Ian Wilson, in your issue of February 22, leapt to the defence of the Holy Shroud. For several years he has been a student of the Shroud at the Turin centre and is a pupil of Dr David Willis.
Ian Wilson will know lhat Holy Shroud research is a very big jungle with many traps. And who is responsible for this jungle? It is Dr Pierre Barbet, a French surgeon.
In his impatience to find the marks of a dead body on the Turin Shroud, Barbet introduced, in 1935, four scientific errors into the Turin centre. I was aged 14 at the 'time, and heard of the Holy Shroud only 13 years later. The followers of Barbet — at the International Centre for the Study of the Holy Shroud in Turin — now base themselves on this mistaken foundation.
As • soon as the world of science penetrates research at Turin, the centre will collapse like a house of cards. Scientists merely laugh at the centre's activities, as I said in my litter of February I.
I am a Christian. and it is not easy for a Christian to kill. Only in a war of defence would this be permissible:But now, in the "scientific war over the Holy Shroud" I find myself forced to "kill" because Ian Wilson has thrown down a challenge.
The pupil is not better than his teacher. Ian Wilson must learn to find his own proofs and not to copy scholars at the Turin centre, because he is in a huge jungle.
Following Dr David Willis in 1969, Mr Wilson writes (February 22) of my work: "Unfortunately he has used a picture of the thorax of a foetus, an unborn baby, to 'prove' his claims.
"On a foetus, with _undeveloped organs, the heart is lower. When the spear thrust is seen projected on the chest of an adult, there can be no question that the heart would have been pierced."
In fact the X-ray pictures in my book "Inquest on Jesus Christ" which are printed to show that there was no heart injury from the lance — are not taken from an unborn child. They show the thorax of John Reban (myself) and were taken in a special X-ray institule in Germany. The chest on which they are projected is my own! In the first picture I was 28.1n the second I was 33. And at that time I was Mt. .11in. tall and weighed • about 12 stone — almost exactly like the man laid in the Holy Shroud about 2,000 years ago. I am rather too large to be the "foetus" of which Dr David Willis first spoke in 1969. In order to discredit me and make me into a "false prophet" I am afraid that Dr Willis has left the realms of fact.
As for the rest of Ian Wilson's challenge, I shall be happy to produce the original Shroud pictures which show 28 marks of bleeding from the open wounds of the man in the Holy Shroud — if Mr Wilson can suggest some way of publishing these.
They are irrefutable proofs of heart activity after the cross and after the thrust of the lance. Yes, Mr Wilson, there is plenty "to prove otherwise."
Let me repeat that a scientific discovery cannot be heretical, because a discovery is a •fact. That is why I can consider myself "non-heretical." The Church and the Vatican know this. But they can think logically. John Reban (Kurt Berna) 7 Stuttgart I, Postschliessfach 183, West Germany.