The diocesan Office of Faith Formation and Religious Education is offering a free presentation via Zoom on the Shroud of Turin, believed by many to be the burial cloth of Jesus Christ on Feb. 27.

“Faith and Reason: The Compelling Science of the Shroud of Turin” is a Magis Center presentation given by Dr. Scott French, a Big Island emergency physician.

Dr. French will discuss how the “compelling science of the Shroud of Turin ignited his faith, his search for truth, and his belief in the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.”

According to a promotional flyer, he will present “overwhelming evidence that the Shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus Christ, and that the image on the Shroud is in fact evidence of the Resurrection, which is the defeat of death, and the promise of eternal life in heaven.”

Facilitating the presentation will be Janell Whaley, the western U.S. regional director of the Magis Center, an organization whose mission, according to its website, is to “restore, reconstruct and revitalize belief in God and the transcendent dignity of every human person.”

The center was founded by Hawaii-born Jesuit Father Robert Spitzer.

Dr. French is a Magis Center volunteer and board member. He was led to the organization when, as a physician, he sought a solution to the “rapidly increasing rates of depression, suicides, and other behavioral disorders among our youth.”

Secured in the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Turin, Italy, the shroud depicts the image of a crucified man and has been analyzed and scrutinized  so many years. The Vatican regards it as an icon, rather than a religious relic—and the church has never weighed in on its authenticity nor officially dismissed  it as false.

As at 2015, more than 2 million people saw the Shroud of Turin, which is 14-feet-long, 3.5-feet-wide and secured in a bulletproof, climate-controlled case. The cloth has long been the subject of debate and study.

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