Establishment of a New Shroud Centre in Moscow, Russia
On July 25 Dr. John Jackson and his wife Rebecca announced the opening in Moscow of what they describe as a 'branch office' of the Shroud Centre and exhibit site they have established in Colorado Springs (see Newsletter no, 43, p.21). At a special ceremony held in Colorado Springs, and with a Russian television producer filming the proceedings, Dr. Jackson presented copies of photos and other items related to the Shroud to Russian representatives who will work with the Moscow center.
According to a report published in the Colorado Springs local Catholic newspaper, the Catholic Herald, John Jackson said that his Centre and the new Moscow one both have the same goals. "We think this is important for the people of Russia to have such an educational opportunity, and Russian studies will add a lot to our research. The Moscow center, led by Russian native Alexander Belyakov, will research among other areas, iconology, and possible connections to the Shroud."
In conjunction with the branch office, a public Shroud exhibition will apparently open around Christmas at the Stretensky Monastery in Moscow, under the direction of Father Tikhon, the Monastery's abbot. The monastery will display an exact replica of the Shroud, enlarged photographs and other articles for viewing. Through an interpreter Father Tikhon remarked "This is a great event in the clerical life of Russia." In a letter to Jackson, Pope John Paul II sent cordial good wishes for continued Shroud research and said he hopes the work will foster closer relations between Christians of East and West.