Dating the turin shroud
New scientific tests on the Shroud of Turin, which went on display Saturday in a special TV appearance introduced by the Pope, dates the cloth to ancient times, challenging earlier experiments dating it only to the Middle Ages.
Pope Francis sent a special video message to the televised event in the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, which coincided with Holy Saturday, when Catholics mark the period between Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
The Vatican, tiptoeing carefully, has never claimed that the 14-foot linen cloth was, as some believers claim, used to cover Christ after he was taken from the cross 2,000 years ago.
Francis, reflecting that careful Vatican policy, on Saturday called the cloth, which is kept in a climate-controlled case, an "icon" -- not a relic.
The Pope provided the introduction for a TV appearance of the cloth on Holy Saturday.
New research claims that the cloth does in fact date from the era of Christ, disputing other tests dating it to the Middle Ages.
The Shroud of Turin, shown in 1979, is a 14-foot linen revered by some as the burial cloth of Jesus.But Cesare Nosiglia, the Archbishop of Turin and "pontifical custodian of the shroud," said the special display on Holy Saturday "means that it represents a very important testimony to the Passion and the resurrection of the Lord," The Telegraph reported.A new app, called Shroud 2,0, display images of "The Shroud of Turin" along with scientific and theological interpretations prepared with the Diocese of Turin and the International Center of Sindonologywhich is the scientific study of the shroud.The new examination dates the shroud to between 300 BC and 400 AD, which would put it in the era of Christ.
The burial shroud purports to show the imprint of the face and body of a bearded man.The image also purportedly shows nail wounds at the man's wrist and pinpricks around his brow, consistent with the "crown of thorns" mockingly pressed onto Christ at the time of his crucifixion.