Tags: shroud of turin | rare | appearance | pope francis

Shroud of Turin Back on Display; Pope Francis Scheduled to See Relic

Image: Shroud of Turin Back on Display; Pope Francis Scheduled to See Relic
In this April 10, 2010 file photo, a negative image of the Shroud of Turin, showing alleged image of the face of Jesus Christ, while on display in Turin, Italy. (Photomasi/Landov)

By    |   Monday, 20 Apr 2015 01:45 PM

The Shroud of Turin is once again on public display in Italy after a five-year hiatus.

One million people have already booked free showings of the cloth that some believe is the burial garb of Jesus Christ, BBC News reported. Pope Francis is scheduled to see the cloth, held in a climate-controlled case in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, when he visits Turin on June 21.

The Catholic Church has never officially accepted that Jesus Christ's body was wrapped in the shroud — skeptics point to carbon dating that suggests the cloth is from the 1300s, according to BBC News. The church, though, has chosen to focus more on what the shroud means to people who have seen it.

The cloth was discovered in Turkey during one of the crusades, and made its first-known appearance in 1355 in a chapel in Lirey near Troyes, France, National Public Radio reported. The shroud eventually ended up in Turin by the 16th century.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Pope John Paul II acknowledged the debate in 1998.

"Since it is not a matter of faith, the church has no specific competence to pronounce on these questions," Pope John Paul said at the time.

Archbishop of Turin Cesare Nosiglia said that the shroud still carries a lot of meaning to the people who have traveled to view it.

"What counts the most is that this shroud . . . reflects in a clear and precise manner how the gospels describe the passion and death of Jesus," Nosiglia said, per BBC News. "It is not a profession of faith because it is not an object of faith, nor of devotion, but it can help faith."

According to Nosiglia, many of the people who will see the shroud during the current viewing will be those who have seen it before.

"That means there is a fundamental need in people's hearts to renew this incredible experience that they had the first time they saw it," he continued. "Even non-believers will come. It's an occasion that brings everybody together."

The Shroud of Turin will remain on display through June 24.

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The Shroud of Turin is once again on public display in Italy after a five-year hiatus.
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Monday, 20 Apr 2015 01:45 PM
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