They have had to endure many a hardship, many a setback on their arduous and perilous route to the pot of gold - not least the radiocarbon dating, which they have 'successfully' explained away you realize - repair patch, contamination, burst of miraculous neutrons that convert nitrogen to carbon-14 etc etc. (Still not convinced? Never mind. There are other explanations ready and waiting...).
But it's all coming right at last. One has only to consult the most recent postings * on Dan Porter's shroudstory.com site to realize that. Day by day his site continues to drive nails (real or look-alike) into the coffin of a school of thought (mine and others included ) that says the TS is non-authentic, a medieval fake.
There on the Porter site you will see incontrovertible evidence that the TS is NOT a medieval forgery, NOT an ingenious attempt to represent the bodily imprint (sweat and blood) that might have been left on medieval linen, which may or may not accurately match the New Testament accounts of what followed the crucifixion of Jesus.
I'll be listing some of those nails. You and I might have been brought up to consider that nails are made of tough impact-resistant material - iron, steel and the like.
Oh how mistaken you are. There is a wide range of materials that can be used to make nails in the Porter Institute of Material Science - plastic, rubber, jelly, blancmange - the list is endless, provided you know how to treat those nails gently, with tender love and care. In fact, if you ever need a nail at short notice, simply reach for the nearest material to hand, fashion it into the shape of a nail, and then display it sticking out prominently on the coffin of Shroud non-authenticity with a big sign that reads "This coffin lid is being firmly attached with genuine nails, approved by Dan Porter and fellow Godfathers of Shroudology".
Expect to see a listing of recent titles of shroudstory.com postings shortly. All have one thing in common. They attempt to drive rubber or plastic nails into the coffin of non-authenticity. Anything that looks vaguely nail-like to the myopic will do - provided it keeps the show (or shows) on the road. It's a circus you see, if the truth be told, an unending circus, coming to your town or city soon, with celebrated guest speaker (Barrie M.Schwortz, Russ Breault etc etc). Or failing that, join the millions of faithful already booked in for the next Shroud Exposition (Turin, April- June 2015). Roll up, roll up... You have nothing to lose, except a few euros, dollars, pounds etc.
PS: According to Will Self on the BBC's site (today) the only valid purpose of cynicism is:
'To comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable'
- This description of journalism was coined by the Chicago-based humorist Finley Peter Dunne (1867-1937), who put the words into the mouth of a fictional Irish bartender, Mr Dooley - "Th' newspaper does ivrything f'r us. It runs th' polis foorce an' th' banks, commands th' milishy, controls th' ligislachure, baptizes th' young, marries th' foolish, comforts th' afflicted, afflicts th' comfortable, buries th' dead an' roasts thim aftherward."
*The Coloradans Link
*The Sudarium of Oviedo as Evidence? Link
and so it goes on, and on, and on ...