This is Dan Bookman, reporting live from St.Peter's Square, Rome.
In a shock announcement this morning, Vatican scientists announced that the successful cloning of Our Lord Jesus Christ has been accomplished. Churches have traditionally been strongly opposed to human cloning on the grounds that clones would have no souls. All evidence suggests that artificial clones (unlike natural clones, such as identical twins) would be soulless, shambling zombies, walking with arms outstretched in search of fresh human brains to gorge upon in a bloodbath of gore and horror. Happily, this outcome is unlikely when cloning the body of Christ, as He is omnipresent - His perfect soul already occupies all points of the universe, and would inhabit any clone of Himself automatically.
This information has done much to calm the fears of many Catholic Nuns, who are considered to be Brides Of Christ. Sister Mary, of the Youth Of God - Sing Of The Holiest Of The Holies (YOG-SOTHOTH) order, said "I knew a clone would still be Our Lord Christ, but I was a little worried at the prospect of being married to a decaying, moaning, animated corpse. With worms and all that. I fell much better about it now."
After accepting that the Carbon-14 dating of the Shroud had given wildly inaccurate results, scientists agreed that the only sure way of determining the authenticity of the Shroud was to attempt to create a clone from the matter that formed the image of Jesus on the ancient cloth. The equipment used was the Cyclotronic Cloning System, which extrapolates from a single cell to form a complete replica of the body that the cell originated from. This technique has already been used to recreate small plants, insects and certain inanimate objects. It was decided to go ahead with cloning an entire human only after many prayers were said to ensure the success of the operation.
The Holy See has been swift to rule that only one clone of The Lord may be created. Even though Christ is everyone's personal saviour, it could lead to religious chaos if everybody had their own personal, personal saviour. For the time being, the Christ-Clone will only communicate through the Pope. Public appearances by Jesus, such as open-air Masses, shopping-mall openings and children's parties have yet to be confirmed. The numerous TV evangelists and traveling faith-healers who requested an individual Jesus for their shows have said they are "disappointed, but we can wait.".
We've just been told by a Vatican spokesperson that the cloning has been completed. As the equipment cools down, the cameras will be able to bring us the first pictures that will solve the enigma of the Turin Shroud.
We're now being patched into the Vatican newsfeed, direct from the laboratory...