There are also several inconsistencies with the d’Arcis memo (full text in post 1739).
d’Arcis desires for the people not to be deceived that the shroud is genuine. Yet by his own admission, it was never touted by the presenters of the shroud as being the actual shroud of Jesus.
“it is not publicly stated to be the true shroud of Christ”
But, it is believed to be the real shroud by the masses, so he’s trying to protect them. However, isn’t that true for all the relics in the medieval ages? Why would anyone make a pilgrim to visit a relic if they didn’t believe it was genuine? He should be writing a memo to the Pope about all the churches in Europe.
He attempts to give scriptural justification why it would be a fake.
“For many theologians and other wise persons declared that this could not be the real shroud of our Lord having the Saviour’s likeness thus imprinted upon it, since the holy Gospel made no mention of any such imprint, while, if it had been true, it was quite unlikely that the holy Evangelists would have omitted to record it, or that the fact should have remained hidden until the present time.”
Probably the most popular medieval relic was the True Cross. But, there’s nothing in the Bible written about preserving the actual cross after Jesus was taken off of it.
“There are no early accounts that the apostles or early Christians preserved the physical cross themselves.”
Parts of the True Cross were everywhere in Europe. So much so that it multiplied and there was enough wood scattered across Europe that it could fill a ship.
There is no abbey so poor as not to have a specimen. In some places there are large fragments, as at the Holy Chapel in Paris, at Poitiers, and at Rome, where a good-sized crucifix is said to have been made of it. In brief, if all the pieces that could be found were collected together, they would make a big ship-load. Yet the Gospel testifies that a single man was able to carry it.
– Calvin, Traité Des Reliques
You have pieces of the True Cross everywhere in Europe and there’s no Biblical reference to it. Yet d’Arcis complains about a single relic because there’s no Biblical reference to it?
d’Arcis claimed there was an initial presentation of the shroud 34 years prior and was hidden during that time period.
“They, seeing their wickedness discovered, hid away the said cloth so that the Ordinary could not find it, and they kept it hidden afterwards for thirty-four years or thereabouts down to the present year.”
After the 34 year period, de Charny tried to bring it back out again for public display.
“And now again the present Dean of the said church with fraudulent intent and for the purpose of gain, suggested, as it is reported, to the Lord Geoffrey de Charny, Knight, and the temporal lord of the place, to have the said cloth replaced in the said church, that by a renewal of the pilgrimage the church might be enriched with the offerings made by the faithful.”
However, there’s a couple of major problem with this. One problem is de Charny was dead before the initial showing. Another problem was he was still dead 34 years later when d’Arcis wrote the memo.
Now, it could be argued that d’Arcis was referring to Geoffrey de Charny’s son – Geoffrey II de Charny, but the memo does not include the 2nd. Further, this is the first time the name Charny is mentioned in the memo. Why was his name not mentioned regarding the first showing?
d’Arcis also argues it should not be displayed because of the “horror of such superstition”.
“but that to express horror of such superstition it be publicly condemned”
Talking about horror, here are some relics that deserve a memo to the Pope to prevent their display:
* Chef de Saint Yves
* Brazos relicario
* Head of John the Baptist
* Saint Catherine of Siena’s Head
* The Holy Prepuce