Saturday, May 9, 2015

Shroud of Turin News - May 2015

Shroud of Turin News - May 2015
© Stephen E. Jones

[Previous: April 2015] [Next: June 2015]

Here is the May 2015 issue of my re-started Shroud of Turin News. I will add Shroud-related news articles to this post, latest uppermost, with my comments in bold.. There will usually be overlap, e.g. there are excerpts from April Shroud articles in this May issue.

"Rex Morgan's `Shroud News' Coming to!," Spring Update - May 6, 2015, From September 1980 until December 2001, Australian education pioneer, writer and broadcaster Rex Morgan published 118 issues of Shroud News,

[Right: "Rex Morgan's 'Shroud News' Issue No. 1 - 24 September 1980"]

a publication initially intended to spread the word of the Shroud in Australia, but which included many important papers and articles and ultimately reached worldwide distribution, making Rex one of the best known names in the Shroud world. In fact, Father Peter Rinaldi referred to Rex as "Australia's Number One apostle of the Shroud." Rex toured an extensive Shroud photographic exhibition throughout Australia and New Zealand and to Hong Kong and Macau in the 1980's. He also conducted his own research and became a familiar face and an important voice at every major Shroud conference around the world. So we are very proud to announce that, thanks to Rex's gracious permission, starting in our summer update later this year we will begin publishing Shroud News here on Once again, this is only possible thanks to the tireless efforts of Stephen E. Jones ... This was mentioned as coming in April's SoTN. I am enjoying reading Shroud News and am learning things about the Shroud I didn't know. Morgan, a non-Catholic Australian (like myself), travelled the world, attending Shroud events and meeting leading Shroud personalities. He actually saw the Shroud at its 1978 exposition, as recounted in his first book:

"As we entered around the great columns I saw, as did the others, exposed publicly for the first time in forty-six years, suspended in front of the high altar, the most priceless relic in Christendom, the Holy Shroud of Christ. Some of the gathering immediately knelt and crossed themselves, suddenly subdued and deeply moved by what they saw. Many others, hardened pressmen, thought only of their assignment and hastily began setting up their elaborate equipment. As if the Shroud were about to disappear from their eyes they began a cacophony of light and sound as cameras started to whir, flash bulbs to pop and floodlights to bathe the serenity of the cathedral with unaccustomed light. The Holy Shroud itself was hanging horizontally in a great frame of wood, covered with non-reflecting glass. It appeared to me at first to be lighted from behind, as it did to other witnesses, but I later discovered that it was in fact floodlit from the front. But it is interesting that its ethereal quality, a matter which has been remarked upon many times by observers over the ages, was such that my first impression was that it was backlighted." (Morgan, R., 1980, "Perpetual Miracle: Secrets of the Holy Shroud of Turin by an Eye Witness," p.22).

"Stains on the Sudarium of Oviedo coincide with those on the Shroud", Vatican Insider, May 2, 2015, Andrea Tornielli ... "All the information

[Above: "The Sudarium of Oviedo."] obtained from the studies and research" carried out on the Shroud of Turin and the Sudarium of Oviedo" is in tune with what one would expect - from a forensic medicine point of view - to happen to cloths with these characteristics were they to cover the head of a body featuring the kind of lesions Jesus of Nazareth suffered, just as the Gospels tell us." Alfonso Sánchez Hermosilla, Doctor in Forensic Medicine, stated this at a conference held by the International Centre of Syndonology [sic] in Turin today. ... Hermosilla is the forensic expert who took over the study of the Oviedo Sudarium from Mgr. Giulio Ricci, who began examining it in the 1960s. "The similarity in the morphology and dimension of the stains" between the Sudarium of Oviedo and "the Turin Shroud", led Ricci to believe "that he had actually found the relic St. John speaks of" in his Gospel, when he mentions the sudarium in the tomb. [John 20:7. "and the face cloth [Greek soudarion], which had been on Jesus' head, not lying with the linen cloths but folded up in a place by itself."] From a forensic anthropological point of view and a forensic medicine point of view," Hermosilla continued, "all the information that emerged from the scientific investigation is compatible with the theory that the Turin Shroud and the Sudarium covered the corpse of the same person." The Sudarium of Oviedo is a relic that is kept in "El Salvador" Cathedral in Oviedo, Spain, in the Holy Chamber used as the building’s chapel during the reign of King Alphonse II [Alfonso II of Asturias(†759–842)] ... "This cloth was present in the region of northern Spain from the year 812 or 842" and "is made of linen; it measures approximately 84 x 54 centimetres." The "composition" of the textile structure of the Shroud and the Sudarium "is the same - substantially linen – the thickness of the fibres is identical ..." The Sudarium has nothing of the mysterious image present on the Shroud which was produced after the body that had been wrapped in it stained the sheet with blood and other fluids. All that there is, are traces of blood and other bodily fluids "from a human corpse" ... "The morphological study of stains in both linens reveal an obvious similarity between them ... both group of stains match very well ... not only in their relative position but also in their superficial size." In addition, there is a "correspondence on the distances between the staining injuries which originated the stains" ... the Sudarium of Oviedo "covered the face of the corpse" before it was wrapped in the Turin Shroud. "There are a high number of matches between the injuries which can be appreciated in the image of the Shroud of Turin, and ... the Sudarium of Oviedo." ... One of the pieces of evidence which the Spanish doctor considers most important, are the blood stains attributable to the crown of thorns. "The blood stains attributed to the thorns of the crown can be appreciated in both relics with a high similarity in the distance which separates them." "The surface of the nose in both linens is very similar; in the Sudarium of Oviedo it has an area of 2.280 mm2, and in the Shroud of Turin 2.0002. Moreover, by the middle of the right area of the nose there is a zone which is inflamed which measures 1002 in the Sudarium of Oviedo and 902 in the Shroud of Turin." ... The large number of close similarities between the bloodstains on the Sudarium and the Shroud is a `two factor authentication' which proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the Shroud and the Sudarium are authentic. The Sudarium is known to have entered Spain in the 7th century, so the already superhuman medieval forger would have had to forge both the Shroud and Sudarium no later than the 7th century! And there is no reason why such an unimpressive, bloodstained rag as the Sudarium of Oviedo is, was kept in the first place unless it was known by Jesus' original disciples to have covered His once dead face and head.

"'Angelic' Face of Young Jesus Reconstructed from Shroud of Turin," The Christian Times, Monica Cantilero, 30 April, 2015. The face of a [Daily Mail, 6 May 2015] "12-year-old" Jesus is seen here after its "re-creation" by the scientific unit of Rome's police force which used the Shroud of Turin (upper images at right) to reverse the age of the man whose facial image is imprinted in the Shroud. ... The image of the young Jesus was computer-generated by the Italian police who reversed the technology they used for adding wrinkles to the drawings of Mafia bosses to identify them after decades on the run ... To create the image of the young Jesus, the police subtracted years from the man's face imprinted on the Shroud of Turin and removed his beard. They also colored his hair blonde and lightened his complexion. "The angelic face is reminiscent of the prayer cards sold in Vatican souvenir shops ... Paul Damon, a geoscientist who was part of the team that held a carbon-14 dating test on the Shroud in 1998, reacted negatively to the police recreation of Jesus' face, saying it's a "malarkey," adding: "The boy would not be blond." ... The scientific unit of Rome's police force was prompted to create the image upon the suggestion of television news reporters who were doing a special news program about Jesus. ... I agree with the late Prof. Paul E. Damon (1921–2005), that Jesus, being a first-century Jew, would not have been blond. So this reconstruction of Jesus' face loses whatever credibility it would have had on that fact alone. The story is actually old news, being based on a 2004 article in the The New York Times in which it was pointed out that "when the police added receding hairlines or wrinkles to mobsters, they had family photographs to work from. They had no such genetic information handy about the parents of Jesus."

"If the Turin Shroud is the work of a medieval artist, it's one of the greatest artworks ever created," The Spectator, Dominic Selwood, 27 April 2015 ... Our first definite knowledge of the shroud is an event in [Above: "The Shroud of Turin: modern photo of the face, left; digitally processed image right"] around AD 1355, when it was put on show in the tiny French village of Lirey, in Champagne. Its owners were the local knight, Geoffrey de Charney, and his wife, Jeanne de Vergy ... there is no known connection between this Geoffrey de Charney (or his son of the same name) and the famous Knight Templar called Geoffrey de Charney, who was preceptor of Normandy and was burned alongside Grand Master Jacques de Molay as a relapsed heretic in 1314, three quarters of a century earlier. According to a number of family trees, including my de Charny family tree, Geoffroy de Charny (1240-1314), the Templar, was the brother of Dreux I de Charny et de Mont-Saint-Jean (1235-85), who was the father of Jean I de Charny et de Mont-Saint-Jean (1263-1323), who was the father of Geoffroy I de Charny (c. 1300–1356), the first undisputed owner of the Shroud. That makes the Templar Geoffroy de Charny the great-uncle of Geoffroy I de Charny. And since there are no other Geoffroys in the de Charny and de Mont-Saint-Jean family trees, it is likely that Geoffroy I de Charny was named after Geoffroy de Charny the Templar. At the time of the 1355 exhibition, Henry de Poitiers, bishop of Troyes, conducted an inquiry into the cloth, concluding that it was a `fraud' which had been `cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed'. There is no evidence for, and much evidence against, this mere hearsay claim of Bishop Pierre d'Arcis (1300-95): 1) the Shroud is not painted; 2) Bishop Henri de Poitiers (1327-70) wrote approvingly of Geoffroy I's exhibition of the Shroud in c.1355; 3) Geoffroy I's son, Geoffroy II, married Bishop Henri's niece, Marguerite de Poitiers (c. 1362-1418); and 4) Geoffroy II and Marguerite de Poitiers daughter, Marguerite de Charny (1390-1460), bequeathed her Lirey lands and title to Antoine Guerry des Essarts (1408–74), the son of Bishop Henri's illegitimate daughter, Guillemette de Poitiers (c. 1370-c. 1450), which can only mean that the de Charny and de Poitiers families had a close and friendly relationship, which would be impossible if Bishop Henri de Poitiers had denounced the Shroud as a fraud. ... the shroud was finally carbon dated in 1988 ... Laboratories in Oxford, Tucson, and Zurich ... all concurred ... in a date range of AD 1260–1390. ... There is much evidence that the laboratories were duped by a computer hacker, allegedly Arizona laboratory physicist, Timothy W. Linick. ... The Turin Shroud ... If it truly is the work of a medieval artist ... then it is a genuine wonder that brings us into the presence of the genius of the medieval world ... This is the dilemma that the late John E. Walsh (1927-2015) pointed out:

"Only this much is certain: The Shroud of Turin is either the most awesome and instructive relic of Jesus Christ in existence-showing us in its dark simplicity how He appeared to men-or it is one of the most ingenious, most unbelievably clever, products of the human mind and hand on record. It is one or the other; there is no middle ground." (Walsh, J.E., 1963, "The Shroud," pp.xi-xii. My emphasis).
If those who claim that the Shroud is the work of a medieval artist were consistent, they would press for it to be included among "the greatest artworks ever created." That they don't shows that they don't really believe what they say, and they only say it to dismiss the Shroud as authentic, so that, like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand, they don't have to consider that Christianity is true (which it is!).

"Is the Shroud of Turin real? Some say it doesn't matter," Crux, Inés San Martín, Vatican correspondent, April 23, 2015.

[Above "The Holy Shroud, the 14 foot-long linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus, is on display during a preview for the press at the Cathedral of Turin, Italy, on Saturday, April 18, 2015. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)"]

ROME - When Pope Francis visits the northern Italian city of Turin in June, his outing will once again shine a spotlight on Catholicism’s most famed — and also most debated – artifact: the Holy Shroud. The Shroud of Turin is a centuries-old, 14-foot-long linen cloth carrying the image of a man who suffered injuries in a manner consistent with crucifixion. Devotees venerate it as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ himself, though there’s long been a lively scientific and popular debate about how old the cloth really is and how, exactly, its image was formed. And now, for the fourth time since 2000, the shroud is on public display until June 24 in Turin's cathedral, and Pope Francis will venerate the shroud during his June 21-22 visit to the city. But even with a papal visit on the horizon, some still doubt the shroud's veracity. Joe Nickell, for instance, who describes himself as the world's only full-time paranormal investigator, says it's a hoax from the Middle Ages cooked up either to sell relics or to impress infidels. Nickell is a "full-time," i.e. professional sceptic. He makes a living debunking Christianity in general and the Shroud in particular. So for Nickell to admit what the evidence overwhelmingly shows, that the Shroud is authentic, would mean that he would be out of a job. "What I or anyone else believes about the Shroud of Turin is beside the point," Nickell told Crux via e-mail. "At issue should be the evidence, and on that basis science has shown the Shroud of Turin to be - like so many alleged relics - a medieval fake." The evidence is overwhelming that the Shroud is authentic, i.e. Jesus' burial shroud. Nickell is a modern example of those whom Jesus called, `the blind leading the blind' (Mt 15:14; Lk 6:39). An example of Nickell's dishonesty (or self-delusion) in Shroud matters is in his 1993 book, "Looking for a Miracle," in which Nickell argued for both the painting theory:

"In fact, there is no mention of this particular `shroud' for some thirteen centuries [a falsehood]; then a respected bishop reportedly uncovered an artist who confessed to having created it. In a letter of 1389 to Pope Clement VII, Bishop Pierre d'Arcis reported on an earlier investigation ... D'Arcis continued, speaking of the earlier bishop who conducted the investigation: Eventually, after diligent inquiry and examination, he discovered the fraud and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed" (Nickell, J., 1993, "Looking for a Miracle," pp.25-26).
and the bas relief/statue theory:
"As an alternative to the painting hypothesis, some two years before McCrone published his findings, I reported the results of my own successful experiments in creating shroudlike `negative' images. The technique involved wet-molding cloth to a bas-relief (used instead of a fully three-dimensional statue to minimize distortion), allowing it to dry, then rubbing on powdered pigment using a dauber-much as one would make a rubbing from a gravestone. This technique automatically yields 'negative' images (or rather, just like the shroud, quasi-negative images, since the hair and beard are the opposite of what would be expected). It also produces numerous other shroudlike features, including minimal depth of penetration into the threads, encoded `3-D' information, and other similarities, some of which specifically pointed to some form of imprinting technique." (Nickell, 1993, pp.27-28).
But they are mutually exclusive; the evidence for one is evidence against the other! ... Nickell, the skeptic, amasses multiple arguments to cast doubt on the veracity of the shroud: It's contrary to Jewish burial practices at the time of Jesus, he said, which involved multiple linen cloths of plain weave - rather than the medieval herringbone pattern of the Turin cloth The Shroud is not "contrary to Jewish burial practices at the time of Jesus. The New Testament is a historical source of first century Jewish burials and it states that Joseph of Arimathea:
"... bought a linen shroud, and taking him [Jesus' dead body] down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock." (Mk 15:46; Mt 27:59; Lk 23:53).
That is a single linen cloth, and there are no Jewish stipulations about what sort of weave a shroud was to be. And that there was a large single shroud [Gk. sindon] does not preclude that there were other smaller burial cloths, e.g. the "face cloth" [Gk.soudarion](Jn 20:7 i.e. the Sudarium of Oviedo - see above). A rare and expensive shroud, as the Shroud's herringbone twill weave would have been, is just what Joseph of Arimathea, "a rich man" (Mt 27:57), would have bought for Jesus. - plus a washed body and quantities of burial spices suspiciously absent from the "relic." Nickell here reveals his ignorance of Shroud pro-authenticity literature. The Gospels record that Jesus' burial was rushed, leaving not enough time for the normal washing of His corpse, due the impending sabbath (Lk 23:44-54). And traces of the ancient spices aloes and myrrh have been found on the Shroud. It lacks any provenance before the mid-14th century, at which time a bishop's investigation claimed it was part of a faith-healing scam. The bishop said it was the work of a confessed artist. This is doubly false. First, there is evidence for the Shroud's provenance going all the way back to the first century. Second, Bishop d'Arcis' 1389 Memorandum did not claim that the exhibition of the Shroud in c. 1355 was "part of a faith-healing scam." Nickell just made that up, which shows how loose with the truth he can be, at least in Shroud matters. And as for, Bishop d'Arcis' mere hearsay claim that the Shroud `was the work of a confessed artist' it is significant that d'Arcis did not name the artist, indicating that d'Arcis was at best misinformed and at worst lying. Moreover, as STURP found in 1978, the Shroud is not a painting. There is no paint, pigment or dye on it which forms its image. That Nickell tacitly accepts this is evident in his above proposed "alternative" of his "bas-relief" theory. But if the d'Arcis painted forgery claim was true, there would be no need for an "alternative". Moreover, by Nickell's listing of the advantages of his bas-relief alternative (which has its own fatal problems), such as "quasi-negative images," "minimal depth of penetration," and "`3-D' information," Nickell tacitly admits that a painting does not have those features. If he were honest in this, Nickell would repudiate Bishop d'Arcis' false claim that the Shroud was a painted forgery. That he doesn't shows that Nickell is not interested in truth in this matter, but only in anti-Shroud/anti-Christian, propaganda, with which to mislead his gullible sceptic readers. It exhibits numerous flaws, such as the hair falling straight down, as would be the case for a standing, not a reclining, body; the hands placed discreetly over the loins (again contrary to Jewish practice), There are no flaws. If Jesus' body was laid in a shallow, head-and-body-shaped trough, as discovered in some 1st century Jewish cave tombs, then His hair would be supported by the edge of the trough and so appear to be hanging straight down. And as Ian Wilson documented in 1986:
"In Judea, a number of skeletons excavated in the Essene cemetery at Qumran (ca. 200 B.C. to A.D. 70) were laid out flat, facing upward, elbows bent slightly, and hands crossed across the pelvis, more or less exactly the attitude visible on the Shroud." (Wilson, 1986, p.35).
the "blood" stains remaining suspiciously red and picture-like. The "blood" has failed a battery of tests by internationally known forensic serologists, and subsequent analysis claimed it was tempera paint containing red ocher and vermilion pigments - pigments that were also found throughout the image (but not off-image) areas. Again, all false. As the late eminent blood chemist Prof. Alan Adler (1932-2000) found in Shroud blood samples, their red colour is due to "an extraordinarily high bilirubin count," which in turn would be the case of a crucifixion victim:
"There is an extraordinarily high bilirubin count, almost as high as the methemoglobin. Now how does one account for such a high bilirubin in a person? One possibility is that the person had a severe malaria, but this does not seem very likely. But a torture, scourging and crucifixion leading to shock - that would produce a tremendous hemolysis. In less than 30 seconds, the hemolyzed hemoglobin will run through the liver, building up a very high bilirubin content in the blood. If that blood then clots, the exudate forms, and all the intact cells with hemoglobin stay behind, only the hemolyzed hemoglobin goes out along with the serum albumin which binds the bilirubin. So what one ends up with on the cloth is an exudate which has an enhanced bilirubin index with respect to the hemolyzed hemoglobin. You now mix bilirubin which is yellow-orange with methemoglobin in its para-hemic form which is an orangey-brown and you get blood which has a red color." (Adler, A.D., 1986, "The Origin and Nature of Blood on the Turin Shroud").
And after listing a battery of 13 tests conducted by him and the late Professor of Medicine, John H. Heller (1921-1995), Adler stated:
"That means that the red stuff on the Shroud is emphatically, and without any reservation, nothing else but B-L-O-O-D!" (Heller, 1983, p.216. Emphasis original).
Proponents lack any viable hypothesis for the image formation, and have dismissed re-creations that others have found convincing. Jackson's Cloth Collapse image formation theory explains all the major features of the Shroud. And there have been no recreations of the whole Shroud by sceptics. All there has been is various attempts by sceptics to recreate the Shroud face, and they all have been unconvincing. A pro- authenticist, David Rolfe, commissioned an artist to recreate the whole Shroud for his film documentary, "Silent Witness," but that was also unconvincing. In fact the artist, who was not a pro-authenticist before attempting his recreation of the Shroud, became one after it:
"When in the late 1970s the British artist John Weston was given the task of copying the Shroud tone by tone for the TV documentary The Silent Witness he found himself so deeply impressed that he became convinced of the Shroud's genuineness." (Wilson & Schwortz, 2000, p.121).
The cloth was radiocarbon dated by three laboratories (Oxford University, the University of Arizona, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, under the auspices of the Pontifical Academy for Sciences) to circa 1260–1390. Proponents nevertheless claim the sample taken for dating came from a "medieval patch," but this is contradicted by the textile experts who took the samples. For once I agree with Nickell! As I have stated, "Conventional explanations of the discrepancy don't work" (see also part #10(2)) as viable complete explanations of why the 1st century Shroud has a 13th/14th century radiocarbon date. But this is evidence for my theory that the radiocarbon dating laboratories were duped by a computer hacker! ...

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Created 9 May 2015. Updated 3 December 2022.

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