Holy Shroud experts say “Passion” realistic portrayal

The Spanish Center for Sindonology, which is located in Valencia and is dedicated to the study of the Holy Shroud of Turin, said this week many scenes in Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” are “accurately based on studies carried out on the cloth,” but that “the cruelty of the crucifixion which is reflected in the shroud surpasses even the harshest scenes of the movie.”

The Center’s Vice President, Jorge Rodriguez, told the AVAN news agency that one of the “most powerful and most realistic moments of the film is that of the scourging, where the instruments of torture used are very similar to those used at the time,” such as whips with leather strands tipped off with sharp metal points that “ripped the skin off and left the person with his raw flesh exposed.”

According to Rodriguez, studies on the Shroud carried out by forensic doctors have determined that “more than 50% of the surface of the body wrapped in the cloth was covered with abrasions, and therefore the wounds shown in the movie accurately reflect reality.”

Likewise, “the final scene of the Resurrection corresponds to the latest research on the Holy Shroud which suggests that the cloth deflated, as shown in the film, and the body came out without the cloth being unwrapped,” said Rodriguez, who has given more than 600 conferences on the Holy Shround in the last ten years.

Nevertheless, Shroud experts state that “the reality of the facts go far beyond the images shown in ‘The Passion,’ as violent as they may seem.”  For instance, the crown of thorns seen in the movie “does not leave Jesus with as many wounds as we see reflected in the Shroud, where at least 60 puncture wounds to the head and scalp can be seen,” Rodriguez added.

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