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?