Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


OBJECTIONS TO THE BISHOPS WHO FOUND EVIDENCE THAT WHAT IS NOW THE TURIN SHROUD IS FAKE

Bishop Henry of Poitiers was enraged with the shroud veneration.   The bishop's problem was that the evidence was that the image was a fake and the artist who created it had been interviewed.  He banned it completely and got a confession from an artist as to how it was faked.  His problem was how pilgrims were being duped.  De Charney and the priests were accused of setting up and running this fraud.  Interestingly there is no mention of how the rich De Charney could well afford to commission an artist to give us a good fake shroud.

His successor Bishop Pierre d'Arcis reaffirmed his opposition to the shroud and made it his own too.  D'Arcis wanted the pope to ban the veneration.  He hoped that this would deal with the disobedience he and the previous bishop had encountered.  He too saw the veneration as a scam with which to fool pilgrims and get their money.  D'Arcis prepared documentation for the pope, Clement VII of Avignon, in order to get the buffoonery stopped. The D'Arcis Memorandum is the name of this document.

As it is evidence against the pet belief of many Catholics that the cloth in question was our Turin Shroud it gets attacked. 

OBJECTIONS TO THE D'ARCIS MEMORANDUM
 
OBJECTION: THE BISHOPS DID NOT SEE THE SHROUD
 
The Memorandum does not say if they did or didn't. It was not relevant. The bishops, whether they did or didn't, did not claim to be relic spotters. They left others to think about whether a relic was real or not.
 
If one or both did see the shroud it is possible that he or they felt so strongly about it because what he seen or they saw was a crude forgery.
 
OBJECTION: D'ARCIS WAS ONLY WRITING A DRAFT AND ITS FULL OF ATTEMPTED CORRECTIONS AND SO WAS NOT OFFICIAL OR FINAL AND THUS IS HEARSAY
 
Corrections do not necessarily mean hearsay. The bishop made the essential points without any trouble. The corrections are what you would expect. There are no lines in it that are struck out that make a difference to what he was trying to say.

People can and do keep drafts as copies of the official document. 
 
OBJECTION: THERE IS NO REASON TO THINK IT WAS SENT TO THE POPE WHICH MEANS IT COULD BE UNRELIABLE
 
The logic with this is that the bishop was making serious allegations of idolatrous fraud against DeCharney and the priests at Lirey so if he send the information to the pope and an investigation ensued and it was found he was making false accusations he would be defrocked and lose everything. Plus the devotion he was trying to destroy would only end up looking stronger.
 
He would face the wrath of the pilgrims and the priests and the wealthy pilgrims and the wrath of the law.
 
The consequences would be terrible yes. But if he were lying then he would not have written the memo at all. He would have found another way to quash the shrine to the shroud at Lirey. He would not have been writing to the pope - the person who could cause the worst possible scenario unless he was sure that what he declared was the truth. With the truth he had nothing to fear.
 
His actions are the actions of a man who held that it was very clear and indisputable that the cloth was inauthentic.
 
OBJECTION: WE HAVE ONLY D'ARCIS WORD FOR IT THAT BISHOP HENRY HAD THE SHROUD INVESTIGATED AND CAME TO A NEGATIVE CONCLUSION BUT D'ARCIS COULD HAVE BEEN LYING
 
Why would he lie?
 
Suppose the impossible is true and he really needed to lie about the cloth. He could have got his own team to investigate and bribed them to declare it a fraud but he did not. It would have been better than lying about a previous bishop and risking evidence or letters turning up that expose his lies.
 
Some say that D'Arcis lied that Henry was against the Lirey Shroud. Bishop Henry wrote a warm letter approving of the Lirey Church at the time D’Arcis said he was in the middle of a legal battle with it over the false Shroud. But people might praise the good things despite the bad. Maybe the matter had been temporarily settled. In 1357, a papal document gave blessings for people who worshipped in the Church. This does not imply there was no strife between Henry and the Shroud people for the Church had not decided what to make of the Shroud so getting a blessing for venerating it does not mean it was recognised.

Henry sought good relations but he battled the shroud for he knew its true origins.
 
The fact is that two Catholic bishops looked into the claims made for the Shroud roughly around the time it appeared and condemned it as a scandal and a fake. The silence in response to their accusations is deafening. The custodians of the Shroud though it gave them a bad name and lost them much revenue from pilgrims maintained what can only be thought of as a guilty silence. A bailiff, the Bailiff of Troyes made a report in 1389 that the shroud was a painting.
 
OBJECTION: ONE OR BOTH BISHOPS COULD HAVE BEEN LYING
 
The integrity of the two bishops, Henry and D'Arcis, is accepted by all even those who would like to dispute it such as Ian Wilson (page 99, The Turin Shroud). The popular belief among Shroud believers that the bishop was feuding with the clergy who had the shroud and fabricated a case that it was a forgery to spite them. That is pure speculation. There is no evidence that he would have done such a thing. Logic says he would have not for it risked the future of the shroud and he would be better off trying to get it for his own church.
 
The two bishops were accused by Wilson of wanting to smear the origin of the cloth because they wanted it for themselves to make money. This despite the fact that there is no reason to doubt their integrity as Wilson himself admitted before he found that saying that was not helping the case for the Shroud's authenticity. Wilson attempts to show that Henry would have done this and speculates that it was because his diocese had money troubles so he got jealous when he heard about a money making shrine being set up that he could not make any money out of (page 150, The Blood on the Shroud). But he was the bishop and could have got it for his cathedral or make a shrine out of Lirey that would have been of profit to him. You don’t fabricate evidence for inauthenticity for relics that you want for yourself for then they will be worthless if nobody accepts them. Wilson is just speculating and speculating improbably. He was the one that said in a previous book that the bishops were men of integrity. As always, believers in religion and the supernatural often resort to slander to give their lies and distortions some credibility.

Some say, "Fraud or not the bishops could still have made money out of the cloth if they wanted to.  The pope permitted veneration and that means money."  If the bishops were greedy then debunking the cloth was not going to help. 

OBJECTION: D'ARCIS WAS NOT USING BISHOP HENRY'S NOTES
 
Wilson says that the information from Henry was not taken from Henry’s memos by D’Arcis for D’Arcis tells the pope that the dispute between Henry and the Shroud people took place thirty-four years previously or thereabouts (The Blood and the Shroud, page 149). The exact date wasn’t important in the letter – it was only a letter not a legal statement. Wilson wants to see D’Arcis as less than reliable for he could not come up with the exact date. Since Henry’s documents would have been dated it is supposed D’Arcis would have got the exact date if he had had them on the table. But the bishop would have taken notes from the original and it is they that matter and not the date or having the original before him. The letter only says that the bishop was proved right in court that the Shroud was a fake and then that the Shroud was hidden for thirty-four years or thereabouts. The bishop could have had a document giving the date of the court decision but that does not mean the Shroud was hidden that very day or even year. There could have been an attempt to appeal and when that failed and when the bishop made his final threat to confiscate the Shroud, the Shroud was hidden. Perhaps the Shroud was not hidden until the following year for it was safely out of Lirey for a while. Bishop Henry might not have written down the exact date of the Shroud’s disappearance for he did not need to. What Wilson sees to be insinuated in the thereabouts is not there at all. He is incorrect for the bishop gives many details showing he must have had his precursor’s paper or excerpts from it in front of him.
 
OBJECTION: D'ARCIS MAY HAVE LIED THAT THE SHROUD WAS FOUND TO BE FRAUDULENT AND THAT THE ARTIST WAS FOUND
 
This objection is based on two assumptions, that the Turin Shroud is the Lirey Shroud and that the Turin Shroud is not a painting.
 
The D'Arcis Memo says that Henry the bishop did not learn it was a painting until he found the painter for it says he discovered it was all a hoax after an investigation when the forger confessed. So whatever was at Lirey may not have looked like an obvious painting. The Turin Shroud does not look like an obvious painting either. Were they same? Probably. Possibly.
 
If the Shroud of Lirey were an obvious painting then it means it was not the Turin Shroud and there is no evidence that the latter was known of in the 1300's.
 
If the Shroud of Lirey over time changed a lot and became less like a painting it could be the Turin Shroud.
 
Even if some image did not look like a painting and you were told it was, you would not question that. Paintings come in all kinds.
 
If some image was a painting and you were told it was not, you would not think it was a painting unless it was very obviously painted.
 
Nobody can say that it was thought to be a painting before that artist was spoken to. If you saw today's Turin Shroud and were told it was a painting you would believe them. Most people would. It is wrong to say, "The image does not look like a typical painting so nobody would think it was a painting." You might think nobody would call the Turin Shroud image a painting for it is so vague and you can’t see brush marks. But why not? Not all painting needs to be that obvious!
 
If it was a too obviously a painting then it probably could not be the Turin Shroud.  But you never know.
 
Whatever one may think about the image of Jesus on the Turin cloth, the blood definitely looks like a very subtle painting.
 
You get brush marks with paint but only if you use the typical brushes. Or if paint contains some surprising ingredients and takes ages to dry there might be no trace of brush marks. So don’t see a miracle in the absence of brush marks like the Shroudies do. Remember too that the cloth is very coarse so brush marks made in paint with a very fine brush would be unnoticeable plus the paint would have to have disintegrated and come off a good bit too over the years meaning the brush marks, if any, would be impossible to make out. It is not even important with regard to the question of whether or to the image is fake. But it serves Shroudies well to exaggerate its importance.  If there are marks the Shroudies will happily imagine they are something else maybe dessication or damage.
 
The lack of outlining and brush marks could have been the reason the bishops clearly stated that it was more than just painted but cunningly painted by trickery.
 
They said it was cunningly painted meaning it didn't look like a normal picture.

A painting not done with normal paints is still a painting and body fluids could have been used to make the image.
 
The bishop’s letter says the artist showed Henry how it was done. The Shroud didn’t look like a normal painting. Some strange technique was deployed that had to be demonstrated to the bishop. So far it could sound like our Turin Shroud. The picture was a strange one and the bishop had to see how it was done. If it was the Turin Shroud then this artist forged it. It is evidence that people were interested in using strange methods to produce such images. If we don’t already know how it was made, we might never know now after all this time. The image surely would have chemically changed through the long centuries since.
 
The Church had enough relics of the cross to build ships in the days of the Lirey Shroud. Dishonesty was rife and a lot of money could be made from fake relics.  If the Lirey Shroud was the Turin Shroud which looks convincing and mysterious at first glance and to simple people, it is unthinkable that the Church would have rejected it and tried to discredit it. This shows that the Church couldn’t deny that the artist made it and it was too well known that he did. The Church made relics out of less mysterious objects so the Church knew that the Shroud was not a mystery. The bishop even knew how the image was made.
 
Pity he didn't record how ...
 
OBJECTION: THEY COULD HAVE MEANT A DIFFERENT SHROUD - THE LIREY SHROUD MAY NOT HAVE BEEN OUR TURIN SHROUD
 
If the Lirey Shroud was the Turin Shroud then the people who would have known knew that it was a fake. The Memorandum tells us that. If it is not the Turin Shroud then that did not exist in those days and must be a forgery substituted for the Lirey Shroud.
 
Believers prefer to think the Lirey Shroud is the Turin Shroud for they cannot bear to think that such a precious relic could be accompanied by so much silence through the centuries. It makes it too difficult to link the Shroud with Christ.  
 
OBJECTION: THE LIREY SHROUD WAS NOT A FORGERY BUT A COPY OF THE TURIN SHROUD
 
Bishop Henry of Poitiers commanded that veneration of the Shroud at Lirey stop.
 
The clergy facilitating the veneration made an interesting response.
 
Wilson tells us, “And while they were describing it only as a likeness, the canons were making it known privately that it was the actual Shroud in which Christ had been wrapped in the tomb, a claim that was attracting multitudes of pilgrims” (page 97, The Turin Shroud).
 
The people displaying the Shroud in the Church said in public that it was not real but said it was real in private. Yet they let its alleged authenticity be broadcast all over. This tells us that they knew it was a fake and said so but when they found they could say it was real and get away with it they confided in all the indiscreet gossips they could find. This was to make it look like as if they believed all along, to strengthen the pro-authenticity case.
 
Honest weren't they? They were just the kind of people who would get an artist to forge for them.
 
Henry's successor as bishop, D'Arcis took the same line as Henry.
 
Back to the letter from Bishop D’Arcis. The letter could be saying that the Shroud of Lirey was painted or copied, the Latin can mean either (The Turin Shroud, page 98). But when you look at how the clergy were saying it was the real cloth and no other cloth was mentioned or known of painted is probably the best understanding.

Ian Wilson hopes that if the Lirey Shroud was not the Turin Shroud then it still proves that the real Shroud existed and was not the fake the painter made – he hopes it was a copy of what is now the Turin Shroud. That is a pathetic and far-fetched hope.
 
Anyway the context of the D'Arcis letter makes it plain that he believes the true Shroud was lost in the first century for its preservation was not mentioned in the New Testament: “for the holy Gospel made no mention of any such imprint” (page 307, The Turin Shroud). Painted and not copied is the translation implied by the context. Nobody would set up a copy with which to deceive the people when the original was available.
 
Wilson now tries to say the Lirey Shroud was a forgery and was not the Turin one. He would be better off saying it was the Turin one for then at least he could say it existed at that time but was ridiculed.