Andrea Tornielli has been mentioned in WWW before as one of the preeminent Vaticanistas (Vatican watchers). It is rumored that the "Pope Emeritus", as they want us to call Benedict XVI, used to turn to Sr Tornielli's "Vatican Insider" blog to make sure he was getting the straight goods from the Great Prevaricator (Cardinal Bertone).
Sr Tornielli's column of March 26th has an extremely interesting report on the results of fresh experiments on the Shroud of Turin, conducted at the University of Padua. The latest tests confirm that the Shroud does indeed date back to the 1st Century A.D. -- the time of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This makes its compatible with Catholic tradition, which holds that the cloth with the image of the crucified man imprinted on it is the very one Jesus' body was wrapped in when he was taken down from the cross.
The study was made by Giulio Fanti, a professor of mechanical and thermal measurement, who cooperated with Saverio Gaeta to produce a new book, Il Mistero della Sindone ("The Mystery of the Shroud"), which cites the evidence of the new tests, conducted on fibres taken from the Shroud.
Further testing was required because some years ago a different group of researchers, after making Carbon-14 tests, claimed that the cloth was manufactured in medieval times. It now appears that the fibres tested previously were taken from a part of the Shroud that had been repaired following a fire around the 13th century. But the medieval dating was at odds with the style of painting used by artists of that period. Moreover, analysis of the "paint" itself failed to match any pigments or dyes known at that time or this.
The research conducted more recently included three new tests, two chemical ones and one mechanical one. The average dating of the three tests is 33 BC ±250 years -- 95% certain and 100% compatible with the historic date of Jesus' death on the cross.
Click here for more details of this and other stories on the Shroud of Turin. And -- believe it or not -- there’s an app for that! It’s called "Sindone 2.0" and you can get a free preview (in Italian) of the app in operation by viewing the video clip in this article from Oggi.