Shroud of Turin ‘mirrors’ human suffering: pope

Yes, here we have yet another of those fantasies devout Christians believe in, the Shroud of Turin; supposedly used to wrap the body of Jesus Christ during burial. By the way, carbon dating of this cloth showed that it dated back to the Middle Ages, a few centuries ago. Obviously, being that Jesus wasn’t around during the Middle Ages the Christians didn’t agree with the results of the test. Similar in nature to Noah’s Ark, which was just recently “discovered” by ‘evangelical archeologists,’ the Shroud of Turin will be “proven” to date back to Jesus’ time. Trust me on this. It’s like the Virgin Mary sightings; don’t tell a Christian she doesn’t reveal herself from time to time. As the saying goes: A believer is like a blind person in a dark room searching for a black cat which isn’t there – and finding it!

And yet again I must state the obvious: the Pope really should get rid of that funny-looking hat! TGO

Refer to story below. Source: Associated Press

by Gina Doggett Gina Doggett

TURIN, Italy (AFP) – Throngs of pilgrims filled Turin’s Piazza San Carlo on Sunday as Pope Benedict XVI celebrated mass before visiting the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ.

“The Holy Shroud eloquently reminds us always” of Jesus’ suffering, the pope said in his homily of one of the most revered objects in Christendom and also one of the most disputed.

The mysterious linen, which shows a man’s body and face many believe to be of Jesus, “mirrors our suffering in the suffering of Christ,” said the pontiff near the cathedral housing the shroud.

The 83-year-old pope, beset in recent months by the paedophile priest scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church in Europe and the Americas, later prayed to the Virgin Mary to “watch over pastors… so that they be the ‘salt and light’ (of the earth) in the midst of society.”

The Roman Catholic Church has never pronounced on the authenticity of the Turin Shroud, which was discovered in the French city of Troyes, southeast of Paris, in the mid-14th century.

Members of the royal Savoy family — prince Victor Emmanuel, his wife Marina Doria and son Emmanuele Filiberto — were among the guests at the mass.

The shroud came into the possession of the Savoys in 15th century, and they moved it to Turin in 1578.

The monarchy that ruled Italy until the end of World War II finally bequeathed the shroud to the Holy See in 1983.

The cloth became an overnight international sensation in 1898 after amateur photographer Secondo Pia obtained a negative image with far more striking features than those of the natural, sepia-coloured positive.

No one has come up with a scientific explanation for the image, and no one has managed to replicate it.

Radiocarbon dating analysis in 1988 determined that the fibres in the cloth date from the Middle Ages, sometime between 1260 and 1390, but those findings have in turn been challenged with suggestions the samples were contaminated.

Some two million people are expected to view the shroud over six weeks that began on April 10 in this northern Italian city.

The showing is the first in a decade and the first since the shroud was painstakingly restored in 2002, with the removal of patches and a backing cloth that were added after a fire damaged it in 1532.

New technologies have offered ever new ways to analyse the shroud, which measures 4.4 by 1.1 metres (14.3 by 3.7 feet).

Able to study the back of the shroud after the restoration of 2002, Italian scientists in 2004 discovered a second, even fainter image.

The front and back images are not identical, leading them to rule out that the back image was created by paint or any other substance soaking through the linen.

Digital photography, meanwhile, has made possible an extremely high-definition look at the linen.

A Turin studio, using a cutting-edge digital camera and oblique lighting, produced a photograph of 39 million pixels, reportedly showing new aspects of the face, nape and wound in the chest.

And a new radiocarbon dating method was unveiled this year that may lay to rest the crucial question of the shroud’s age. The new process does not require samples but instead exposes the object to an electrically charged gas.

Turin, the Piedmont capital and home to the Fiat auto giant, has made extensive preparations to handle the onslaught of visitors through May 23, especially in security and crowd control.

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