Press Release: Bishop Michael Sheridan to Be Keynote Speaker St. Louis Shroud Conference

Contact: Joe Marino, conference chairman, 614-477-1480; Mark Antonacci, Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation, 636-938-3708

imageST. LOUIS, Sept. 15, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — In Turin’s Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, a famous burial cloth is kept. On this burial shroud is the image of a man. The identity of the man in the Shroud and how his image was formed is one of the greatest mysteries of all time. Many believe this Shroud to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ. Others think it an elaborate hoax. On October 9-12 in St. Louis, international experts will gather to present and discuss the latest discoveries on this famous burial cloth, the Shroud of Turin.

The conference, entitled "Shroud of Turin: The Controversial Intersection of Faith and Science," will be held at the Drury Plaza Hotel in Chesterfield, a western suburb of St. Louis. More than thirty Shroud experts, or sindonologists, from around the world will be presenting information. Among the group of distinguished speakers is The Most Reverend Michael John Sheridan, Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado Springs. His presentation, "Science and the Mysteries of the Shroud," is currently slated for Saturday, October 11.

The St. Louis Conference is the first Shroud Conference to be held in the United States since 2008. Conference chair and sindonologist Joe Marino says, "I’m particularly excited that we have many new presenters since the last conference." Speakers come from such diverse fields as archeology, physics, iconography and theology. Other special speakers include Bruno Barberis, Director of the International Center of Sindonology in Turin; artist Veronica Piraccini; and biologist and teacher Kelly Kearse.

The conference begins on Thursday evening, October 9, with a presentation from renowned Shroud lecturer, Russ Breault and concludes on Sunday morning October 12, with presentations from historian and attorney, Jack Markwardt. A complete list of speakers and a tentative program can be found at the conference website

The conference is sponsored by The Resurrection of the Shroud Foundation and the Salt River Production Group. Anyone with an interest in the Shroud is welcome to attend. Registration details can also be found on the website.

Put St. Louis on the Map

imageRice Professor, a reader of this blog, writes:

Everyone is doing it. For instance the Vatican has a YouTube channel. You should create one for the St. Louis conference. Tape every presentation. Upload them to your channel.  Provide links to the papers when you do so. Get and to promote it. This will put the St. Louis conference on the map. This will promote respectability for sindonology and authenticity like never before. Okay, so you have a couple of nut job papers. So what. The most difficult part will be turning on the camera. The cost will be zero.

Actually, the Vatican has several official channels in different languages. I found these:

Russ Breault has made recordings at previous conferences.  I agree, putting the presentations on YouTube in a special YouTube conference channel would be a good idea.

Will the English Show Up in St. Louis?

imageHugh Farey commented elsewhere:

I think the good thing about the conference (and about the BSTS Newsletter, among other things), is that it forces people to collect their thoughts, arrange them and present them, with relevent references and logical inferences, in a way that an online discussion, or responding piecemeal to a blog, never quite manages. I very much hope that the full texts of the papers will be available online shortly after the conference, and the discussion will then go on both for much longer than would be possible at any conference, and involve much wider participation than just those who can make it to St Louis. (Come to think of it, the English didn’t make it to the 1904 Olympic Games either!)

The English athletes missed so much not being there. It was at the World’s Fair in 1904 that the waffle cone for ice cream was first introduced, a bit of history that is debated perhaps as much as the legend of Abgar. (The Olympic games were a part of the World’s Fair, that year.)

Iced Tea was also invented at that same World’s Fair, so it is often claimed.  Just last week, my wife and I visited a working tea plantation in South Carolina. The plantation is still growing and harvesting tea, the only place in North America that does so. And the folks there were spreading the tale of ice tea being invented at the St. Louis Fair. It’s not true, of course. The September 28, 1890, issue of the Nevada Noticer newspaper reported that 880 gallons of iced tea was served to attendees of a reunion of Confederate Civil War soldiers in Nevada, Missouri that month.

St. Louis style smoked BBQ ribs and toasted ravioli, which isn’t toasted but deep fried, were also invented in St. Louis. Although mentioned frequently as facts on websites and at cocktail parties, it is certainly not true. Why am I reminded about shroud history?

Oh, terminology is important here. You’re right the English, technically, did not send a team. However, as Wikipedia explains:

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland did not send a team to the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Numerous events were contested, of which only some were later recognized by the IOC as official Olympic events. Within these, two athletes representing Ireland participated, winning one gold and one silver medal. Because Ireland was then part of the United Kingdom, the IOC classifies these athletes as British.

You are right or wrong. We should ask Charles Freeman.

Back to the topic at hand. Joe Marino said something about allowing online comments on the conference website in lieu of questions at the conference. Will this be public or only for attendees? Will it be readable by everyone? Will authors of papers participate? It is a big deal to administer; I know.  Anyway, we will have some open discussion here in this blog. Maybe we can set up a dedicated channel. I’m sort of waiting to see what the conference will be doing.

I certainly hope the papers will be up right away and that the authors will get engaged in discussions.

I’ll be in St. Louis. Did you know that Fish and Chips were invented in St. Louis?

Anticipating the Conference: Mark Antonacci on Testing for Radiation

Mark Antonacci | 11-Oct-2014  |  10:15-10:45 am


This paper summarizes the scientific and medical evidence already acquired from the Shroud that is consistent with a series of events and surrounding circumstances reported to have occurred to the historical Jesus Christ in the most attested sources of ancient history.  The physical evidence supporting three scientific hypotheses contending the Shroud’s full-length body images were caused by UV or particle radiation emanating from a stationary or disappearing human body that was wrapped in the Shroud are also summarized.1  One such hypothesis, published in Scientific Research and Essays in 2012, can also explain how neutron irradiated cloth can carbon date centuries younger than its actual age.  This hypothesis can also explain the Shroud’s excellent and flexible physical condition; its coin, flower and outer side imaging, if any; and the still-red coloration of its embedded blood marks.

Scientific technology that could be adapted and applied to the Shroud and to strategic samples at the molecular and atomic level are also summarized and recommended.  These technologies, along with other forms of proposed testing, were presented as the keynote address at the international conference held in Frascati, Italy in conjunction with the last public exhibition of the Shroud in 2010.2  These and other techniques could possibly provide extensive evidence for and against all proposed Shroud body image hypotheses; all proposed explanations for its medieval carbon dating; the age of the cloth and age of its blood; whether the cloth has been irradiated; the type and amount of radiation; whether it came from the body within the cloth; where and when the irradiating event occurred; the identity of the victim; and whether a supernatural event consistent with the resurrection occurred.

Click on the title to read the full abstract. Click here for the conference home page.