Has the Mormon Church said anything regarding the Shroud of Turin?
Louise, from Salt Lake City, Utah
P.S. The shroud of Turin is known to have come from the 14th century. Here is a definitive article on the results of research which was conducted at the McCrone Research Institute establishing that fact.
According to Dr. Walter McCrone and his colleagues, the 3+ by 14+ foot cloth depicting Christ’s crucified body is an inspired painting produced by a Medieval artist just before its first appearance in recorded history in 1356. The faint sepia image is made up of billions of submicron pigment particles (red ochre and vermilion) in a collagen tempera medium. Dr. McCrone determined this by polarized light microscopy in 1979. This included careful inspection of thousands of linen fibers from 32 different areas. Characterization of the only colored image-forming particles by color, refractive indices, polarized light microscopy, size, shape, and microchemical tests for iron, mercury, and body fluids. The paint pigments were dispersed in a collagen tempera (produced in medieval times, perhaps, from parchment). It is chemically distinctly different in composition from blood but readily detected and identified microscopically by microchemical staining reactions. Forensic tests for blood were uniformly negative on fibers from the blood-image tapes.
There is no blood in any image area, only red ochre and vermilion in a collagen tempera medium. The red ochre is present on 20 of both body- and blood-image tapes; the vermilion only on 11 blood-image tapes. Both pigments are absent on the 12 non-image tape fibers.
In 1980, using electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction, McCrone found red ochre (iron oxide, hematite) and vermilion (mercuric sulfide); their electron microprobe analyzer found iron, mercury, and sulfur on a dozen of the blood-image area samples. The results fully confirmed Dr. McCrone’s results and further proved the image was painted twice-once with red ochre, followed by vermilion to enhance the blood-image areas.
The carbon-dating results from three different internationally known laboratories agreed well with his date: 1355 by microscopy and 1325 by C-14 dating. The suggestion that the 1532 Chambery fire changed the date of the cloth is ludicrous. Samples for C-dating are routinely and completely burned to CO2 as part of a well-tested purification procedure. The suggestions that modern biological contaminants were sufficient to modernize the date are also ridiculous. A weight of 20th century carbon equaling nearly two times the weight of the Shroud carbon itself would be required to change a 1st century date to the 14th century Besides this, the linen cloth samples were very carefully cleaned before analysis at each of the C-dating laboratories.
Experimental details on the tests carried out by McCrone are available in five papers published in three different peer-reviewed journal articles: Microscope 1980, 28, 105, 115; 1981, 29, 19; Wiener Berichte uber Naturwissenschaft in der Kunst 1987/1988, 4/5, 50 and Acc. Chem. Res. 1990, 23, 77-83.
The “Shroud” is a beautiful painting created about 1355 for a new church in need of a pilgrim-attracting relic.