According to The Telegraph...
'The scientists set out to "identify the physical and chemical processes capable of generating a colour similar to that of the image on the Shroud." They concluded that the exact shade, texture and depth of the imprints on the cloth could only be produced with the aid of ultraviolet lasers – technology that was clearly not available in medieval times.
The scientists used extremely brief pulses of ultraviolet light to replicate the kind of marks found on the burial cloth. They concluded that the iconic image of the bearded man must therefore have been created by "some form of electromagnetic energy (such as a flash of light at short wavelength)."
Although they stopped short of offering a non-scientific explanation for the phenomenon, their findings will be embraced by those who believe that the marks on the shroud were miraculously created at the moment of Christ's Resurrection.
"We are not at the conclusion, we are composing pieces of a fascinating and complex scientific puzzle," the team wrote in their report. Prof Paolo Di Lazzaro, the head of the team, said: "When one talks about a flash of light being able to colour a piece of linen in the same way as the shroud, discussion inevitably touches on things like miracles and resurrection." "But as scientists, we were concerned only with verifiable scientific processes. We hope our results can open up a philosophical and theological debate but we will leave the conclusions to the experts, and ultimately to the conscience of individuals."
One would have thought that, as well as heartening the Faithful, or at least those of the Faithful who have visited the Shrine at the Cathedral in Turin, the words of the Italian scientists would be a welcome contribution to the debate on the Shroud, especially in the quarters of those noble empiricists who welcome any evidence in their in-tray as to the possible existence of God. This is because, as we know, atheists are open-minded sceptics, generous but sober blank canvasses, if you like, on which discourse on God's existence can be impressed. Above all, they are are delighted when science opens a door into what could be the Heavenly realms. Right?
Unfortunately not. Tom Chivers, writing his blog for The Telegraph, took the announcement from the Italian scientists and both began and ended his piece with the imperious and rather arrogant claim, 'The Turin Shroud is fake. Get over it.' Quite how he got that headline out of the latest research on the Shroud is anyone's guess, but to me it seems rather over-defensive.
After all, the Catholic Church has not made belief in the Shroud an article of Faith to be held by believers. It is an object of private devotion, though obviously one cannot have a Shroud in ones own home. Personally, I am not 100% convinced that the Shroud is genuine. If it is, then we marvel at the goodness of the Lord because our faith, really, is based on the the testimony of the Apostles to the Lord's death and Resurrection. However, one does get the 'impression' that whether the Shroud is genuine or not, we can be 100% certain that Tom Chivers is trying to bury Our Lord Jesus Christ, like so many atheists do.