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article imageVatican denies that Pope Francis has small, curable brain tumor

By Phyllis Smith Asinyanbi     Oct 21, 2015 in World
Vatican City - An Italian newspaper published a brief report Wednesday, stating that Pope Francis has a brain tumor that requires no surgical treatment. The Vatican strongly denies this and says the pontiff's health is good.
The report in Quotidiano Nazionale (translated National Daily) was sparse. It said an unnamed clinic nurse discovered a medical report indicating a small, curable brain tumor in a patient whose name is Jorge Mario Bergoglio, which is the pope's birth name.
Pope Francis (C)  cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri (L)  general secretary of the Synod  and cardinal Pete...
Pope Francis (C), cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri (L), general secretary of the Synod, and cardinal Peter Erdo (R), relator general of the Synod, attend the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops on October 17, 2015 at the Vatican
Alberto Pizzoli, AFP/File
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said Pope Francis is enjoying good health and his head is "absolutely perfect." Lombardi also said the report "was completely unfounded and seriously irresponsible and not worthy of attention."
The National Daily front page report said the Pope, 78, had recently traveled by helicopter to see Japanese brain surgeon, Takanori Fukushima, who is on staff at Duke University and consults at a clinic in Pisa, Italy. Fukushima said the reports are false.
Later versions of the story said Fukushima had arrived at the Vatican in a helicopter to diagnose the pope. On Wednesday, Lombardi told the press that no Japanese doctor had treated the Pope, nor had he traveled to Pisa.
Throughout this week, the Pope is meeting with a Synod of Bishops on Church doctrine surrounding controversial issues, such as divorce and homosexuality. His view is that teaching should evolve, but conservatives disagree.
Pope Francis greets bishops at St Peter's Square in the Vatican  on October 21  2015
Pope Francis greets bishops at St Peter's Square in the Vatican, on October 21, 2015
Filippo Monteforte, AFP
Iacopo Scaramuzzi, a Vatican expert, told the AFP the report on the Pope's health might be related to discussions in the ongoing meetings.
The timing of this news, exactly when a turbulent synod is concluding, is curious. What is striking is that the article does not clearly reveal its sources and the Vatican has made such a vehement denial.
Andrea Cangini published a National Daily editorial on how the newspaper struggled with two issues: The public's right to know and the Pope's privacy. Per Cangini, the first won out, and Lombardi's denial is "understandable" and expected. The paper stands by its story.
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