Italy: An American Jew in favor of the authenticity of the Holy Shroud of Turin

Source: FSSPX News

Barrie Schwortz (on the right), in 1978.

The Holy Shroud is exceptionally exposed to the public from April 19 to June 24, 2015, in the cathedral of Turin. The rare expositions are held during jubilee years. Between expositions, this very fragile piece of cloth is preserved away from all light in an inert gas atmosphere. No exposition was planned before 2025, the Church’s jubilee year. But Pope Francis, who is to visit Turin on June 21 and 22 for the 200th anniversary of the birth of Don Bosco (see article: the Pope’s Visit to Turin), wished to pray before this sacred shroud. A million pilgrims are already expected.

For the occasion, an exact life-sized replica of the sacred cloth is to be presented in the Greek Catholic Ukrainian Church of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia, in the north east of the United States, every Wednesday and Saturday until June 29. The American Catholic press agency CNS explained on April 22 that this is the ninth replica to be officially recognized by the Vatican.

Also in the United States, the authenticity of the Holy Shroud, on which the Vatican has never wished to make a definitive statement, is still debated. Since April, the Catholic American website cruxnow has been publishing the antagonistic positions of several experts on the origin of the shroud. Among its fiercest defenders is Barrie Schwortz, and orthodox Jew from Los Angeles. A professional photographer, he was the head of documentary and scientific photography during the first research on the cloth in 1978. He declares that modern science is still incapable of explaining how the image was formed on the cloth. According to him, several factors prove its authenticity.

As a photographer, he considers that the image itself is the most convincing element. “It has properties that I have never seen in any other image,” he insists, recalling that in the last four decades, no one has been able to duplicate or create a print with the same chemical or physical properties.

He also reveals that the counterfeit artists of the Middle Ages were far from having the necessary knowledge to reproduce the anatomical elements revealed by the forensic study of the image, especially the blood flow, which corresponds perfectly with the anatomy and physiology of blood circulation and coagulation.

Barrie Schwortz ends by pointing out that the scientific debates will “probably never be resolved,” partly “because the research is biased by huge ideological implications.”

(sources: apic/cruxnow – DICI no.315 dated May 15, 2015)

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