Also see previous posting, Russ Breault’s Shroud Encounter in Chicago September 19
Press Release: (Click on Posters for Larger View)
The Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc. will be presenting two unique presentations at St. Lambert Parish located at 8148 Karlov Ave in Skokie, IL on Sunday, September 20th at 2:00 PM. A free will offering is requested to cover expenses.St
The first presentation is called: The Day the Shroud Foiled Hitler which documents the seven years from 1939 to 1946 when the Shroud was secretly taken out of Turin to keep it away from Adolph Hitler.
Hitler was obsessed with finding religious artifacts with the belief they would give him supernatural power in his bid for world conquest. In 1938, Hitler visited Italy and his trip included Turin. His henchmen began asking questions about the King’s prized relic, The Shroud of Turin. When Hitler invaded Poland the next year, the sacred cloth was secretly taken to a monastery south of Rome. In 1943, the Nazis came looking for it, first in Turin and then later at the monastery.
Russ Breault documents this chapter of history and how Hitler first obtained the “Spear of Destiny” kept in Austria. He also searched for the Holy Grail but to no avail. What drove his obsession? This intriguing new big screen presentation tells the story.
The second presentation is called: Seven Secrets of the Sacred Shroud and will look at seven compelling theological-apologetic reasons why the Shroud is most likely the authentic burial cloth of Jesus.
Both presentations are a production of the Shroud of Turin Education Project, Inc. and will be presented by international expert Russ Breault.
Mr. Breault has been featured in several national documentaries seen on CBS, History Channel and Discovery. He was interviewed this year for Good Morning America to discuss the latest research. He has presented at numerous colleges and universities including Duke, West Point, Johns Hopkins, Penn State and many others. See ShroudEncounter.com for more info.
The Shroud was largely dismissed in 1988 when three carbon dating labs indicated a medieval origin. However chemical research published in a peer reviewed scientific journal in 2005 showed that the single sample cut from the outside corner edge may not have been part of the original Shroud material. In violation of the sampling protocol, only one sample was used for dating and was cut from the most handled area of the cloth, an area that should have been avoided. The sample may have been part of a section that was repaired sometime during the Middle Ages. Many scientists now believe the carbon dating result is inconclusive and should no longer be considered valid.
Adding more doubt to the carbon dating tests, new chemical and mechanical tests published in 2013 by Italian scientists with Padua University indicate a date range of 280 BC to 220 AD.
The mystery continues. National Geographic called it "One of the most perplexing enigmas of modern times."
The following poster has all the details for an upcoming fundraiser for Our Lady of Victory Catholic High School in Chicago. CLICK HERE for more information from the school’s website. Click on the calendar entry for Shroud Encounter. (Also see the next posting in this blog)
Mark Shea has a sense of humor. He tells us in his blog, Mark’s Stuff, over on the Catholic Channel at Patheos:
“Funny story: The last time, Marytown hosted the Shroud Exhibit, they had me out to give a talk on Private Revelation in preparation for its arrival. Outside, their reader board said “MARK SHEA SHROUD EXHIBIT”. I felt bad raising people’s hopes like that.”
Anyway, the point of his blog posting is to let us know:
… 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.
Thibault 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:
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.
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.
Here is a new slide presentation on YouTube from Third Column Ministries called The Shroud of Turin: a medieval forgery? Published September 1, 2015, it is about one hour and fifteen minutes long.
Yesterday, Larry Getlen (pictured) reviewed John Thavis’ new book, Vatican Prophecies. (See earlier posting– Non-Fiction: The Vatican Prophecies Available September 15).
The New York Post, famous for its headlines, sought to grab reader attention with, How the Vatican investigates miracles. They succeeded.
Getlen’s article focused on three topics in the book: relics, the Shroud of Turin and exorcism. In that order; that will keep people reading, at least until they finish their morning bagel and coffee or get to their subway stop.
I like the Post, not editorially or journalistically, mind you, but because it tells us what a large segment of New Yorkers think. New Yorkers think many things because the paper masterfully tells them what to think. Getlen is one of the masters of making this happen.
Here is what you must know and think about the shroud – and this is just a review of a book:
The finding, that the Shroud is “a negative image,” confirmed for many its authenticity, as, people argued, “no medieval artist would have had the necessary knowledge to create such an image.”
Since then, “the cloth’s enigmatic imprint [has drawn] the attention of specialists in imaging, chemistry, physics and other fields, including radiocarbon dating.” Carbon-14 tests conducted in 1988 placed the shroud’s origins “between 1260 and 1390,” appearing to “bolster claims that the shroud was a medieval artifact.” But the tests have been criticized, as “according to several experts, the threads [that were tested] came from a repaired or contaminated area of the cloth.”
In the 1970s, a massive effort called STURP — The Shroud of Turin Research Project — united around 30 scientists from numerous fields, including “experts in photography, chemistry, physics and biophysics, mathematics, optics, forensic pathology,” and even “nuclear weapons research.”
An image analyzer that “created a three-dimensional relief of the shroud’s human form” confirmed for some that “the image itself contained precise spatial information, which would appear to rule out a painting or other artistic origin. The image would have to have been created while the cloth was draped over a body, even in places where the cloth had not come into direct contact with the body.”
A slew of additional tests from “every imaginable scientific angle” were conducted, from X-rays to “ultraviolet and infrared experiments” to analysis of cloth samples that had been “covered for centuries.” These tests “added an immense amount of data but also raised new questions. Essentially the team agreed that the image was not the work of an artist and was encoded with unique, three-dimensional information; but how it was produced remained a mystery.”
Except it was Sunday of Labor Day weekend and most people were not eating bagels or riding the subway. Maybe they should run it again on Tuesday.
We learn from the website of the Children’s Museum in Indianapolis that Barrie Schwortz will be making two presentations about the shroud on September 19:
Barrie Schwortz, one of the world’s leading experts on the Shroud of Turin, takes you behind-the- scenes to learn about the scientific investigation and history of what many Christians believe to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. In 1978, Schwortz served as documenting photographer for the Shroud of Turin Research Project, the first-ever, in-depth scientific examination of the cloth. Schwortz’s original images were used to create a replica of the Shroud now on display in our newest exhibit, National Geographic Sacred Journeys.
The presentations are free with museum admission but advance registration is required. The 11 a.m. presentation is recommended for adults and families with children, 10+. Groups of 20 or more receive a 20% discount by calling 317.334.4000.
- 11 a.m. in Lilly Theater
- Presentation is approximately 1 hour in length and an additional 30 minutes for questions.
- Add to Cart
- Important Note: Museum admission is also required for this event. Add Museum Admission
SOLD OUT: Presentation 2
- 2 p.m. in Lilly Theater
- The 2 p.m. presentation is sold out. Please call 317-334-4000 for any questions.
- Recommended for adults. Presentation is approximately 1.5 hours in length with a half hour question-and-answer session. Schwortz, an Orthodox Jew, began as a skeptic of the shroud, but by scientific evidence became absolutely convinced of its authenticity. In this presentation, Schwortz also shares his personal journey from skeptic to believer.
Earlier posting: National Geographic Sacred Journeys Exhibit in Indianapolis