The Shroud of Turin: What's Your Opinion?


Thank you both for the replies.

This is indeed a point that reason holds up as anomalous.

Sir, are you saying that it is the C14 dating that is the main evidence pointing to the Shroud as a fake? Or are you saying rather that there is zero evidence indicating it is a fake?


The British Museum’s interpretation of the Shroud’s C-14 data together with the Shroud’s unprovenanced appearance in 1357 are what skeptics such as Joe Nickell cite as the irrefutable reasons for the Shroud being a medieval creation.
I think that I have already expressed my opinion as to exactly how much evidence actually exists that the Shroud of Turin is such a creation.


Ok, I think it is reasonably safe to conclude the following:

The C14 dating is the largest issue (but not the only issue) facing the authenticists. This matches my anecdotal experience with friends, family and colleagues (pretty much all secular) who when asked about the Shroud state either, “what’s the Shroud?” or for the older people “science has proved its a fake, it is irrelevant” (referring to the C14 dating).

The uniqueness problem is one of the largest (if not the largest) issue facing the sceptics. Nothing in this world is truly unique, so if something is…

Enough doubt has been cast on the C14 dating with new data to bolster its authenticity becoming available that my own position (as stated) is that I think it is authentic based upon the balance of probabilities.

In order to change people to believe in authenticity or that it is a fake to the test of beyond reasonable doubt, more concrete information needs to be available.

To that end, my next question to Mr Farey and undead_rat is the following:

If you were both (separately) given practically unlimited access with an unlimited budget with only 1 condition that you cannot damage the Shroud in any way (my Opus Dei hit team will monitor very closely), what test(s) would you and your crack team conduct to bring reasonable people to believe beyond reasonable doubt your side of the argument?

I apologise for the personalising of these questions, of course anybody can answer, but the leading protagonists seem to be the right people to answer the questions quickly.


Mark Antonacci has postulated that new C-14 testing would show even younger dates that the youngest so far of 1448. He thinks that, for every inch that a Shroud sample becomes closer to the Image, its C-14 date will become younger by about 100 years until impossible future dates are recorded. That’s quite a prediction.

I have already stated my own thoughts on this subject. My opinion is that Pia’s 1898 photo showed that the Shroud is the burial cloth of Jesus, and that all subsequent findings and data must be seen as corollaries to that proof. The STURP investigation supported Pia’s evidence. One thing was lacking and that was proof that the Shroud’s Image was formed by a miraculous event. The evidence was provided by the 1988 carbon fourteen dating which would have only been indicative of a date if it had shown an age of 2000 years. Since it did not, and since (in my opinion) the Shroud had already been proved to be authentic, the 1988 C-14 data must be regarded as indicating an event rather than a date. That event, of course, was the vanishing of our Lord’s corpse from this world into another dimension.

So, in answer to your question, my opinion is that no further testing is needed. It’s a done deal, just as much as the belief that our solar system is heliocentric.


Indeed it is, before anybody else jumps on your post it does seem obvious that the prediction would need to be demonstrated by new comprehensive C-14 testing. This would be a clear way to move to the test of beyond reasonable doubt assuming the hypothesis was demonstrated by new tests.

In addition, since 1978, scientific tests and instruments have only gotten more accurate and comprehensive, not less. A new STURP 2020 would surely reinforce one side of the argument or the other.

Let us see how Mr Farey answers before I finish my series of questions!


Indeed, let us see.


The best ‘find’ for me would a record in some European archive of an Easter Sepulchre (of which there are countless) holding a life-size figure of Christ (of which there are a few), wrapped in a cloth with an image of the figure on it (currently none). I do not know if any such thing still exists, but I believe that it certainly used to, and would spend quite a lot of my research grant looking through the archives of convents, monasteries, and churches to see if there is any reference to it.
As for the Shroud itself, then a better organised and more transparent radiocarbon test from a place selected by an ardent authenicist would obviously be good, and sufficient scrapings of ‘blood’ to see if it can be characterised to the sartisfaction of non-authenticists as well as authenticists. I think the nature of the image can probably be detected by comprehensive close up photography using light and UV.
Some of this may have been done already, but the results retained unpublished.


Thank you both (Mr Farey and undead_rat) for your time in answering, I take the responses to indicate what most reasonable people would conclude that a new series of tests using the latest technologies, and in particular new dating tests to prove/disprove the various hypotheses, are the surest way to confirm either sides position.

My final question for now is again a general question called Schrodinger’s Shroud:

undead_rat, you were sacked as lead of STURP 2020 and replaced by myself who led the most intensive series of scientific tests on any historical object that has ever been conducted. It was an unmitigated success! Not only was Antonacci’s theory proved beyond reasonable doubt, but the latest tests utilising AI produced corroboration not only of a 1st century AD provenance, but indicate that the image was produced using an amount of energy impossible for 21st century man to reproduce, let alone Roman, i.e. prima facie evidence of a miracle.

Mr Farey, congratulations! you led your team to the definitive proof of a medieval date of 1300 using the very latest dating techniques. On top of that, you also make the discovery of your career, a 13th century manuscript called “How I made the Shroud and why” by Giuseppe Bloggs, a lesser known Italian artist. Even better, using the latest scientific instruments you find his signature on the back of the Shroud dated 1291 and a Latin phrase translated as “I bet they take ages to work out how I made this!”

My question to you gentlemen and any other contributors is - So what?
given the above scenarios, all of your dreams come true, what are the short and medium term consequences on:

  1. main stream media - what is their reaction?
  2. The Catholic Church - what is the Pope’s reaction?
  3. the majority secular people in the west?
  4. the Catholic faithful?

thank you in advance.


I have read a lot of this thread (not all of it) so I apologize if this question has been asked previously. But, if the Shroud were indeed the work of an artist, are there any theories on who the artist was? Would someone have really been such a “one hit wonder” as to produce something as elaborate as the Shroud but nothing else? Or to remain anonymous, not taking credit for it despite the presumed popularity of it? Thank you.


It’s my belief that the Shroud will never again be scientifically tested.
1, It is now the property of the Bishop of Rome, and, having been burned once by the crime of false witness that was committed by the British Museum, the Church’s leaders are not again going to subject the most sacred Christian relic in the world to abuse by an atheist head of a C-14 dating lab.
2. Ominous predictions are in the wind concerning our Popes and the Church in general. It is entirely possible that the Shroud will be destroyed by para-military forces that hate the Church. I am speaking of the visions of Pope St. Pius X together with the 112th phrase that was published in 1595. Number 112 is the only complete sentence in the entire list of 113, a fact which may signify the completion of S.R.E.


You’re referring to the prophecies of St. Malachy?

What is ‘S.R.E’ an abbreviation of?


Sir, you have answered a different question… Given that I want make a conclusion after the answers I will try to answer for you.

The Shroud is proved to be authentic beyond reasonable doubt scenario:

The MSM is likely to go into overdrive on a global basis. Sceptics and atheists across the world would have the biggest challenge to their beliefs and lifestyles in living memory, in the MSM all hell would break loose. Literally.

The RCC and Pope would surely use the Shroud in a prominent way to spread its core message, belief in Christ and repentance.

The faithful would be re-energised, in a similar way as to the when St JPII did his global trips.

The secular west would be given a test based upon their own formula of “science has to prove it before I believe it”. We can speculate on what would happen, but it is clear there would be no escaping the choice people would have to make, reject even what science is indicating is true and carry on regardless, or take a very different path…

If anybody thinks the above is not likely to be the consequences of science proving the Shroud to be authentic, of course please say.

I look forward to reading what the alternative scenario would likely entail.


Love it. But it will all turn out to be a damp squib. It wouldn’t reach the front pages of national newspapers. Headlines such as “Turin Shroud a fake - again” will be typical, although no doubt there will be some interest in the artist and his method in more specialist journals. The Catholic Church will say that as it has never endorsed the Shroud as genuine, and already accepted, albeit provisionally, that it wasn’t, the new information does not change anything at all. The See of Turin might formally realise that the Shroud in fact belongs to the Italian Government after all, who will henceforward be responsible (especially financially) for its upkeep and exhibition. Hardly any secular people will notice, and those who do will say that nothing surprising has occurred at all. A few ‘rabid atheists’ will delight in claiming that Christianity has been comprehensively discredited, but nobody will listen to them. The Catholic faithful will carry on carrying on. Undead-rat will claim that the whole thing has been fixed by the Baha’i, who have smuggled the real Shroud to Arizona, were it is buried somewhere on the set of the Moon Landings, under the custodianship of the elderly Elvis Presley.


You seem to be conveniently missing my point. The Shroud may or may not be authentic. My point is you cannot state that it is authentic as a fact!! It is simply YOUR OPINION!


My OPINION is that the earth is not the center of the solar system. Others have a different viewpoint which they take quite seriously.


There have been a few other proven miracles that the media stays silent on and that people just do not pay attention to.
Proving the shroud authentic would illicit a similar response.


Sancta Romana Ecclesia (It’s a Latin title, quite well known.)
( I never refer to the Prophecy of St. Malachy as it is currently being censored as an “unapproved private revelation.” Referring to this prophecy, especially in a positive manner, earns one a suspension, or worse.)


Oh end time stuff?


The shroud is a miracle. How? Nobody can say with confidence how it was ‘made’. Who was the ‘artist’. It is unique.

I see it and i see Jesus. I see the suffering. I see a ‘REAL’ person. I dont see a painting!

Science had a go at examining it but failed in explaining it.

Jesus left it for us.


The “DOCTRINE OF ADDAI THE APOSTLE” is a work that was excluded from the western Church by Pope Gelasius VI. It contains some interesting perspectives. King Abgar of Edessa sent a delegation to contemporary king of a nearby city, and that delegation subsequently “headed towards Jerusalem; and they saw many people, who came from far away to see Christ, because the eminence of His great deeds had traveled to the remotest of lands.” After Hanan returned and reported to King Abgar, that King “wrote an epistle and sent it to Christ by the hand of Hanan, the keeper of the archives” in which he requested Jesus to come to Edessa and heal him and also invited Jesus to reside in Edessa under his protection. Jesus wrote back, “I will send to you one of my disciples, and he will cure the disease which you have . . .Your city shall be blessed, and no enemy shall ever triumph over it again.”
“…Hanan . … since he was also the kings’ painter, . . began to paint a portrait of Jesus with a variety of paints, and brought it with him to King Abgar, his master. . . .King Abgar placed it with great honor in one of his palace’s compounds.”

This work goes one to explain how the Apostle Thomas sent “Addai the Apostle, who was one of of seventy-two apostles” to Edessa, and how Addai healed King Abgar and established Christianity there. No mention is made of any image of Jesus being presented to the King Abgar, and that part of this work is not consistent with the other legends of how an image of Jesus came to reside in Edessa. Nonetheless I find that this booklet is worthwhile reading.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit