Real or phony? Replica of Shroud of Turin on display at two parishes

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For centuries, the Shroud of Turin has intrigued Christians who believe it to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ.

The faithful will have several upcoming opportunities to venerate a replica of the Shroud of Turin on display at two parishes in the Diocese of Phoenix and learn about the mysterious cloth.

In 1978, a team of 24 scientists examined the shroud for five days. They released a statement in 1981 that declared, “We can conclude for now that the shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist. The blood stains are composed of hemoglobin and also give a positive test for serum albumin.”

A carbon dating test performed in 1988, however, revealed fibers from the cloth dated from the around the 13th century. Those who insist in the veracity of the shroud say that the carbon dating tests were performed on a portion of the cloth that was rewoven during the Middle Ages and are therefore misleading.

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Shroud encounters

7 p.m. March 29-April 3 at St. Maria Goretti Parish in Scottsdale. Presentation has a different theme each day beginning with physical evidence, historical and biblical background, events of Holy Week. Series repeats beginning April 1.
Info: (480) 948-8380.

2 p.m. March 29 at St. Steven Parish in Sun Lakes. Presentation by Russ Breault, an international expert on the shroud, who takes audiences through a big-screen like adventure.
Info: (480) 895-9266.

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International researcher and lecturer Russ Breault has been studying the shroud for over 25 years and founded the Shroud of Turin Education Project. Breault will present “The Shroud Encounter” at 2 p.m. March 29 at St. Steven Parish in Sun Lakes. Admission to the event is $10 with proceeds supporting the building of the parish’s new sanctuary.

At St. Maria Goretti Parish in Scottsdale, a replica of the shroud will be available for veneration March 29-April 3.

Greg Biltz, a Catholic who was instructed in the Jewish faith and traditions by a rabbi, will present a series of talks on the shroud as well as the historical and biblical background of Holy Week. Not only that, he’ll explain why this year’s Holy Week and Easter fall on particularly significant dates.

“For the first time since 1863, Good Friday falls on April 3: the actual day Jesus died on the cross and the Jews will be celebrating Passover Preparation Day as they were on the day Jesus died,” Biltz said.