On Wednesday the Vatican denied that 78-year-old pope Francis has a brain tumor. Rumors started after Italian newspaper, Quotido Nazionale, published a story that Japanese neurosurgeon Takanori Fukushima had visited Francis a few months ago and had found a small tumor.
The Vatican’s spokesman Federico Lombardi claims the rumors of Francis’ tumor are completely baseless, the pope is suffering from problems with his legs but there are no issues with his brain. ‘’He is in good health,” Lombardi continues, ‘’If you had to run after him during his overseas trips, you’d know.” It was reported that in his early years pope Francis did have part of a lung removed.
World expert on skull based tumors Fukushima also disputes the Quotido Nazionale’s report, in a statement that came out later on Wednesday he says, ‘’I have never medically examined the pope. These stories are completely false. The report states that Fukshima and a medical team were flown by helicopter to the Vatican to examine Francis and concluded that the tumor was treatable without surgery.
According to AFP Andrea Cangini, editor of Quotido Nazionale, said, ‘’This Denial is understandable and to be expected. Quotido Nazionale are sticking by their story and claim to have done extensive research to support that it is true. It is believed that the majority of the information Quotido Nazionale received was from a nurse who saw the medical records under the pope’s real name Jorge Mario Bergoglio.
Rumors may have been fueled by the pope’s weary appearance during previous television interviews but this could be attributed to his recent visit to Cuba and the U.S. Francis has kept up with the synod of clerics, heated debates which are currently going on over the church teachings on such issues as divorce and homosexuality.