Vatican City, Thursday (Riotous) - The Pope was being treated for a migraine-induced brain seizure yesterday following an official request from Saddam Hussain's legal team for their client to convert to Catholicism and automatically qualify for the right to trial by an ecclesiastical court, adjudicated by God's Banker's mastermind Cardinal Marcinkus.
"Our client has been charged with conspiracy involving weapons of Mass destruction", said his legal attorney Ms Gaddafi, "but following a miracle last week when an angel appeared to him in a dream in his prison cell, he is renouncing his Muslim faith and wants to be baptised as a Catholic.
"Mr Hussain would like it to be known worldwide that he has never sought to destroy the Mass and to prove his point requests a christening ceremony on the banks of the Jordan, followed by the full gamut of Sacraments including Confession, Holy Communion and Confirmation.
"He will then testify before the pontifical Supreme Ecclesiastical Court of Jury's Prudence about his involvement in the Bank of Jordan pension fund transfers scheme guarantees which Colonel Oliver North kindly set up for him some 25 years ago, including offshore bank account payments from President Ronald Reagan to facilitate mustard gas production projects in the 1980s. Also ethnic cleansing of various Kurds, Turks, Marsh Arabs and assorted Iranians belonging to the Farsi Liberation Front.
"Next, he will make a full Confession before Cardinal Marcinkus and ask His Eminence to take into account sporadic bouts of amnesia which prevent him from remembering exactly who helped him execute American foreign policy in the Persian Gulf during the years 1980 - 1988 and 1988 onwards.
"Just like His Eminence has already described in his own personal testimony about what happened to the Banco Ambrosiano $500 million that went missing when "God's Banker" Roberto Calvi unfortunately suicided himself with some totally anonymous outside help under Blackfriars Bridge, London in the summer of 1982, our client will bare his soul to offer insights into dilemmas that may have perplexed the US Justice Department for some time.
"He will then accept assimilation into the Good Shepherd's fold and take on the name of John Paul Three. This will facilitate further testimony giving before the Holy See.
"His evidence, which must be broadcast on Vatican TV, will reveal the puzzling ambiguity of Enron's Clifford Baxter's suicide two years ago, and offer personal insights into the labyrinthine Middle East financial networks which Ken Lay and Boris Yeltsin put together during the last ten years. A man of Cardinal Marcinkus's background will easily understand the subtleties of such implications."
A spokeman for the Provisional Iraqi Government denounced the move as a cynical stunt designed to attract synpathy during the traditional rampant summer silly season which blights the international media.
However, a rapidly-convened mini-College of Cardinals summit in the Sistine Chapel tonight is believed to be debating this unprecedented offer of conversion, to be timed to last just before the Holy Father emerges from sedation.