[Above: The Templecombe Head:
"The Shroud-like Templar panel painting discovered at Templecombe, England, during the Second World War. This represents the prime clue that the Knights Templar may secretly have owned the Shroud during the period immediately following the capture of Constantinople and up to their suppression in 1307." (Wilson, I. & Schwortz, B., 2000, "The Turin Shroud: The Illustrated Evidence," Michael O'Mara Books: London, p.116).
The Templecombe Head is theorised by historian Ian Wilson (see also `tagline' quote below) to be a painting of the Mandylion on the lid of the chest in which the Templars had once held the Shroud.]
news as far as I am concerned, is that I recently completed my paper, "A proposal to radiocarbon-date the pollen of the Shroud of Turin," and submitted to the British Society for the Turin Shroud for publication in it's December 2007 newsletter!
Vatican paper set to clear Knights Templar, Daily Telegraph, Malcolm Moore, 5 October, 2007 ...
[Left: Replica of minutes of the Vatican's Templar trials, TIME Magazine.]
The mysteries of the Order of the Knights Templar could soon be laid bare after the Vatican announced the release of a crucial document which has not been seen for almost 700 years. ... A new book, Processus contra Templarios, will be published by the Vatican's Secret Archive on Oct 25, and promises to restore the reputation of the Templars, whose leaders were burned as heretics when the order was dissolved in 1314. The Knights Templar were a powerful and secretive group of warrior monks during the Middle Ages. Their secrecy has given birth to endless legends, including one that they guard the Holy Grail. .... The Order was founded by Hugues de Payns, a French knight, after the First Crusade of 1099 to protect pilgrims on the road to Jerusalem. Its headquarters was the captured Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount, which lent the Templars their name. But when Jerusalem fell to Muslim rule in 1244, rumours surfaced that the knights were heretics who worshipped idols in a secret initiation ceremony. In 1307, King Philip IV "the Fair" of France, in desperate need of funds, ordered the arrest and torture of all Templars. After confessing various sins their leader, Jacques de Molay, was burnt at the stake. Pope Clement V then dissolved the order and issued arrest warrants for all remaining members. Ever since, the Templars have been thought of as heretics. The new book is based on a scrap of parchment discovered in the Vatican's secret archives in 2001 by Professor Barbara Frale. The long-lost document is a record of the trial of the Templars before Pope Clement, and ends with a papal absolution from all heresies. [That the Knights Tenplar was basically an orthodox Christian order (who would have a strong motive for keeping the Shroud for themselves rather than selling it to the highest bidder), is more evidence for Ian Wilson's theory that they were the guardians of the Shroud during the ~150 "missing years" after it disappeared at Constantinople in 1204 and reappeared in Lirey, France in the 1350s (see `tagline' quote below).]
Shroud of Turin exhibit coming to Saginaw, Midland Daily News, Angela E. Lackey, October 13, 2007 ...
[Right: Guidebook to this (assumed) photographic exhibit of the Holy Shroud]
The mysteries and facts surrounding the Shroud of Turin will be explored at a Saginaw exhibit. .... Exhibit times and dates are 1 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 ... through ... Saturday, Oct. 27 until the exhibit is dismantled. ... The exhibit has 32 panels of pictures and explains the findings about the Shroud of Turin, believed to be the burial wrappings of Jesus Christ. There will be a backlit, transparent life-size replica of the original shroud. The shroud is 14 feet, 3 inches tall and 3 feet, 7 inches wide. The exhibit was prepared by the Eastman Kodak Corp. under the supervision of now-deceased Monsignor Giulio Ricci of the Holy Shroud Center in Rome. ... The shroud has been surrounded by controversy for years. It first was displayed around 1355; its whereabouts before that are uncertain. The shroud underwent radioactive dating in 1988. The original results showed the shroud dated from the Middle Ages. However, those results have been disputed by many scholars -- only a single specimen was tested, and that specimen was taken from the dirtiest area of the shroud. That area also had burn marks and a water stain from a 1532 fire. No new dating or testing procedures to determine the shroud's authenticity has been proposed. ... [I assume this is the "large photographic exhibit based on the work of Msgr. Ricci, which is available for churches and organizations to display" that is owned by "The Holy Shroud Center ... Illinois".]
H.B. doctor submits Shroud of Turin to scientific method, The Orange County Register, October 19, 2007, Scott Martindale ...
[Left: Xrays of Dr. Accetta after injecting himself with a radioactive isotope to show its similarities to the Shroud's image.]
Dr. August Accetta is the first to acknowledge his theory sounds preposterous. The notion that an authentic image of Jesus' crucified body is emblazoned on a church relic known as the Shroud of Turin defies logic and reason, even for a believer like Accetta. But after more than a decade of scientific study on the origins of the tattered burial cloth, which many have derided as an artist's creation, the Huntington Beach physician is convinced it's no hoax. "It's absurd to think that God gave us this image of his Son on the shroud," said the 48-year-old urogynecological surgeon, who opened a Fountain Valley museum dedicated to the shroud 11 years ago. "But I believe there's more evidence for the authenticity of the shroud than any other single artifact in history." .... Accetta's tests don't prove his radiance theory. The nuclear imaging simply shows how the image could have been created. But Accetta is convinced the evidence is all there. ... Scientists have shown that when a high-resolution photograph of the shroud is run through computer analysis software, the computer can generate a 3-D image of the crucified body. The finding startles shroud researchers because if the image had been created by a medieval artist, as skeptics allege, it shouldn't contain hidden 3-D information. Accetta says only a miraculous event fully explains the image's sophistication. He thinks that when Jesus' body turned to light, the shroud that had been covering the body began falling through the body by gravity. As the cloth dropped, Accetta theorizes it picked up corresponding energy - and corresponding 3-D information. Mainstream scientists, meanwhile, have never concluded how the image formed. Accetta's newest research, to be published next year, focuses on the roots of the teeth and a wound on the left cheek, areas of the body that appear in considerable detail on the shroud but that one would not expect to find on a two-dimensional artist's rendering because the features are below the skin's surface. .... "As crazy as it all sounds, what kind of artist could have foreseen that if you wrapped a body in a sheet, you could have created characteristics that we can only see now with 20th-century technology?" ... [See also September's Shroud news and my post on my other blog, "Bogus: Shroud of Turin? #4" for more about Dr Accetta and his nuclear radiance theory.]
"We have then the matter of the cloth's fate after 1204 when according to the Crusader, `neither Greek nor Frenchman knew what became of it.' [de Clari, R., "The Conquest of Constantinople," McNeal, E.H., transl., Columbia University Press: New York NY, 1936] This is the most mysterious period of all. But whoever came to possess it would seem to have possessed vast wealth, or otherwise they would have sold such a valuable relic; also they must have had some motive for keeping it secretly to themselves. To me the prime suspects seem to have been the Order of Knights Templar, who had a great veneration for the Holy Sepulchre, and built for themselves vast fortresses so heavily guarded that they became the banks of Europe, and so mysterious that rumours began to circulate of secret Templar ceremonies at which some great relic was venerated, a relic which had the appearance of the face of an unidentified bearded man upon a panel. In 1307 the rumours were all that were needed to give the King of France the excuse to lay his hands on Templar wealth by arresting every member of the Order, not without a struggle, a struggle in which the mysterious `idol' the Templars were accused of possessing certainly disappeared. Just one clue survives to the appearance of the last Templar `idol,' a clue found in the tiny village of Templecombe in England, once the home of a Templar preceptory. During the demolition of a cottage outhouse in the 1950's there came to light this oak panel painting ..., undoubtedly Templar, answering exactly the documentary descriptions of the `idol' and with the uncanny appearance of being a copy of the face on the Shroud. If the Shroud was indeed the idol possessed by the Templars, one further clue survives as to it's fate. In 1314 two of the last Templar dignitaries were brought out to be burnt at the stake, proclaiming to the last their innocence ....
[Right: The burning of Templar leaders Jacques de Molay (and Geoffrey de Charney)]
One was the Order's Grand Master, Jacques de Molay, the other the Order's Master of Normandy, Geoffrey de Charny. We do not know definitely if there was a family relationship between Geoffrey de Charny the Templar and Geoffrey I de Charny of Lirey, first known owner of the Shroud. But the likelihood is there." [It has since been discovered (see Wikipedia references) that "Geoffrey I de Charny of Lirey" was in fact a nephew of "Geoffrey de Charny the Templar"] (Wilson, I., "The Shroud's History Before the 14th Century," in Stevenson, K.E., ed., "Proceedings of the 1977 United States Conference of Research on The Shroud of Turin," Holy Shroud Guild: Bronx NY, 1977, pp.47-48).