(Santa Monicalewinski, Chile) Following last week's widespread euphoria among the cocaine-growing agricultural community south of Santiago that former dictator General Pinochet had been stripped of immunity from prosecution for torture and mass murder by the Chilean Supreme Court, an announcement today from the office of the Papal Pro-Nuncio in neighbouring Bogota confirms that John Paul II ("IL DOLCE" - the Sweetie - as he is known locally) is to offer the ailing ex-despot a Papal Knighthood and immediate elevation to sainthood in exchange for verifiable shredding of documents relating to the death of 'God's Banker' Roberto Calvi, whose murder trial is underway in Rome after 22 years of "technical delays".
A papal spokesman broke the news by confirming that an image of the General - "crowned with thorns and nailed to a cross" - had miraculously appeared on the Vatican's website which, when accessed, opened portals leading to CIA files listing current members of the notorious P2 Lodge who occupy high office in the Vatican, the Bush Administration in Washington, the other Bush Administration in Downing Street and the cabinets of all major European, Asian and South American political administrations. Also listed are their personal banking histories - including those tricky offshore accounts in the Caribbean and credit-card transactions processed in the 1980s by collapsed Al-Qaeda banking giant BCCI - and shareholders' accounts in former Texan energy giant ENRON.
"It's a miracle", said Cardinal Marcinkus, 91, currently living rent-free in a trailer park outside nearby Crawford, Texas. "The General's icon on the website weeps pools of blood each time you try to access his wallet. But try touching his manhood with your mouse and all the CIA files on the new Iraqi Cabinet's savings accounts - previously held by Banco Ambrosiano and later BCCI - appear on the Vatican site alongside their Mossad-encrypted passport details and latest coca crop-report projections for Bolivia this year."
A miraculous occurrence is not, generally, enough to guarantee automatic elevation to the sainthood: according to ecclesiastical sources it must be supported by actual proof of a miracle such as - for instance - an amputee suddenly re-growing a limb without the aid of drugs/medical intervention, or a woman being elected to the College of Cardinals etc.
General Pinochet's meteoric elevation may be a one-off, however. Much depends on a little-known Blue-Grass Country prediction from the psychic ancestress of the breeder of the "miracle" thoroughbred mare Bookmaker, who prophesised that in the year 2004 a one-eyed horse called Smarty Jones would win The Triple Crown. So everything may hang on this Saturday's third leg, in the Belmont....