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.
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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