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Pope all but authenticates the Turin Shroud

Pope Benedict XVI visited the Turin Shroud yesterday, and said the artifact was “written with the blood” of a crucified man.

During a visit to the Shroud in the northern Italian city of Turin, Benedict didn’t raise the scientific questions that surround the linen and whether it might be a medieval forgery. Instead, he delivered a powerful meditation on the faith that holds that the Shroud is indeed Christ’s burial cloth.

“This is a burial cloth that wrapped the remains of a crucified man in full correspondence with what the Gospels tell us of Jesus,” Benedict said. He said the relic โ€” one of the most important in Christianity โ€” should be seen as a photographic document of the “darkest mystery of faith” โ€” that of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection.

The 14-foot-long, 3.5-foot-wide (4.3-meter-long, 1 meter-wide) cloth has gone on public display for the first time since the 2000 Millennium celebrations and a subsequent 2002 restoration. Kept in a bulletproof, climate-controlled case in Turin’s cathedral, it has drawn nearly 2 million reservations from pilgrims and tourists eager to spend three to five minutes viewing it.

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