Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Pierre d'Arcis, Turin Shroud Encyclopedia

Turin Shroud Encyclopedia
Copyright © Stephen E. Jones

Pierre d'Arcis #19

This is "Pierre d'Arcis," part #19 of my Turin Shroud Encyclopedia. It was originally titled "Sceptics and the Shroud," but I have decided to cover each leading Shroud sceptic in a separate post. For more information about this series, see part #1 and part #2. Emphases are mine unless otherwise indicated.

[Index #1] [Previous: History of the Shroud #18] [Next: Ulysse Chevalier #20]

As with my previous posts "Prehistory of the Shroud" #16, #17 and "History of the Shroud" #18, here is my "Sceptics and the Shroud" #19 to help me write the outline of my book, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Sheet of Jesus!" in Gmail on my phone. See 06Jul17, 03Jun18, 04Apr22 & 13Jul22. My

[Right (enlarge [SU91]): The planned cover of my book.]

book is progressing but too slowly. So I have recently started writing parts of two chapters a day instead of one. I have also started copy-and-pasting the Gmail outlines into a Microsoft Word document so I can see how long each growing chapter is. Again I am using in-line referencing to save time in adding out-of-order references.

The strength of the case for the Shroud being Jesus' is shown by the weakness of sceptics arguments that it isn't! This is the first of a planned selection of sixteen leading Shroud sceptics (past and present), with a brief consideration of their anti-Shroud arguments. I will conclude each with a refutation of their arguments-in-common against the Shroud being Jesus'.

Pierre d'Arcis (r. 1377-95) Bishop Pierre d'Arcis is the first generally known Shroud sceptic[OM10, 278] and arguably the most important because (as we shall see), most subsequent Shroud sceptics depend directly, or indirectly, on d'Arcis' evidence and arguments[DR84, 24]. So if d'Arcis was wrong, then they are wrong! D'Arcis was the Bishop of Troyes, France, between 1377-95[RCW]. In his diocese was the Lirey church[AF82, 31] at which the Shroud had been exhibited in c. 1355[HT78, 96] and was being exhibited again in 1389[BW57, 6; DR84, 24; GV01, 14]. The 1389 exposition was being presented by Geoffroy II de Charny (1352-98) and his mother Jeanne de Vergy (c. 1332-1428)[AM00, 151; GV01, 12-13; IJ98, 129]. Lirey was a collegiate church, directly responsible to the Pope, not Bishop d'Arcis[CNC]. So Geoffroy II sought and obtained permission from Pope Clement VII (r. 1378-94) and and King Charles VI (r. 1380-1422) to hold the 1389 exposition [BM95, 18; CN88, 43; WI98, 129; RC99, 64; OM10, 55; WI10, 231]. D'Arcis complained to Pope Clement through his nuncio, Cardinal Pierre de Thury (c. 1330-1410) about the Shroud being exhibited again[WI86, 11; WB06, 46]. However, the only record of d'Arcis

[Left (enlarge) [IMD]. One of the only two copies of the d'Arcis Memorandum [WI98, 121; AM00, 151; OM10, 56], both found only in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France)[BB91, 236; AM00, 152]

complaint is in two undated, unaddressed, unsigned, draft, copies of a memorandum on paper[AM00, 152; BB91, 236], of which there is no record of the original in either Troyes' or the Papal archives[AM00, 152]. But we know that d'Arcis' complaint reached Pope Clement because he responded to it by letter on 6 January 1390, without referring to the memeorandum[BB91, 236-237], enjoining d'Arcis to "perpetual silence" about the Shroud[WI79, 271; SH81, 29; HJ83, 19; WB06, 48; DT12, 183] and allowing the exposition to continue providing the Shroud was presented as only "a figure" or "representation" of Jesus' Shroud[BW57, 7; WI79, 210; SH81, 29 WB06, 48]. See "1389b". Here are d'Arcis' sceptical arguments against the Shroud (my numbering in square brackets):

"The Lord Henry of Poitiers, of pious memory, then Bishop of Troyes, becoming aware of this, and urged by many prudent persons to take action, as indeed was his duty in the exercise of his ordinary jurisdiction, [1]set himself earnestly to work to fathom the truth of this matter. For many theologians and other wise persons declared that this could not be the real shroud of our Lord having the Saviour's likeness thus imprinted upon it, [2]since the holy Gospel made no mention of any such imprint, while, if it had been true, it was quite unlikely that the holy Evangelists would have omitted to record it, [3]or that the fact should have remained hidden until the present time. [4]Eventually, after diligent inquiry and examination, he discovered the fraud [5]and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted, [6]the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it, [7]to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed. [8]Accordingly, after taking mature counsel with wise theologians and men of the law, seeing that he neither ought nor could allow the matter to pass, he began to institute formal proceedings against the said Dean and his accomplices in order to root out this false persuasion. [9]They, seeing their wickedness discovered, hid away the said cloth so that the Ordinary could not find it, and they kept it hidden afterwards for thirty-four years or thereabouts down to the present year"[WI79, 267].
D'Arcis' sceptical arguments against the Shroud being Jesus' are false:

[1] "Henry of Poitiers ... then Bishop of Troyes ... set himself earnestly to work to fathom the truth of this matter" There is no evidence that Bishop Henri de Poitiers (r. 1354–70) had a problem with the Shroud and much evidence that he didn't. D'Arcis in his memorandum states that "the ... Dean [of Lirey church] and his accomplices ... hid away the said cloth so that the Ordinary [Bishop de Poitiers] could not find it, and they kept it hidden afterwards for thirty-four years or thereabouts down to the present year"[CN88, 40-41; GV01, 13-14; WI79, 267]. That would have been 1389 - 34 = 1355[WI98, 111; GV01, 14; OM10, 52; WI10, 228-229] . But de Poitiers wasn't even in Troyes in 1355, because in a letter, "Given in our palace of Aix of our diocese in the year of Our Lord 1356, Saturday, the 28th of the month of May," when de Poitiers was still in his previous diocese at Aix-en-Othe[WI98, 279; WI10, 229], he wrote as the "confirmed bishop elect of Troyes"[BB91, 242; GV01, 10]. Moreover, in the letter, which is in the Lirey church archives[BB91, 242; GV01, 11], and is the formal ratification by Bishop de Poitiers, instituting the collegiate church of Lirey[WI98, 278; WI10, 224], he wrote: "... we praise, ratify and approve ... a cult which is declared and reported to have been canonically and ritually prescribed ... we give our assent, our authority and our decision"[BB91, 242 WI98, 278; GV01, 11; OM10, 50; WI10, 224]. In Roman Catholic theology, a "cult" is devotion or veneration other than to God[CRW], so Henri can only be referring to the Shroud with approval because the Lirey church didn't have any other "cult"GV01, 11].

[2]"since the holy Gospel made no mention of any such imprint, while, if it had been true, it was quite unlikely that the holy Evangelists would have omitted to record it," This is an "argument from silence" fallacy (`the gospels don't mention an image on Jesus' Shroud, therefore this shroud with Jesus' image can't be Jesus' shroud'). The Apostle John specifically states, in his, the last, gospel written, that the Gospels don't contain everything about Jesus (Jn 21:25). There are many good reasons why the Gospels don't mention the Shroud having Jesus' image on it: • The Shroud isn't mentioned as being in Jesus' empty tomb (the Gospel of the Hebrews preserves a very early account that Jesus had taken the Shroud with him out of the tomb) when Peter and John ("the other disciple") entered it on early on the morning of Jesus' resurrection (Jn 20:3-8). And the Shroud is not mentioned elsewhere in the entire New Testament except immediately after Jesus' death on the cross (Mt 27:59; Mk 15:46; Lk 23:53) . • The image may not have been visible when the Gospels were written before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70[RJ76, 10ff. (Latent Image Theory)[SD89, 70]. • The early Christians were persecuted for their first three centuries by the more numerous and powerful Jews and Romans, who would have demanded they hand over the Shroud to destroy it if they publicly displayed it with its image as proof that Jesus had been raised from the dead[SD89, 70]. • It would lend credence to the Jewish religious leaders' false explanation why Jesus' tomb was empty, that the disciples had stolen Jesus' body (Mt 28:11-15) in its shroud. • It does not follow that, even if the disciples did publicly display the Shroud with Jesus' image on it, that it would convince Christianity's enemies that Jesus had risen from the dead. Non-Christians (and even Christians) today are not convinced by that. Even some Shroudies, like agnostic Thomas de Wesselow and presumably non-Christian Jew Barrie Schwortz, believe that the Shroud is Jesus' but not that it is evidence of his resurrection.

"[3]or that the fact should have remained hidden until the present time"[MP78, 30; CN88, 41; DR84, 24; OM10, 55-56; WI86, 11]. This is an "argument from ignorance" fallacy. (`I don't know if Jesus' Shroud has existed to the present time, therefore it hasn't'). And d'Arcis was

[Right (enlarge)[FHP]: The Entombment of Jesus in Jn 19:38-42 (upper) and the Resurrection of Jesus (lower) in Mk 16:1-6, where an angel is telling the three women at the empty tomb, "Jesus ... has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him" [GV01, 104; DT12, 178]. This is one of the four pen and ink drawings in the Pray Codex[BI69, 19; GV01, 104], which is dated 1192-95 but the drawings in it are likely to have originated in Constantinople before, or during, the reign of King Bela III of Hungary (r. 1172–96)[DT12, 178]. The images are claimed as one of the evidences against the radiocarbon 14 dating of the Shroud of Turin"[PCW]. There are at least "eight telling correspondences between the Shroud and the drawings on a [this] single page of the Pray Codex"[DT12, 180]. And by my count there are twelve - see 27May12].]

ignorant that there is evidence that the Shroud existed in Constantinople from 944 to 1204 (see Nicholas Mesarites "1201," Robert de Clari "1216," the 12th Century Madrid Skylitzes "944a" and the pre-1195 Pray Codex "1192-5"). And before that the Shroud, as the Image of Edessa "four-doubled" (tetradiplon), was in Edessa from 544 to 944 (see "544" and "943"). While d'Arcis couldn't have known about the Pray Codex because it was written in Old Hungarian and only discovered in 1770 (see "1770"), d'Arcis's actions show that he knew that the Shroud being co-exhibited in Lirey by Jeanne de Vergy had been in Constantinople in 1204. See 19Oct22 that in August 1389 a letter signed in Paris by King Charles VI ordered the bailli of Troyes to seize the Shroud at the Lirey church and bring it to d'Arcis so that he could relocate it in another church in Troyes[HT78, 98; SH81, 102; WI98, 280; WI10, 303]. This revealed d'Arcis' true motive, that he wanted the Shroud for Troyes Cathedral[AM00, 151; OM10, 58-59]. Indeed d'Arcis admitted in his memorandum that he was being accused of "acting through jealousy and cupidity and to obtain possession of the cloth for myself"[WI79, 269; WI98, 129). And d'Arcis motive for wanting the Shroud for Troyes Cathedral, and its pilgrims' income, was in 1389, the nave (central section) in 1389, of the unfinished Cathedral in Troyes collapsed and it took sixty years to complete the cathedral[AM00, 151]. If d'Arcis truly believed the Shroud was a painted fake, he wouldn't want it for another church in his diocese! Significantly, one of d'Arcis' Bishop of Troyes predecessors, Garnier de Traînel (r. 1193-1205) was with the Fourth Crusade at the Sack of Constantinople in 1204[CN95, 7; GDT; VP02, 56], and he was promised for Troyes Cathedral the relics from the Church of St. Mary of Blachernae, which included the Shroud[BA34, 54; CN95, 8; VP02, 56]. But Jeanne de Vergy's ancestor Othon IV de la Roche (c.1170-1234) took the Shroud instead[BA34, 54-55; RC99, 62-63; SD91, 198; SD98, 67] (see "1204b"). D'Arcis' extraordinary efforts to seize the Shroud from Lirey church and relocate it in Troyes Cathedral shows that he knew the history of the Shroud from Troyes Cathedral's archives[DK90, 10] and so his claim the Shroud was a painted forgery was a lie!

"[4]Eventually, after diligent inquiry and examination, he discovered the fraud" [WI79, 267; CN88, 41; GV01, 13; OM10, 55-56; SH81, 103]. There is no record that Bishop de Poitiers conducted an investigation into the authenticity of the Shroud[SH81, 103]. D'Arcis produced no such evidence in his memorandum to the Pope[SH81, 103]. D'Arcis does not give any details of the investigation[SH81, 103], including exactly when it occurred[BW57, 11], which would have been in Troyes' archives if there had been one[AM00, 152]. One of d'Arcis' successor at Troyes, Bishop Louis Raguier (r. 1450–83), maintained that the Shroud was genuine[SH81, 103-104].

"[5]and how the said cloth had been cunningly painted,"[WI79, 267; DR84, 24; MR86, 98; AM00, 151; OM10, 56]. But d'Arcis was wrong (and must have been lying since there wouldn't have been another shroud that Bishop de Poitiers investigated in c.1355), because in 1978 STURP proved conclusively that the Shroud image is not painted[MR86, 99; DR84, 26; TF06, 45]! Direct microscopic examination of the Shroud by STURP found no paint or pigment particles at 50X magnification[SH81, 81]. The yellowish color of the Shroud fibres did not saturate the cloth in any image area-even the darkest[SH81, 81]. Nowhere were the cloth fibres cemented together, as a paint or pigment would have done[SH81, 81]. There was no evidence for capillary flow of liquids through the cloth even on a microscopic level[SH81, 81]. But it had already been known since 1931 that the Shroudman's image was not painted. Then Roman Catholic prelate Arthur Stapylton Barnes (1861-1936), during the 1931 Exposition was, along with other experts, allowed to examine the Shroud at close range, with a magnifying glass[BA34, 11]. Barnes pointed out that, "The process of painting on a fabric at that time involved the deposit of solid particles of colouring matter upon the threads, so that these latter would become partially or entirely hidden"[BA34, 14]. But "in the case of the Shroud every thread is visible, and no trace of solid extraneous colouring matter can be detected even by microscopic examination"[BA34, 14]!

"[6]the truth being attested by the artist who had painted it,"[WI79, 267; DR84, 24; MR86, 98; CN88, 41; RC99, 65; GV01, 14]. Significantly d'Arcis did not give the name of the artist who he claimed painted the Shroud[BW57, 11; SH81, 103; AM00, 151; GV01, 14; WB06, 42; WR10, 7]. D'Arcis became Bishop of Troyes in 1377, so the artist could still have been alive then in the Troyes diocese, ~22 years after the 1355 exposition, or his name would be within living memory. For d'Arcis, a former lawyer, not to cite the name of the artist, in addition to the Shroudman's image not being a painting (see above), is further evidence that there was no artist and d'Arcis was lying, to discredit the Shroud, so he could get it for his Troyes Cathedral (see above)!

"[7]to wit, that it was a work of human skill and not miraculously wrought or bestowed"[WI79, 87, 203, 267; WI86, 11; WI91, 15; WI98, 195; OM10, 56; DT12, 15, 182]. D'Arcis did not cite any actual evidence that the Shroud was a painting[SH81, 103] (e.g. the paint had flaked off in some areas, paintbrush strokes could be seen on the cloth, the blood was red ochre powder, etc). Which there would have been if the Shroud was a painting.

"[8]Accordingly, after taking mature counsel with wise theologians and men of the law, seeing that he neither ought nor could allow the matter to pass, he began to institute formal proceedings against the said Dean and his accomplices in order to root out this false persuasion"[WI79, 267; GV01, 14]. D'arcis doesn't mention any documentary evidence of Bishop de Poitiers' investigation and there is none in Troyes' diocesan archives[HT78, 99].The then Dean of Lirey church was a Robert de Caillac[WI98, 126] but there is no record of any formal proceedings against him. It is significant that d'Arcis blamed each then current Dean for both the first, c.1355[WI79, 266], and the second, 1389[WI79, 267], expositions when clearly the then Lord of Lirey, Geoffroy I de Charny (c. 1300-56) and his son, Geoffroy II de Charny (1352-98), would have authorised each exposition.

"[9]They, seeing their wickedness discovered, hid away the said cloth so that the Ordinary [Bishop de Poitiers] could not find it, and they kept it hidden afterwards for thirty-four years or thereabouts down to the present year"[WI79, 267; SH81, 103; WI98, 126; GV01, 14; OM10, 56]. This shows that d'Arcis didn't know what happened to the Shroud and is making it up as he goes along! Obviously Jeanne de Vergy took the Shroud away with her from Lirey, following the death of her husband Geoffroy I de Charny in 1356, since the Shroud reappeared with her at Lirey ~33 years later in 1389. It is an absurd claim of d'Arcis that a succession of Deans (de Caillac died c.1358 and was succeeded by a Simon Fratris[WI98, 279], and the Dean in 1389 was a Nicole Martin[WI98, 120, 280-281; OM10, 55]) conspired to hide the Shroud from Bishop de Poitiers for ~34 years, especially since he died ~15 years later in 1370[CN95, 22]!

Further evidence that d'Arcis' claims about the Shroud in his memorandum are false include:
Bishop Henri de Poitiers (r. 1354–70) didn't have a problem with the Shroud [see 09May15; 11Jul16; 03Jul18; 14Jan19]. As we saw above, in 1356 which was after d'Arcis' claim that in c. 1355 de Poitiers had investigated and found the artist who had painted the Shroud, de Poitiers had written, "... we praise, ratify and approve" Lirey church's "cult" which can only have been veveration of the Shroud. Geoffroy II de Charny married Henri de Poitiers' niece, Marguerite de Poitiers (c. 1362-1418)[WI79, 205; BB91, 245; GV01, 12; WB06, 44]. While this was in c.1392, after Bishop Henri's death in 1370, Marguerite's father, Charles I de Poitiers (c. 1325–1410)[CD90, 44; CN95, 220], Henri's older brother, would never have consented to his daughter marrying into the de Charny family if he thought they had exhibited a painted forgery of Jesus' burial shroud[CD83, 32]. Geoffroy II de Charny and Marguerite de Poitiers had three children, all daughters: Marguerite (c. 1393-1460), Henriette (c. 1395-1460) and Jeanne (c. 1397-1406) de Charny[CN95, 220-221; DH83]. Their eldest child and heir, Marguerite de Charny (c. 1393-1460, in her will left her Lirey lands to her cousin and godchild, Antoine Guerry des Essarts (c. 1408-74)[WI79, 213; CN95, 40; OM10, 70-71; WI98, 283]. He was the son of Guillemette de Poitiers (c. 1370 -1450), who was one of four illegitimate children of Bishop Henri de Poitiers and his nun concubine Jeanne de Chenery (c. 1340-)[CN95, 22; WI98, 130]! A likely (if not the only) explanation of this is that when Geoffroy II died in 1398, his widow Marguerite went with her three young children to live with Guillemette de Poitiers.

• In 1357 twelve bishops at the Papal Court in Avignon granted indulgences to all who visited the church of St Mary at Lirey and its relics[WI79, 193; BB91, 244; WI98, 128; GV01, 12; OM10, 50]. This was only ~2 years after, according to d'Arcis, Bishop de Poitiers discovered the Lirey church was exhibiting a painted forgery of Jesus' burial shroud and the Dean had hidden it from Bishop de Poitiers!

• In conclusion, the d'Arcis memorandum is so at variance with the evidence of the close family relationships between the de Poitiers and de Charny families, that this likely would have been known by Pope Clement VII. As Robert of Geneva, he was appointed Bishop of Thérouanne, France in 1359[PCW], and would surely have heard of the first Shroud exposition in 1355. Also, as a former neighbour of Jeanne de Vergy and her second husband Aymon IV of Geneva, Pope Clement would have been told by Jeanne that her ancestor, Othon de la Roche had looted the Shroud during the 1204 Sack of Constantinople [see 16Feb15, 15Aug17, 03Jul18, 09Nov18]. As we saw above, the d'Arcis memorandum exists only as two unsigned, undated, unaddressed, drafts and there is no evidence that it was ever sent to Pope Clement. But it is on this tottering house of cards that, "the sceptics' case formally rests"!:

"It is this memorandum of Bishop d'Arcis that Chevalier called to the world's attention in 1900 and on which the sceptics' case formally rests"[DR84, 24].

1. This post is copyright. I grant permission to extract or quote from any part of it (but not the whole post), provided the extract or quote includes a reference citing my name, its title, its date, and a hyperlink back to this page. [return]

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IMD. "La Sindone di Torino: Il memoriale del vescovo Pierre d'Arcis del 1389," n.d.
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RTB. Reference(s) to be provided.
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SH81. Stevenson, K.E. & Habermas, G.R., 1981, "Verdict on the Shroud: Evidence for the Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ," Servant Books: Ann Arbor MI.
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VP02. Vignon, P., 1902, "The Shroud of Christ," University Books: New York NY, Reprinted, 1970.
WI79. Wilson, I., 1979, "The Shroud of Turin: The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?," [1978], Image Books: New York NY, Revised.
WI86. Wilson, I., 1986, "The Evidence of the Shroud," Guild Publishing: London.
WI91. Wilson, I., 1991, "Holy Faces, Secret Places: The Quest for Jesus' True Likeness," Doubleday: London.
WI98. Wilson, I., 1998, "The Blood and the Shroud: New Evidence that the World's Most Sacred Relic is Real," Simon & Schuster: New York NY.
WI10. Wilson, I., 2010, "The Shroud: The 2000-Year-Old Mystery Solved," Bantam Press: London.
WB06. Whiting, B., 2006, "The Shroud Story," Harbour Publishing: Strathfield NSW, Australia.
WR10. Wilcox, R.K., 2010, "The Truth About the Shroud of Turin: Solving the Mystery," [1977], Regnery: Washington DC.

Posted 8 November 2022. Updated 22 February 2023.