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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - A scientist is rejecting the 1988 hypothesis the Shroud of Turin is a medieval hoax, declaring it needs to be re-tested.
Tristan Casabianca, an independent French researcher, is speaking out in a new interview, saying that information into the 1988 investigation of the Shroud was suppressed and inaccessible to other scientists until 2017.
The effort to use radiocarbon dating was groundbreaking in the 1980s because it would be the first time such a highly esteemed religious relic underwent that type of investigation.
Scientists on the Shroud of Turin Research Project (STURP) began the process in 1984, working with Vatican officials to establish the protocols to ensure as thorough an investigation as possible.
Originally, six samples were supposed to have been examined by six different laboratories using two different methods. But at the last minute, only three laboratories were permitted: Oxford University, the University of Arizona and the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.
After the testing, scientists were gagged by the Vatican from revealing the result until there was further evaluation of the outcome of the investigation. But scientists from Oxford went to the press, claiming the Shroud was found to be a medieval forgery from between 1260–1390.
In 1989, the journal Nature declared "at least 95% confidence … that the linen of the Shroud of Turin is mediaeval."
Casabianca notes, "[F]or thirty years, researchers have asked the laboratories for raw data. These have always refused to provide them."
He submitted a legal request to the British Museum in 2017 and was granted access to the raw data researchers used. His team discovered what other scientists have been claiming ever since the 1988 test: that the carbon 14 testing was unreliable because the samples used were taken from one part of the cloth, a part where medieval nuns sewed patches into the Shroud after it was in a church fire.
"It is therefore impossible to conclude that the shroud of Turin dates from the Middle Ages," asserts Casabianca.
Newer scientific studies have shown the Shroud to be exactly from the time period Christian tradition has always claimed.
The Sudarium of Oviedo, long believed to be the "napkin" that was wrapped around Our Lord's head after His crucifixion and death, has been shown to have 120 "points of coincidence" with the Shroud, including the same AB blood type.
Researchers assert, "The only possible conclusion is that the Oviedo sudarium covered the same face as the Turin Shroud."
In April, Philip Ball, an editor for Nature in 1988, commented, "I have never seen persuasive evidence that the shroud comes from the time of Christ, and certainly don't think it is a supernatural phenomenon."
He adds, "But that's not to deny what a remarkable and perplexing item it is. If, as some claim, it is a medieval forgery — one of the many faux relics supplying a lucrative market that brought donations to a church in those days — it's still a profound puzzle."