Father Joe is a Jesuit priest. Lenny, his brother, is an Atheist. Joe, the Catholic priest, did not think the shroud was genuine, though he readily admitted that proof that it is fake is illusive. Lenny, the atheist, thought it was the real deal, the actual burial cloth of the historical Jesus. “Obviously,” he said, “I don’t think the images are miraculous. They are probably some natural phenomenon that we don’t understand. Clearly, they are not manmade. You simply can’t ignore the scientific and historical evidence like my brother does.”
Struck by what seemed an absurdity, as I stood with these two men in the undercroft of the church munching on lemon squares, I turned to Father Joe. “Why do you think it is fake?” I asked.
“It doesn’t work in my soup,” he replied. “Lenny might be right. It might be genuine. But he thinks it is irrelevant. I would be okay with that, if I could really see it that way. I just can’t”