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 about its authenticity.
Francis toed that line today, 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.