Pope Benedict is human

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Pope Benedict is human. There are millions of good, kind, decent people who call themselves Catholic. There have been many jokes about Pope Benedict not faced by Pope John Paul II. Sometimes Pope Benedict has been unfairly attacked. The fact that he was in the Hitler Youth should not be held against him for example; he was a child forced by German law to join. Pope Benedict had a cousin who was killed by Nazis, a cousin killed because his only crime was to live with a disability. The Pope comes from an incredibly religious childhood. Many people who visit this page, ex-religious and sometimes currently religious, can perhaps relate to the Pope’s early life.

Also The Pope’s lack of charisma compared to his predecessor is a stylistic criticism. Consider instead the substance of his record. Pope Benedict:

– lifted the excommunication of a bishop who called Jews “enemies of Christ” and is a holocaust denier. 

– in an interview while on a plane to Africa said that condoms helped spread AIDS, a wildly anti-scientific statement (later modified slightly to say male prostitutes might sometimes use condoms). 

– did not move with any adequate force to sanction bishops involved in sex abuse cover-ups, and in 2001 issued orders for the Catholic hierarchy to clam up about sex abuse. 

– seemed to imply, after the Irish were rocked with Catholic Church scandal after Catholic Church scandal, that loss of religiosity on the part of the Irish people was somehow a demerit to the Irish. 

– strongly embraced the doctrine that women are not to be treated as equal, indeed supported removal of a bishop who even suggested marriage of priests or the possibility of women priests. 

– strongly embraced the doctrine that reproductive and sexual decisions are to be decided by the church, not by individuals regarding their own bodies.

– impeded and discouraged nuns who took progressive stands on issues.

Sadly Pope Benedict’s legacy is indeed probably better than the record of his more charismatic predecessor when it comes to the despicable cover-up of child sex abuse, but it is still a chillingly bad record. And how were these stands justified? 

According the leader of one of the oldest, and one of the (still) most powerful organizations on earth, these stands are justified with one thing: religion. There are millions of good, decent people who call themselves Catholic. Maybe right now is the time to question the underlying premise.  And maybe it is time, perhaps, to recognize, that by being deeply indoctrinated in an ideology not based on evidence, a deeply devoted follower of an ideology imposed since childhood, one can do things that, without religion, that person would never do otherwise. This does not excuse injustice, but it does explain its source. 

Therefore, the response of the non-religious, those who live by evidence, must be a response of compassion for the victims and, indeed, the perpetrators of religious injustice. And most important of all we must organize for a world where children and society learn freely openly, based on evidence, and with reason as the only method – and justice and compassion as the only goals.  

Read two links below:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/25/AR2010032502363.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/world/europe/for-benedict-clear-teachings-and-many-crises.html

Sean Faircloth, Dir. of Strategy & Policy, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science.

Written By: Sean Faircloth
continue to source article at

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43 COMMENTS

  1. Add this to his record:

    Benedict is allowing a rebuked Cardinal, Roger Mahony, to have the opportunity to become the next pope.

    A child’s point of view: “I was raped and the person who covered it up has a chance to be rewarded with the highest position in his profession.”

    Dante surely would have created a new ring of hell for this wickedness. I am speechless, saddened and angry.

    Mike

  2. The only theologians I’ve known and trusted have had the personal moral courage to call the bluff and leave their ‘vocation’. Follow the money trails – they will lead to the truth. It’s no coincidence that this church seeks it’s new customers in developing countries. Pity the ignorant for they shall be fleeced! It’s not at all about morality or ethics, it’s about money and power. I have sympathy [and empathy quite often] for anyone who is ignorant, but absolutely no compassion for those who are educated enough to know they’re acting in a giant sham of a play that other humans pay for through suffering. It’s just not credible the way this church had invaded personal sexual politics, and the Vatican attitude to condoms and HIV is jaw-droppingly arrogant and nasty. I hope the church faces legal action for the damage perpetuated under its authority. Vatican makes hate-speech. Disgusting. And be vigilant about the assertions from other religions – there’s not much, ethically, to differentiate them.

  3. My response to the pope resigning has been exactly nothing.

    Why should this feel like any kind of a big deal to me, and what’s this compassion for the perpetrators of injustice about? I don’t consider the resignation of the pope or the plight of Catholics facing their Church without him to be worthy of this. I also wouldn’t have and won’t be treating anyone any differently.

    But, I probably understand the purpose of this piece. I’m just not sure it was necessary.

  4. While its true that one can say not every action of the church has been the fault of Pope Benedict XVI (after all, he’s not centuries old that I know of) and that despite his horrible choices he is only human ultimately the problem still goes back to the institution itself. If somehow a non religious person were to take control of the RCC and assess all the damage it has done and is doing in the world, the only logical course would be to dismantle it.

    It would be more honest to say he is as much a victim of the corruption of the system he has been raised in as he is a culprit in those very crimes, being indoctrinated in the Hitler youth as well as into the RCC. Ultimately it excuses nothing, it only exacerbates the need for this theistic tyranny to end.

    Benedict’s departure won’t change the system, only the face that represents it. I won’t feel sympathy for the negative factors that made him who he is for no other reason than he has chosen to perpetuate the same madness. I will enjoy that blissful moment Hitchens described about the time in which no one claims to be infallible, but with the knowledge that someone else is indeed going to make the claim.

    Until the RCC itself is brought to justice, this is only a brief respite.

  5. Things are not going his way on his watch more and more sex abuse scandals more and more people leaving the church, in Ireland a mass was to take place but their was no priest available to carry out the service,the flock was left staring at the wall, the collection baskets must of been too lite the Sunday before. The Vatican is looking at south America or Africa for a new pope they’re on the run.

  6. Achromat, this is out of context [apologies to the moderators], but I’ve just been reading through your list of posts. What a pleasure to read such sound reasoning. Your patience and will to educate is immense. Kudos to you.

  7. Yes he is human but he is the representative and acts by warrant of the creator of the cosmos. He therefore is directed and communicates the wisdom of that omniscience. Whether we believe this bolox is irrelevant,
    that is what the catholics think and it is the position of the RCC that by following the propositions made by god’s representative you will go to heaven.

    That is where the problem lies. a) you’d think the creator would have more sense than let an old fool like ratslinger feck around with his cosmic plan and b) would intervene to stop ratslinger pursuing policies that get his ‘church’ into the shit at every turn.

    So while we know ratstrangler is human and subject to all the weaknesses in judgement of a village idiot he acts as if he is infallible and also acts on divine authority and millions follow this like it was more important than breathing.

    That’s unforgiveable!

  8. I heard that after his resignation the ex-pope will live a cloistered life but will have an entirely different occupation that will give him a bit of exercise. He has been assigned to an ironing board in the Vatican Laundries under the sacred tutelage of a Sister Mary Magdalene formerly of Dublin, who is in charge of “penitents needing extremely special counseling and discipline.” Can anybody confirm this?

  9. In reply to #5 by achromat666:

    While its true that one can say not every action of the church has been the fault of Pope Benedict XVI (after all, he’s not centuries old that I know of) and that despite his horrible choices he is only human ultimately the problem still goes back to the institution itself. If somehow a non religious person were to take control of the RCC and assess all the damage it has done and is doing in the world, the only logical course would be to dismantle it.

    It would be more honest to say he is as much a victim of the corruption of the system he has been raised in as he is a culprit in those very crimes, being indoctrinated in the Hitler youth as well as into the RCC. Ultimately it excuses nothing, it only exacerbates the need for this theistic tyranny to end.

    Benedict’s departure won’t change the system, only the face that represents it. I won’t feel sympathy for the negative factors that made him who he is for no other reason than he has chosen to perpetuate the same madness. I will enjoy that blissful moment Hitchens described about the time in which no one claims to be infallible, but with the knowledge that someone else is indeed going to make the claim.

    Until the RCC itself is brought to justice, this is only a brief respite.

    Not sure how to express my conviction- while you state the facts concisely perhaps the fundamental problem is neither religion nor its hierarchy but the willingness and/or need for people to be lead, to submit their freedom of choice to others. Does the herd mentality still dominate human affairs and if so, what can be done?

  10. In reply to #9 by gwolf:

    I heard that after his resignation the ex-pope will live a cloistered life but will have an entirely different occupation that will give him a bit of exercise. He has been assigned to an ironing board in the Vatican Laundries under the sacred tutelage of a Sister Mary Magdalene formerly of Dublin, who is in charge of “penitents needing extremely special counseling and discipline.” Can anybody confirm this?

    I’d heard that he was going to be the new host of “Jim’ll Fix It”.

  11. He is an 85 year old man who’s had a pampered,pro-catholic,anti gay,anti socialist,anti abortion, nazi upbringing, he has no business telling women not to abort or gays not to marry, with all his pontificating about protecting the unborn children its a pity he was not as quick to speak up for the thousands of born children worldwide who have been raped,murdered,battered,lied too,forced into labour without payment,all of this and not as much as an apology.

    [Last sentence removed by moderator]

  12. In reply to #10 by Nodhimmi:

    In reply to #5 by achromat666:

    While its true that one can say not every action of the church has been the fault of Pope Benedict XVI (after all, he’s not centuries old that I know of) and that despite his horrible choices he is only human ultimately the problem still goes back to the institution itself. If somehow a non religious person were to take control of the RCC and assess all the damage it has done and is doing in the world, the only logical course would be to dismantle it.

    It would be more honest to say he is as much a victim of the corruption of the system he has been raised in as he is a culprit in those very crimes, being indoctrinated in the Hitler youth as well as into the RCC. Ultimately it excuses nothing, it only exacerbates the need for this theistic tyranny to end.

    Benedict’s departure won’t change the system, only the face that represents it. I won’t feel sympathy for the negative factors that made him who he is for no other reason than he has chosen to perpetuate the same madness. I will enjoy that blissful moment Hitchens described about the time in which no one claims to be infallible, but with the knowledge that someone else is indeed going to make the claim.

    Until the RCC itself is brought to justice, this is only a brief respite.

    Not sure how to express my conviction- while you state the facts concisely perhaps the fundamental problem is neither religion nor its hierarchy but the willingness and/or need for people to be lead, to submit their freedom of choice to others. Does the herd mentality still dominate human affairs and if so, what can be done?

    It would appear we are a long way from eliminating the herd mentality, which does seem to be ever present when addressing theistic ideology. It is of course present in many different aspects of our life, but religion is where it appears most dangerous as it generally promotes an active distancing from the facts (also true of government, but often using religion as a tool to that end).

    It has always vexed me that someone can speaks of the efforts of a deity on their behalf as if they made no effort of their own to get where they are. But it is the submissive aspect that needs to be addressed in this I think. The idea that one must submit to a single unproven will and question nothing is in all ways dangerous.

    Now the how is likely not going to be a simple answer because but the first step for the RCC is to not permit the perpetuation of the status quo. If that doesn’t change they will keep doing what they do even as their empire crumbles around them.

  13. In reply to #17 by achromat666:

    In reply to #10 by Nodhimmi:

    In reply to #5 by achromat666:

    While its true that one can say not every action of the church has been the fault of Pope Benedict XVI (after all, he’s not centuries old that I know of) and that despite his horrible choices he is only human ultimately the problem still goes back to the institution itself. If somehow a non religious person were to take control of the RCC and assess all the damage it has done and is doing in the world, the only logical course would be to dismantle it.

    It would be more honest to say he is as much a victim of the corruption of the system he has been raised in as he is a culprit in those very crimes, being indoctrinated in the Hitler youth as well as into the RCC. Ultimately it excuses nothing, it only exacerbates the need for this theistic tyranny to end.

    Benedict’s departure won’t change the system, only the face that represents it. I won’t feel sympathy for the negative factors that made him who he is for no other reason than he has chosen to perpetuate the same madness. I will enjoy that blissful moment Hitchens described about the time in which no one claims to be infallible, but with the knowledge that someone else is indeed going to make the claim.

    Until the RCC itself is brought to justice, this is only a brief respite.

    Not sure how to express my conviction- while you state the facts concisely perhaps the fundamental problem is neither religion nor its hierarchy but the willingness and/or need for people to be lead, to submit their freedom of choice to others. Does the herd mentality still dominate human affairs and if so, what can be done?

    It would appear we are a long way from eliminating the herd mentality, which does seem to be ever present when addressing theistic ideology. It is of course present in many different aspects of our life, but religion is where it appears most dangerous as it generally promotes an active distancing from the facts (also true of government, but often using religion as a tool to that end).

    It has always vexed me that someone can speaks of the efforts of a deity on their behalf as if they made no effort of their own to get where they are. But it is the submissive aspect that needs to be addressed in this I think. The idea that one must submit to a single unproven will and question nothing is in all ways dangerous.

    Now the how is likely not going to be a simple answer because but the first step for the RCC is to not permit the perpetuation of the status quo. If that doesn’t change they will keep doing what they do even as their empire crumbles around them.

    Sorry that should read: “Now the how is likely not going to be a simple answer because of the nature of the herd mentality itself”. and I didn’t catch it before editing was no longer an option. Sorry.

  14. I don’t play the Nazi card; though, I may have dropped it in a post—can’t remember. The Pope, like Omar Khadr, was too young to be considered a soldier in the US army, when he joined his respective military organization. Khadr never should have been treated as a soldier by the US, either. When he was captured, Khadr should have been sent back to Canada and treated as a war child. I consider the US’s behaviour toward Khadr to be criminal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Khadr

  15. Considering that it is Sean Faircloth writing, I’ll assume that this is sarcasm. Pure unadulterated sarcasm.

    If it is not:

    WHAT? So, once again, the “heathen” atheists are called on to take the high road concerning a poorly behaving ultra believer??? Is that what i am taking away from this? Perhaps my reading comprehension is low (or maybe its my blood sugar)…. But, wait, this man (of course he’s human) had in his grasp, the ability to change the course of MANKIND.

    And, with all his life’s experiences and all his religious upbringing and all his education, he still opted to hurt people left and right. He had the unfettered opportunity to be the most influential person since his Christ and instead he turned a blind eye to suffering and disease and will go down as a colossal no one. He will be a bit more remembered than me.

    I have nothing BUT compassion for the victims. HIS victims. The victims of his organization. The brief list provided is condemnation enough, but the part that lays buried by secrecy is concerning as well. And we can only hypothesize about the extent of the real mess.

    A better question: Will this Pope qualify to go to the heaven he believes exists?

  16. “And maybe it is time, perhaps, to recognize, that by being deeply indoctrinated in an ideology not based on evidence, a deeply devoted follower of an ideology imposed since childhood, one can do things that, without religion, that person would never do otherwise. This does not excuse injustice, but it does explain its source.”

    I once made a comment here on RDF that, alike gene transmission, cultural transmission is not completely a “copy”, as one is socialized by having “models”, besides, child abuse is by no means acceptable by any standards of our culture and society (not even by any known catholic standard), and, just to give you an example, I myself could never watch someone being hurt without having a reaction, I mean as a young person, at least twice, I dared to risk my own life to protect someone that was being victim of agression in public (and I am not a police officer).
    There´s no point that someone could have silenced victims for nearly 20 years, that´s too cold, isn´t it ?
    Let´s have compassion for the real victims instead, shall we?

  17. As another part of his record, let’s not forget that His Joeliness, on visiting Britain, accused the secularists of holding a position close to to that of the NAZIs. A completely gratuitous insult to millions of Britons and others elsewhere.

    But then why should he worry about insulting atheists and secularists? We were his enemy after all !

  18. In reply to #25 by Odalrich:

    Pope Benedict also said: American aboriginals were never forced to convert to Roman Catholicism during the conquest.

    That’s right. They had free-will to choose either Catholicism or slavery, torture and death! Oh boy. He seems to have forgotten that when Spanish Catholic invaders, with priests amongst their ranks, arrived in a new area they issued the requerimiento which included the loving advice to: “acknowledge the Church as the Ruler and Superior of the whole world, and the high priest called Pope

    “If you do so, you will do well, and … their Highnesses … shall not compel you to turn Christians, unless you yourselves, when informed of the truth, should wish to be converted to our Holy Catholic Faith, as almost all the inhabitants of the rest of the islands have done. And, besides this, their Highnesses award you many privileges and exemptions and will grant you many benefits.

    “But, if you do not do this, and maliciously make delay in it, I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their Highnesses; we shall take you and your wives and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their Highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him; and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their Highnesses, or ours”

  19. In reply to #26 by BigChris:

    In reply to #25 by Odalrich:

    Pope Benedict also said: American aboriginals were never forced to convert to Roman Catholicism during the conquest.

    That’s right. They had free-will to choose either Catholicism or slavery, torture and death! Oh boy. He seems to have forgotten that when Spanish Catholic invaders, with priests amongst their ranks, arrived in a new area they issued the requerimiento which included the loving advice to: “acknowledge the Church as the Ruler and Superior of the whole world, and the high priest called Pope

    “If you do so, you will do well, and … their Highnesses … shall not compel you to turn Christians, unless you yourselves, when informed of the truth, should wish to be converted to our Holy Catholic Faith, as almost all the inhabitants of the rest of the islands have done. And, besides this, their Highnesses award you many privileges and exemptions and will grant you many benefits.

    “But, if you do not do this, and maliciously make delay in it, I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their Highnesses; we shall take you and your wives and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their Highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him; and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their Highnesses, or ours”

    That’s true, man. That was how conversion to Roman Catholicism took place. Not even the Mafia had done it so well.

  20. In reply to #11 by BaalShamim:

    In reply to #9 by gwolf:I heard that after his resignation the ex-pope will live a cloistered life but will have an entirely different occupation that will give him a bit of exercise. He has been assigned to an ironing board in the Vatican Laundries under the sacred tutelage of a Sister Mary Magdalene formerly of Dublin, who is in charge of “penitents needing extremely special counseling and discipline.” Can anybody confirm this?

    I’d heard that he was going to be the new host of “Jim’ll Fix It”.

    And I heard that he’s looking for a retirement home in Florida, but refuses to even consider a condominium.

    Sorry for the messy post, I’ve yet to get to grips with formatting on the new site. For the record, my contribution to the above is the condominium pun.

  21. “The fact that he was in the Hitler Youth should not be held against him for example; he was a child forced by German law to join.”

    And yet, just ask, what would a person of exemplary moral character do when confronted with such a law? There are, of course, numerous examples of German youths who refused to take part in the HJ… but, nope, not that Ratzinger kid.

    Too bad, we’ll never know how enthusiastic a member he was…

    • In reply to #34 by McCourt:

      “The fact that he was in the Hitler Youth should not be held against him for example; he was a child forced by German law to join.”

      And yet, just ask, what would a person of exemplary moral character do when confronted with such a law? There are, of course, numerous examples of German youths who refused to take part in the HJ… but, nope, not that Ratzinger kid.

      Too bad, we’ll never know how enthusiastic a member he was…

      Yes, you have just reminded me of the German resistance organzation, The White Rose. A handful of young, deeply moral students, all of whom lost their lives for standing up to National Socialism. Any one of them would have qualified more than Joe Ratzinger for Pope. For that matter, they would have qualified better for pope than Pius XII who WAS the pope at the time, and who signed a concordat with the Nazis.
      Pah! Who was it who called the Church the “Whore of Babylon”? (With apologies to honest whores.)

  22. In reply to #35 by celine.hynes:

    Condoms are NOT preventing AIDS in Africa. Whatever, your personal convictions or beliefs, please stop supporting and spreading this harmful, dangerous idea.

    Even Edward Green, the brains behind the organisation you’ve linked, accepts that condoms are part of the solution.

  23. In reply to #34 by McCourt:

    “The fact that he was in the Hitler Youth should not be held against him for example; he was a child forced by German law to join.”

    And yet, just ask, what would a person of exemplary moral character do when confronted with such a law? There are, of course, numerous examples of German youths who refused to take part in the HJ… but, nope, not that Ratzinger kid.

    Too bad, we’ll never know how enthusiastic a member he was…

    Exactly…and he was a member of the German military proper when he was old enough. He only deserted when the Allies were knocking on the door and he had a better chance of avoiding execution by the Nazi’s. No one is going to convince me that he was unaware of what was happening. As an anti-aircraft battery member protecting the BMW factory he must have seen the slave labour details marching in and out from the concentration camps. As for the yarn that he never fired his personal weapon owing to the fact he had a sore finger…yeah right!

    Ya have to ask yourself, what was his God, supposedly omniscient, thinking about by placing his future top representative on Earth in such an awkward predicament? Oh, that’s right, as George Carlin would’ve said, it was part of the divine plan, a bit like JPII working for the chemical factory that manufactured Zyklon ‘B’…makes sense.

    Good people refused to toe the party line and many died for their ‘human’ stance.

  24. He was fallible, then became infallible and is soon to be fallible again.
    The only thing he taught in my view was hate. Hate gays, hate Atheists, hate women hate many things.
    Preaching no condom policy in Africa is criminal in the least.
    Preaching savings etc dressed in gold, never worked for me either.
    It is undoubtedly good for the church that he has resigned.

  25. I also ask myself why the media has to get so excited about this Catholic clown show. Every time a pope dies we have to witness this ridiculous media fuss about who will be the successor. I do remember when this pope was appointed he was a compromise with some saying he was picked because he was old and wouldn’t last long. I personally suspect the current pope’s decision to step down was an effort to push all the Catholic pedophilia scandals out of the news and replace it with the predictably fawning attention a papal succession causes. The best that can be said is that the current pope knows whatever he was doing wasn’t working, so he’s going to bow out and let someone else try. Too bad the new pope probably won’t try anything different. We can expect more of the same. That’s why I really don’t care about these papal successions. Nothing ever changes.

  26. One of Pope Benedict’s last acts was to invite the TV cameras in to pay homage yet again to the Shroud of Turin, scheduled for the end of the month, a replay of the whole day he spent in homage to that “holy relic”.

    Shame about the radiocarbon dating. Shame too that Pope Benedict could not have found the time – or inclination – to sign another edict – to get the dating repeated, but with a proper sampling frame, and no last minute interventions by shady ‘science advisors’ etc who fobbed off (literally) the Arizona/Oxford/Zurich labs with a small strip off one corner.

    How was that for a handy near-watertight defence in the event of the “wrong”answer – to start a campaign based initially on the result being statistically worthless, then dreaming up all kinds of fanciful scenarios for why the wrong result was obtained (like bioplastic films, or more recently, linen acting as a sponge that mops up modern radiocarbon straight from the troposphere – I kid thee not). You couldn’t make it up. Well, you can if you live in Shroudie Land. Making-it-up as you go along is the name of the game in Shroudie Land.

    Colin Berry

  27. Good thoughts. Especially regards the good decent people. We will never change minds by confrontation. The belief, the dream, the desire, the efficacy of “God” is irrational. How do we change that, but by education? A noted author once wrote, the situation (for solving many ills) could be solved in a generation, “if only parents would tell their children the truth.”

  28. I see the: “It’s fake, but we don’t really want to think so”, is again being promoted again as Papal thinking!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21984018

    The Turin Shroud – which is revered by many Christians as the burial cloth of Jesus Christ – has made its debut on modern media platforms.

    Italy’s Rai TV broadcast for the first time images of the linen cloth bearing a faint brownish image of what appears to be a man’s body.

    A smartphone app was also created to show digital images of the cloth.

    Pope Francis contributed a message to the broadcast, shortly before he was to celebrate his first Easter vigil.

    Viewers were able to watch live images of the 1.21×4.42m Turin Shroud in a 90-minute programme on Rai TV from Turin Cathedral.

    The images were also streamed on various websites.

    In a video message ahead of the exhibition, Pope Francis said: “It speaks to our heart.”

    The pontiff described the cloth as an “icon” or an image but was careful not to authenticate as a genuine relic, the BBC’s David Willey in Rome reports.

    Pope Francis’ predecessor, Pope Emeritus Benedict, also recorded a video message.

    The shroud has never been officially recognised as authentic by the Vatican, our correspondent says.

    Rigorous scientific testing seems to indicate that it was woven between 700 and 800 years ago.

    But diehard believers say other tests prove that it could have been made at the time of the crucifixion – give or take a couple of hundred years, our correspondent says.

    The only previous – recorded – TV broadcast of the shroud was in 1973. It was last shown to the general public three years ago when Pope Benedict travelled to Turin to view it.

    It is has never been recognised as authentic by the Vatican, but hey! It brings gullibles into Turin Cathedral, so it must be worth some Papal official visits and supporting comments! The Wooo needs to kept strong in believers brains!

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