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Recent developments: 2000 to now

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Recent developments:

bullet2000-FEB-25: Display of the shroud: The shroud was on display from 2000-AUG to OCT during the Jubilee year
bullet2000-MAR-9: Conferences on the shroud: According to ZENIT.org, a congress of scientists of various disciplines met from MAR-2 to 5 in Turin. 1 It was coordinated by the diocesan Commission for the Exhibition of the Holy Shroud. Although the attendees had individually reached widely varying conclusions about the nature and origin of the shroud, they all agreed that a carefully coordinated study of the shroud is needed. A series of 11 conferences will be held in Rome, under the auspices of the Roman Center for Shroud Research of Caravita. These will lead up to the exhibition of the shroud in Turin, from AUG- 12 to OCT-22. 
bullet2000-OCT-14: Proposal to clone DNA: A secretive group of 13 or 14 Christians called the Second Coming Project propose to obtain a small sample of DNA from the shroud or from a relic that people believe can be traced to Yeshua of Nazareth's (Jesus Christ's) body. They propose to clone Yeshua by taking the ovum from a woman, removing her DNA and replacing it with the DNA obtained from a relic. If the fertilized ovum successfully divides, it would be implanted in the womb of a woman and hopefully result in a birth nine months in the future. They targeted 2001-DEC-25 as the date of birth, even though there is a consensus among Christian theologians that Yeshua was born circa 4 to 7 BCE, probably in the fall. There are obstacles to this project:
bulletThere is no consensus among the scientific and religious communities that Yeshua's DNA is present on any relic or artifact.
bulletThere is no assurance that DNA that has been in existence for two millennia can be made to replicate.
bulletHumans have never been cloned successfully in this way.
bulletThose mammals that have been cloned are frequently born defective.

Bill Merrell, vice president of convention relations for the Southern Baptist Convention, said that this effort is "the height of foolhardiness," "the highest silliness in the category of neither science nor religion" and "perfectly reprehensible." The project appears to be founded on the belief that Yeshua is the son of God and that this condition was determined by his DNA. Thus, a cloned version of Yeshua would also have divine status. In essence, they would be creating a God -- a fourth member of the Trinity. 2 The project apparently failed, because there was no further information in the media.

bullet2001-MAY-3: Shroud image may belong to Jacques de Molay:  Dr Robert Lomas is leading a study of the shroud at Bradford University. He suggests that the image and shroud may have been from Jacques de Molay, a medieval priest who traveled to Scotland seeking a safe refuge from persecution by the Christian Church for his Knights Temlar followers. Dr Lomas believes that high temperature and sweat from de Molay's body during his torture by the Church may have produced metabolic acids. These could have left an imprint on a shroud wrapped around him. He survived the torture and was held in prison for seven years before being burned alive with another Templar, Geoffrey de Charney. It was de Charney's nephew's widow who first placed the shroud on public exhibition. 3
bullet2008-JUN-02: Shroud to be on public display: Pope Benedict XVI announced that the shroud will be on display during 2010. It as been shown only four times since the year 1900.

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  1. ZENIT.org is "an International News Agency based in Rome. Our mission is to provide objective and professional coverage of events, documents and issues emanating from or concerning the Catholic Church for a worldwide audience, especially the media." Their web site is at: http://www.zenit.org/english/ 
  2. "Second coming group wants to clone Jesus," Maranatha Christian Journal, at: http://www.mcjonline.com/news/00b/20001013b.htm 
  3. John Innes, "Imprint on shroud could be priest," The Scotsman, at: http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/uk.cfm?id=64485 

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Copyright 1999 to 2008 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 1999-NOV-18
Latest update: 2008-JUN-03
Author: B.A. Robinson

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