Monday, May 23

Shroud of Turin

While talking to a colleague about a show he watched on the Shroud of Turin, I thought it would make an interesting topic. I discovered the following website on the subject: which had a page on frequently asked questions: The 3rd question and answer brought up an interesting moral conundrum:

Q. 3) Didn't a forger confess to a bishop in the mid-1300s?
The actual details are that in 1389, Pierre d'Arcis, the Bishop of Troyes wrote a draft of a memorandum to the Avignon Pope Clement VII. The memorandum was never sent. The account is second hand. Pierre claimed that his predecessor, Bishop Henri de Poitiers of Troyes conducted an inquest in which a painter had confessed to painting the Shroud. The painter is unnamed. The inquest is not in the historical records. At least eight other documents of the period challenge the accuracy of the d'Arcis Memorandum.

If I were an acclaimed painter/forger living at that time who converted to christianity and believing that the shroud were the genuine article, then I might choose to lie (moral dilemma) and say that I had faked the shroud (not to deminish it's authenticity), but to try to get it out of the hands of a people who collect relics and artifacts for worship. The last thing the church needs is more icons and I would hope that I could get the shroud into the hands of true believers who would protect it as a symbol of the resurrection we christians all hope for in Christ.

So am skeptical even if the forger did confess since I know nothing about the forger's faith. And plenty of bishops have been lied to throughout the history of the Catholic church to protect true christian worship.

N'est-ce pas?

Wednesday, March 2

Political Morality

I suppose these days Politics and Morals are juxtaposed. How is it that the two could possibly co-exist? They co-exist in the fabric of fantasy or perhaps opportunity. Whatever is politically advantageous becomes a perceived reality.

At one time perhaps politics and morality were not mutually exclusive. When good people choose to avoid conflict by disengaging themselves from the political process then there is a breakdown in morals and ethics, because good ethics require good people to ensure their survival.

We live in a culture of fear that chains the hopes of the best among us to a poverty of inaction. Lesser people in more fearsome times have risen to the challenge and martyred themselves for self convictions - but only when those convictions were based on a purpose beyond their world.

Only G-d is able to pull us up beyond ourselves and choose convictions over comfort. This world of Blogs seems innocent and humble, but many have lost their lives en-scribing their thoughts in print. So perhaps I can manage to grasp the Hand of G-d and yours at the same time and He can pull us all up out of our easy chair to a seat of honor few can sit in.

There is a seat reserved in hallowed halls not for whisperers or backbiters, but for far superior beings with loud bellows of "repent", "take up your cross" and "encourage one another". When the sweat and the ilk is wiped from the garment of our own souls, then we can begin to clean the the filth off those around us so they can finally see the world around them without their tainted fecal goggles.

There is my brothers and sisters hope in a dying world. He is Jesus. Only by embracing Him can we begin the journey, and unfetter the shackles of the cruel correctness gestapo.

Let us be truthful in Love and not correct in complicitness.