Shroud Of Turin Is Not A 'Clever Medieval Fake,' Will Make First TV Appearance In 40 Years

on March 29 2013 10:09 AM

Pope Benedict XVI left an Easter parting gift to Catholics.

In one of his final acts before resigning, he signed off on a 90-minute broadcast that will display the Shroud of Turin -- the first time in 40 years -- on Saturday, the Guardian reports.

"It will be a message of intense spiritual scope, charged with positivity, which will help [people] never to lose hope," Cesare Nosiglia, the archbishop of Turin, who also holds the title "pontifical custodian of the shroud," told the news outlet about the special broadcast.

Many Catholics believe the Shroud of Turin, a 14-foot linen cloth with what appears to be an imprint of a man’s bearded face, was used to bury Christ after crucifixion.

The TV appearance comes on the heels of a recent experiment conducted at the University of Padua that used infrared light and spectroscopy to conclude that the shroud dates back to 300 B.C. and 400 A.D., the Telegraph reports. The results affirm the authenticity of the shroud, which some hold as a "clever medieval fake."

A carbon-dating test performed on the cloth in 1988 suggested the relic dated from 1260 to 1390, BBC reports. Since then, the test has been contested for using a sample that was woven into the fabric at a later date to repair fire damage. 

The Vatican doesn’t hold an official stance on the shroud, but the former pope was a fan.

In his book, “The Spirit of the Liturgy,” he wrote that the shroud was a “truly mysterious image, which no human artistry was capable of producing.” Seeing the relic as an image of faith, he added, “at last could the true face of the Lord, hitherto hidden, be seen and thus the promise fulfilled.”

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