VATICAN CITY — The Shroud of Turin has gone on display for a special TV appearance amid new research purporting to date the linen some say was Jesus' burial cloth to around the time of his death.
Pope Francis sent a special video message to the event in Turin's cathedral, which coincided with Holy Saturday, when Catholics mark the period between Christ's crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.
The Vatican has tiptoed around just what the cloth is, calling it a powerful symbol of Christ's suffering while making no claim to its authenticity.
Francis toed that line Saturday, calling the cloth an "icon" — not a relic. Many experts stand by carbon-dating of scraps of the cloth that date it to the 13th or 14th century.