TURIN SHROUD AND ST. RAPHAEL’S CHURCH
The paper was based on a talk given at St. Raphael’s Church, Surbiton on the evening of Palm Sunday, 14 April 2019. Two documents, in the Italian language, both of which were apparently issued by Turin Cathedral in July 1874, were found in the archives of the Church. To each was attached a piece of cloth, stated to be silk, that was cut from the covering of the Shroud of Jesus Christ, also known as the Turin Shroud. Research on the Turin Shroud and the documents from the Church included exploration of the historical background and the results of various scientific investigations on the Shroud, including anatomical studies and the now-questioned radiocarbon dating results published in 1989. Christian beliefs about the Shroud also were explored. It was concluded that while there was no reason to doubt that the pieces of cloth attached to the documents had been in contact with the Turin Shroud, doubt remained whether it was the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ. However, there was a scientific consensus that the image of the Shroud accorded very well with the description of the Passion of Christ as recorded in the Gospels and lay people could see this for themselves by looking at the various negative photographic images available. Therefore, the Turin Shroud and reproductions of it provided a very sound focus for meditation on the Passion, especially during Holy Week.
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