Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Newnan church to host Shroud exhibit

Published October 20, 2016

NEWNAN—Shroud Encounter, a production of the Shroud of Turin Education Project, will be at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Newnan on Sunday, Nov. 13, at 7 p.m.

The church is located at 3 Village Road in Newnan.

Admission is free. A life-size replica of the Shroud of Turin will be on display.

International expert Russ Breault will present Shroud Encounter, a fast moving, big-screen experience using more than 200 images covering all aspects of shroud research.

Breault’s work was the subject of national documentaries on CBS, The History Channel and Discovery. He has presented at numerous colleges and universities, including Duke University, West Point, Johns Hopkins University, Pennsylvania State University and others.

The Shroud of Turin, the most analyzed artifact in the world, remains a mystery. The 14-foot linen cloth has been in Turin, Italy, for more than 400 years. The shroud bears the faint front and back image of a 5-foot, 10-inch, bearded, crucified man with apparent wounds and bloodstains that match the crucifixion account in the Bible. Millions of people over the centuries have believed it to be the burial shroud of Jesus.

The shroud’s historical trail tracks back from Italy to France and Asia Minor (Turkey). It may have originated in the Middle East, according to botanical evidence.

A team of scientists in 1981 concluded the shroud was not the work of an artist. They found no visible traces of paint, pigment, dye or other artistic substances on the cloth. The blood is type AB with human DNA as determined in 1995. Skeptics have mounted numerous attempts to show how a medieval artist could have produced the image, but none have been able to fully explain how it was formed. If the cloth indeed wrapped a corpse, there are no stains of body decomposition.

The shroud was largely dismissed in 1988 when three carbon dating labs indicated medieval origin. However, chemical research published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal in 2005 showed that a single sample cut from the outside corner edge may not have been part of the original material.

In violation of the sampling protocol, only one sample was used for dating and was cut from the most handled area of the cloth, an area that should have been avoided. The sample may have been part of a section that was repaired sometime during the Middle Ages. Many scientists now believe the carbon dating result is inconclusive. Adding more doubt to the carbon dating, new chemical and mechanical tests published by Italian scientists with Padua University indicate a date range of 280 BC to 220 AD.
National Geographic called the Shroud mystery “one of the most perplexing enigmas of modern times.” Shroud Encounter will cover all aspects of the history, science, art and theories of how the image may have been formed.

For more information, visit