated the work, as they are often spoken extensively on news of minor and have been silent instead those series, looking almost exclusively of the sensational news. In fact, below that there is another question of far greater thickness and oldest: the controversy between the two opposites ‘fundamentalisms Shroud’, the advocate of absolute certainty the identity of the Shroud and burial cloth of Jesus, and what he believes that the two objects lacking any correlation. It is obvious that everyone is free to propose and defend their thesis, but it is also equally natural that such a defense must respect the logical criteria of modern science. There has however a number of statements and debates in which often start from absolutely arbitrary assumptions and preconceived, using arguments that go against the most elementary rules of logic and therefore leads to conclusions absolutely unprovable. The literature in this area is vast, ranging from the statement that the Shroud is painted a self-portrait of Leonardo, that it is the work of a medieval forger who used techniques not known to us, that which makes the Shroud ‘ scientific proof of the resurrection ‘, or the result of a radiation characteristic of the resurrection, as if the resurrection itself was a natural event, repeatable laboratory and therefore reviewable by scientific methods. And the list could go on much longer. Force the hand of the scientific evidence, or neglect them completely and start from assumptions absolutely baseless, equivalent to damage and discredit the meaning and message of the Shroud that make a unique object in the world. The scholar serious and correct detests the Crusades or against the authenticity of the Shroud image, made just to convince more people of their convictions, without wearing a shred of evidence, or by arguing that struggle with most basic rationality. Starting from the assumption that ‘the shroud is the burial cloth of Christ’ and try to prove it at all costs without bothering to give reasons and objective series or to assume that ‘the Shroud is the work of a medieval forger’ and do the same tantamount not only to perform a scientifically incorrect, but also to tease all those who, eager to learn more, to take good similar conclusions. The only serious and honest behavior is that of someone who, wanting only to know the truth, stands humbly to his research, without claiming to want to demonstrate any preconceived thesis, and, indeed, rejecting everything that can not be seriously and scientifically proven . On this subject, it is expressed very clearly Saint John Paul II in his speech in front of the Shroud May 24, 1998: "The Church urges [scientists] to face the Shroud be studied without pre-established positions that take for granted that these results do not they are; invites them to act with interior freedom and attentive respect for both scientific methodology and the sensibilities of believers. " On that occasion the Pope, very effectively, called the Shroud ‘a challenge to our intelligence’. The discussion on the Shroud often degenerates because the Shroud is not a neutral object, it involves both the reflection of historical-scientific, is that kind of religious creed. If it were a sheet in which you think has been wrapped any other historical figure, all these discussions are not met. Therefore only keeping separate the scientific approach and the religious (both basic and complementary) you can think of to deal with a serious study on the Shroud and honest.

Another example is the question and answer that just preceded the one above:

[The Question]   Professor Luigi Campanella has developed methods that could perhaps give a measure of the pollution of the Shroud. Because these methods are not used because they do not realize other analyzes on the Shroud? -because the Shroud remains inaccessible to scientists?

[Barberis’ Answer]   . . .  It is not true that the Shroud is inaccessible to scientists. Personally I am absolutely conducive to the holding of new direct studies on the Shroud provided, however, that it is non-destructive testing: we can not treat the Shroud as a lab rat, especially considering that it is a unique object. Current technology allows you to make meaningful analysis of fibers with a thickness of a few micrometers which therefore require withdrawals nondestructive. A new campaign of direct studies on the cloth should aim to collect more data to form a complete map of the physical, chemical and biological properties of the entire Shroud, to be made available to scholars so that they can work and confront on accurate, reliable. To do this it would be necessary to organize a program of analysis using modern and sophisticated equipment: a real laboratory for the Shroud. The costs of such a complex operation would certainly very consistent. Only after an analysis and a detailed study of the Shroud could possibly make sense to program a new dating of the cloth.

Windsor Star Story on Upcoming Shroud of Turin Exhibition

Check it out:  Windsor, Ontario, Canada is just south of Detroit, Michigan, USA.

clip_image001The Windsor Star has an article about the Shroud of Turin exhibit coming to Windsor, which is inexplicably to be found in the paper’s Health News section.

The leading paragraph reads:

The controversial Shroud of Turin exhibit, which has intrigued religious and secular minds for centuries, is coming to Windsor for several weeks of public viewing.

I know I’m being picky but it is the Shroud of Turin that is controversial and has intrigued religious and secular minds for centuries. One of many exhibits about the shroud is coming to Windsor.

This paragraph that tries to oh-so-neatly categorize people into two groups:

Religious believers say the shroud’s bloodstains clearly depict the flogging, spearing, coronation and crucifixion of Jesus. Others, who focus on carbon dating evidence, believe the cloth was a clever medieval prop created around the 14th Century.

For years I was a religious believer who assumed the shroud was a 14th Century fake relic. Interestingly enough, when I focused the carbon dating evidence, I began to question what I assumed. My religious beliefs were such that I would have probably preferred that the shroud was fake. But that is another story. And that’s the point. You can’t so categorize people.

There was this:

“What’s impressive about Barrie is his history,” Bonin said. “He actually spent most of his life trying to prove that it was all false, but he came to the realization that it’s true.”

Most of his life?  Really? Was this quote checked?

Note: Montage of free-use images of Windsor, Ontario from Wikipedia.

Important New Pollen Discovery on the Sudarium of Oviedo?

imageThe English language pages of the Universidad Católica de Murcia (UCAM) are reporting that UCAM’s researchers have found scientific evidence that places the Shroud of Oviedo and the Shroud of Turin in the same scenario::

The research group of the Catholic University of Murcia which is studying samples of the Shroud of Oviedo, has discovered a grain of pollen from one plant that, according to the Pollen Expert of EDICES, Marzia Boi, is compatible with the botanical species of Helicrysum Sp., also identified in the Holy Shroud (Shroud of Turin). Moreover, it has dropped the hypothesis of subsequent contamination, as the pollen is adhered to the blood; this means that the pollen arrived on the shroud at the same time as the blood, not randomly at some point along its history.  This fact is very important because it makes it possible to prove the authenticity of the Shroud of Oviedo, and deny that it is a forgery.

La Opinion de Murcia in a story four days ago adds this interesting piece of information (Translation by Google):

This research has been possible thanks to the innovative scanning electron microscope last generation that tells the UCAM. In this sense, the president of the UCAM, José Luis Mendoza, notes that [the university] acquired "the microscope to offer this service" to investigate in depth the aforementioned relic. This is a new finding that is not part of the research line that is centered study, since what is sought in the sample being processed is human biological material.

The Valencia newspaper, Las Provincias, in its coverage of the discovery, offers up this (Translation by Google):

The plant known as ‘Helicrysum’ has been used for thousands of years for cosmetic purposes in the Middle East; also was used in Jewish burials during the first century of the Christian era, so it is no wonder their presence on blood remnants of a canvas used to shroud a corpse.

Will this story get legs beyond regional papers and a university website?

Click on picture for larger view and here for and even larger image on the university’s site.

The Coloradans

(Note this article is three years old but just surfaced in Yahoo as news).

“There’s only one answer: This cloth wrapped the body of Jesus.”  — Barrie Schwortz

imageIn Denver’s Westward, Patricia Calhoun writes: Jesus! Was the Shroud of Turin Created by a Supernatural “Flash of Light”?:

According to Vatican Insider, experts at Italy’s National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development have concluded that what’s been billed as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ could not have been faked:

“The double image (front and back) of a scourged and crucified man, barely visible on the linen cloth of the Shroud of Turin has many physical and chemical characteristics that are so particular that the staining which is identical in all its facets, would be impossible to obtain today in a laboratory … This inability to repeat (and therefore falsify) the image on the Shroud makes it impossible to formulate a reliable hypothesis on how the impression was made.”

Their study involved a lot of technical use of laser lights — pulses in short-term duration — and also name-checks some of the research done by the Shroud of Turin Research Project headed by John Jackson, who led a STRP team of researchers to Italy back in 1978, and still runs the Turin Shroud Center in Colorado Springs. “It seems as though they’re cueing off a paper that I did about twenty years ago on image-formation mechanism,” Jackson says. “There’s some essential physics here. I’ve thought for twenty years that ultra-violet could create a vision.”

[…]

Jackson has been trying to solve that puzzle for decades….

“Coloradans have played an important role in Shroud research,” notes Barry Schwartz, publisher of the Colorado-based shroud.com. He was part of the team that went to Italy in the ’70s (he only moved to this state five years ago) and has done much of the photographic documentation.

The Italian research, he says, “further supports the scientific data that the image on the Shroud is neither a painting or art or a hoax from the medieval times to fool us.”

Jackson will continue to push for more proof of what, exactly, the Image is. “We keep pressing forward as best we can,” he says. “I would commend the Italian researchers. They’re trying to understand the shroud using a radiation model…I’m pleased that they’re using capabilities that they have to try to explore that type of a hypothesis.”

But Schwartz, who is Jewish and says he was “the biggest skeptic on the team,” is ready to make a more definitive pronouncement: “There’s only one answer: This cloth wrapped the body of Jesus.”

Two More Articles About Upcoming CNN Series on Finding Jesus

Has anyone noticed that two weeks out
CNN is advertising this series several times per day.
 

image1)  Another Beliefnet article, Is This The Actual Face of Jesus? , delves into the upcoming CNN series about Jesus, particularly the first show on March 1, 2015, about the Shroud of Turin. The lead reads:

In the upcoming original CNN series, Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery, The Shroud of Turin is a linen cloth that some Christians believe is the actual burial cloth of Christ, bearing His image. Others have their doubts.

It then begins with the rather bold sentence:

This March, the CNN series will delve into the archaeological findings surrounding The Shroud of Turin and travel as far as the Cathedral of San Salvador, in Spain, to answer this question once and for all.

And this:

“We believe based on our research the Shroud is the authentic burial cloth of Jesus,” says series expert and Director of the Turin Shroud Centre of Colorado Dr. John Jackson. A physicist and professor at heart, he was first introduced to The Shroud by his mother at the age of 13 and quickly became fascinated with the relic but asserts his position is not to convince others of his conclusion but lead them to draw one for themselves, "The Shroud has both religious and scientific dimensions. This ignites curiosity on both sides of the spectrum. So we try to put it back on the people who come to our lectures to think for themselves rather than regurgitating our data and reasoning. It’s much more effective that way." In 1978, Jackson led a team of scientists who spent five days intensely studying the Shroud for authenticity, before ultimately concluding it is genuine and not an artistic fake.

[ . . . ]

Jackson encourages fellow Christians to look at the series through the lens of both science and faith, "Maybe the Shroud has something to say about the primordial concern [of life and death] we have as human beings. Therefore, I think it’s incredibly important. Not that we base our faith on the Shroud, but that it can illuminate our faith in Christianity."

image2)  And The Blaze has an article, The Truth About Jesus? New TV Series Promises to Blend ‘Science and Archeology’ to Explore the Bible :

Set to premiere on March 1 at 9 p.m., “Finding Jesus” will include media personalities and experts who will discuss these matters in detail, including Pastor Erwin MacManus of MOSAIC Los Angeles, California, and Huffington Post religion editor Rev. Paul Raushenbush.

Reporter David Gibson will release a companion book later this month by the same name that will dive deeper into the contents of the documentary, claiming in a book description that the relics depicted “give us the most direct evidence about the life and world of Jesus.”

“The book and attendant CNN series provide a dramatic way to retell ‘the greatest story ever told’ while introducing a broad audience to the history, the latest controversies, and newest forensic science involved in sorting out facts from the fiction of would-be forgers and deceivers,” a book explanation reads. “The book and the show draw on experts from all over the world. Beyond the faithful, the book will also appeal to the skeptical and to curious readers of history and archaeology, while it takes viewers of the primetime TV series deeper into the story.”

Media Release: Vision TV’s Conspiracy Show

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FOLLOW THE TRUTH2: VISION TV’S CONSPIRACY SHOW INVITES YOU TO A SPECIAL LIVE REPORT

January, 2015 – Oshawa: A unique TED-style and CNN news styled conference based on the popular TV hit, The Conspiracy Show, investigating the dramatic rise in conspiracy theories – from documented White House and Canadian government cover-ups around extraterrestrial visits on Earth to Bible secrets – is coming back to Oshawa, Canada on April 26, 2015.

Sunday. April 26, 2015.  7:00 p.m

Regent Theatre, Oshawa. Call  905-721-3399

HOME  |  AGENDA  |  SPEAKERS  |  TICKETS  |  MEDIA RELEASE  |  BACKSTORY

Follow the Truth2: The Conspiracy Show Special Report (FTT2) is covering a range of topics from the worldwide money system, JFK cover-ups, Psychic Spies, and the Holy Shroud of Turin, featuring internationally acclaimed speakers such as former Canadian Defence Minister Paul Hellyer. FTT2 is a sequal to the very successful Follow The Truth summit held in November, 2014.

“The recent increase of interest and conversation around these conspiracies is reaching a tipping point in our culture and consciousness, indicating that a popular demand for the truth is on the way and unstoppable,” says Richard Syrett, host of conference, TV show and radio show.

“People just want the truth and make no mistake, the movement had already begun,” Syrett said.

Once considered an underground phenomenon, conspiracy theories are now going mainstream, appealing to all walks of life, thanks to the information revolution and an access and appetite to source documents, files and surveillance video, easily found online.

“The idea is to take our popular format for the TV show, and give it a live audience and an interactive opportunity. I find that so many of my viewers and listeners have so many questions and ideas to share that we need to create the forum for that to happen,” Syrett said.

The April 26 Special Presentaion in Oshawa will include an exclusive exhibit of an exact replica of the Holy Shroud of Turin for audience members to explore, investigate and limited opportunities to take photos.

Future plans include the Follow The Truth tour to NYC, Miami, LA, New Orleans, Sydney Australia, and other key cities in 2015.

The Conspiracy Show airs across Canada on Vision TV and in the United States on Destination America.  The program has also been sold in Europe and Africa. In addition, Richard hosts a syndicated weekly radio program out of Toronto, also called The Conspiracy Show.  His program is broadcast on AM 740, Zoomer Radio, a 50,000-watt clear-channel. The program is distributed by Syndication Networks and currently boasts about two dozen U.S affiliates

For MORE Information, please visit:

http://www.followthetruth.tv

Media Contact: paulkoidis@gmail.com

U.S. Catholic Profiles Scientists

. . .  including Wayne Phillips as he searches for answers about the burial cloth of Jesus:

Editors’ Note: In the February 2015 issue of U.S. Catholic, author Michelle Bearden profiled five Catholic scientists who have found that faith has had a profound influence on their work. This web-exclusive piece compiled by Bearden shows that science can also point toward faith, as allergist Wayne Phillips explains how his scientific background has helped to advance the understanding of one of the church’s greatest unsolved mysteries: the Shroud of Turin.

Wayne notes:

The Shroud Science Group is my scientific hero. This is an international group whose members continue independent research out of their own pockets without compensation for their time and efforts, aside from occasionally publishing a book. The group seeks the scientific truth of the shroud, no matter if it’s pro or con. Their word and reputation as scientists are king. It is composed of all denominations, including agnostics.

In the 21st century, there is no longer a conflict between faith and science. Life with its immense complexity—DNA, the origin of the universe, the Big Bang, and even evolution —all fit quite nicely into my faith. The more we discover, the more we see life is not an accident.

Exorcisms and the Shroud. Huh?

clip_image001Rich Barlow has penned for BU Today (that would Boston University) The Devil Makes Them Do It: CAS prof on why Catholic exorcisms are spiking (that would be David Frankfurter, professor and chairman of the religion department at the College of Arts & Sciences). The shroud is mentioned in the article. It seems to be thrown in without good reason.

Many people, likely including some Catholics, have difficulty believing in demonic possession. While accepting it, the Vatican historically has been behind major scientific research. How do you explain that paradox?

The desire to quantify—or confirm miracles scientifically—is a phenomenon of modernity. You don’t find this kind of effort to do “scientific research” on the possessed, or on healing techniques, or on relics or icons in early Christian or medieval miracle stories. People debated which worked and which had other causes; that’s all. But today, “science” has become a discourse, a way of talking about things that seem to work. And it is a discourse that matters a lot to many people, so many people try to draw in science to “prove” religious experiences.

Scholars of religion, however, are less interested in what the Catholic Church actually comes up with in “scientifically verifying” an exorcism, or the Shroud of Turin, or a demon’s presence, than in the fact that the Church is trying to invoke science for things that really don’t lend themselves to scientific validation. That’s not to say that miracles aren’t “true,” for certainly they do have enormous truth to many people. It’s just that their truth is a religious truth, a subjective truth, compared to the scientific verification of whether an ancient bone belongs to this dinosaur or that dinosaur.

Is the shroud mentioned because of “trying to invoke science for things that really don’t lend themselves to scientific validation.” If so it is without foundation. Do they no longer teach this in journalism: the who, what, where, when, why? We, who read this blog, might understand and agree or disagree but would the typical reader of this article in BU Today?

In fairness, Barlow links to shroud.com. That is a cop out and one wonders if this isn’t a quick Google find.  Link to something inside the website that explains what the shroud is and why it might have some meaning in this article. There is plenty of material there to answer that question.  Or maybe the mention of the shroud in this article is pointless?

The Wabash Museum of the Holy Shroud

imageEd Breen, co-host of “Good Morning Grant County” on the radio, who has been reporting on life in Indiana for 48 years writes in The News Herald:

In your youth, particularly at this time of year, when friends and relatives would gather for dinner at the homestead, you were probably cautioned to discuss neither politics nor religion at the dinner table. Bring up either and you are courting dispute and discontent.
To that list you might now add the Shroud of Turin, a piece of linen cloth three and a half feet wide and a little over 14 feet long. To those of a particular Christian faith, this aged fabric is the cloth in which the body of Jesus Christ was wrapped after his crucifixion and from which he emerged at the moment of the resurrection on the third day.

To those of a more skeptical faith, it is an object worthy of pious veneration. Genuine, perhaps, but perhaps not. To those whose skepticism flows to cynicism and those not of the Christian faith, it may well be interpreted as a great and ancient medieval fraud, a hoax of elaborate and artistic proportions.

This simple fact is indisputable: This piece of cloth and its embedded image of a man, whose record can be traced quite clearly to the year 1390 and perhaps earlier, this shroud has been preserved, studied, examined, revered, embraced, denied and enshrined more than any swatch of fabric in human history.

Now a vast archive of science, literature, history, art and documentation dealing with the Shroud of Turin—so named because it has been preserved in the northern Italian city of Turin (or “Torino,” in Italian) for 700 years—has found a permanent home just up the road in Wabash, in a beautiful, 8,000-square-foot, Tudor-style building built by Wabash native and industrialist Mark Honeywell in the 1920s. This library of materials is on the grounds of what was the Honeywell estate, later the Wabash Country Club, north of Wabash on State Road 15.

It is in the custody—indeed, it is the life blood—of a transplanted Boston Italian, a man not only of faith but also of determination. His name is Richard Orareo. . . .

  1. Keep reading article.
  2. Visit the museum’s website.

An Online Photo Gallery of Italy’s New Churches

The picture on CNN’s website this morning catches our attention. Here we find writer Helena Cavendish de Moura asking:

(CNN) — What is beauty? What role does it have in spirituality? Is it in the eye of the beholder?

image

For instance:

Vatican officials have lashed out against what they see as a diversion from dictates on how to build a church according to Catholic liturgy.

These laws, however, have been subject to interpretation.

The Diocese of Turin, for instance, defends its decision to stand by Botta’s design, claiming it adheres to Catholic dogma on aesthetics. The seven-tower church with skylights is a symbolic play on the use of natural light in ritual and divinity. The industrial-looking church complex blends in with the area associated with Turin’s working class. To the common eye, these towers may seem more like giant chimneys, a reference to the industrial, working-class area.

Photographing inside this monumental building is a different story. Liturgical tradition is referenced, but only slightly. Di Martino photographs the pixelated image of the Holy Face, a "half-cross" by the altar, every element illuminated by natural light. A possible allusion that God is omnipresent in the digital age?

Personally, I liked them all except for photograph number 6, the Church St. Clement in Milan. See CNN’s Photo Gallery.

Oh, and I’m not sure I like this interpretation (picture #1) of the face of the shroud which has Jesus seemingly looking away to one side. Or is it my imagination. 

A New York Times One-Sip-of-Coffee Story

imageVictoria Shannon writes in the New York Times:

Millions of people make a pilgrimage to Mexico City around this time every year for the festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Dec. 12, a Christian holy day and a national holiday in Mexico.

The object of their devotion is an Indian peasant’s cloak with the portrait of the Virgin Mary, which was said to have miraculously been imprinted on this date in 1531, after he encountered her apparition there.

The 4-foot-8-inch cloak has never been subjected to a complete scientific analysis the way the Shroud of Turin has. . . .

The rest of the story is meager, hardly worth the effort to click your mouse. It briefly mentions the microscopic pictures that one man thinks he see in the eyes of the image.  You are better off searching Google for <Our Lady of Guadalupe eyes>.

Press Release: Planned Film About Apostle Thaddeus

Many of those who believe that the Shroud of Turin is authentic,
also believe that there is a connection between the Shroud and the Apostle Thaddeus.
The Shroud will be featured in the movie.

Walker Cable Productions (Sourced from Assyrian International News Agency), December 11, 2014.

Lorenzo Lamas, 1980s heartthrob and star of the hit series "The Renegade," is set to portray the Apostle Thaddeus in an upcoming biblical epic. The movie will be produced by Walker Cable Productions, in Association with Executive Producer Billy Haido and filmed near San Antonio, Texas. The working title of the film is "The Acts of the Apostle Thaddeus."

Lamas said, "I have worked with Walker Cable Productions in several films on the course of the last several years and it is my understanding that they will be producing a film on the Apostle Thaddeus in the near future. Based on my former association with this company and the integrity of Sam Cable and Chuck Walker as friends and film makers, I have a strong interest in being involved in this project as an actor in the title role of Thaddeus. I find the script interesting and captivating and look forward to making this project a big success. I am thrilled to be working on Thaddeus, the new WalkerCable production. These are terrific guys and a wonderful production company that I have had the pleasure of working with many, many times in the past. So, if you have the opportunity to invest in a WalkerCable production don’t hesitate. You will not regret it. So, I am excited about being a part of this Christian movie. I think it is an important time for our society to embrace the Christian faith. I am looking forward to it."

"The Acts of the Apostle Thaddeus" tells the story of the Apostle Thaddeus evangelizing Mesopotamia and founding the Assyrian Church of the East and the Armenian Church. The story is based on the writings of the early church fathers and traditions of Assyrian Christians, who are the indigenous people of Mesopotamia. Along with Lorenzo Lamas and Walker Cable Productions, the production crew will include three Assyrian Americans, and at least six Assyrian Americans will be cast in major roles. This will enable these Assyrian Americans to learn about the art of film-making and perhaps launch their careers in either film production or acting. Being people who’s heritage the film is depicting, they bring with them an additional layer of accuracy and authenticity. The Assyrian American production team are from Strategic Entertainment.

The Assyrians are currently facing terrible challenges and persecution. They face the threat of genocide in their ancestral homeland by Islamic militants groups, perhaps the most recognizable being ISIS. These terrorist groups are actively trying to destroy the ancient Christian community founded by Thaddeus and Thomas.

Stephen Missick, associate pastor of King of Saints Tabernacle in Cleveland, Texas, is writing and producing the biblical movie that will dramatize the story of one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ. The script is derived from the Bible and other ancient sources, such as the writings of the Early Church Fathers. The film is anticipated to be produced by WalkerCable, Productions of Conroe, Texas.

WalkerCable plans to begin filming in early 2015. Existing movie sets at the Alamo Village in Brackettville, Texas, as well as other areas around San Antonio, will serve as Biblical Lands.

"From the very beginning of the film industry, movies dramatizing stories from the Bible have been made. Many of these films are classics, such as Cecil B. DeMille’s "The Ten Commandments" and Charlton Heston’s "Ben-Hur." However, I want to do something totally different. I want to do something that audiences have never seen before" Missick said.

In this movie, Pastor Missick will be telling the story of the Apostle Thaddeus. According to early Church Historians, Thaddeus evangelized and established Churches in what are today Iraq, Iran and southern Turkey. The movie "The Acts of the Apostle Thaddeus" is about the Apostle Thaddeus, known among Assyrian Christians as Mar Addai, and the founding of the Assyrian Church of the East. The movie will be based on ancient Assyrian Christian literature, namely "The Doctrine of Addai" and "The Acts of the Apostle Mari." It is also based on other ancient sources, such as the writings of the early church historian Eusebius.

According to Pastor Missick, "The Acts of Thaddeus" tells the story of the origin of the Assyrian Church of the East and the Armenian Church. Pastor Missick describes the story of Thaddeus as a very fascinating one: "According to Church historians, Thaddeus was the groom at the marriage of Cana in Galilee, where Jesus turned the water into wine. There is also a connection between Thaddeus and the Shroud of Turin." The Shroud of Turin is an Icon kept in Turin, Italy that is believed to be the burial shroud of Jesus, and it bears an impression of the body of a crucified man. Many Shroud experts believe that the Shroud of Turin was known as originally known as the Image of Edessa, or the Mandylion. It said to have been brought to the Syriac king Abgar as a gift by Thaddeus. Missick says, "Many of those who believe that the Shroud of Turin is authentic, also believe that there is a connection between the Shroud and the Apostle Thaddeus. The Shroud will be featured in the movie."

Recent cinematic history has seen the resurgence of the Biblical Epic. "The Bible: TV Miniseries," "The Son of God, "as well as "Noah," have been very successful. In addition, faith-based films such as "God’s Not Dead" and "Heaven is for Real" have proven there is large an underserved market for films in the Biblical genre. Soon, Biblical epics such as "Exodus: God’s and Kings" and "A.D.: After the Bible" will arrive on both the big and small screens to serve these markets. This project is unique in that the story of Thaddeus and the founding of the Assyrian Church has never before been told in film.

For more information contact Stephen Andrew Missick, stephenamissick@hotmail.com, 281-592-4104.

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