An Italian daily newspaper called Quotidiano Nazionale claimed on Wednesday that Pope Francis is seriously ill with a brain tumor.
According to CNN, the publication stated that a Japanese neurosurgeon was flown to the Vatican by helicopter “some months ago” from a private clinic to examine the pope. The doctor reportedly determined that the Catholic leader had a “small brain tumor, which can be cured without surgery.”
The doctor has been identified as Dr. Takanori Fukushima, a neurosurgeon at Duke University who is also a consultant at San Rossore di Barbaricina clinic near Pisa, Italy. Fukushima has refused to publicly comment on the pope’s condition.
The Vatican spoke out later to vehemently deny these claims, saying that the pope “is in good health.”
“No Japanese doctor has visited the Pope in the Vatican and there have been no examinations of the type indicated in the article,” said Rev. Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman. “There have been no arrivals of external parties in the Vatican by helicopter; similarly there were no arrivals of this type during the month of January.”
Despite the Vatican’s claims, photos from Fukushima’s blog show him in a helicopter, and claim that he was flying from Pisa to the Vatican in January of this year.
Pope Francis has suffered from a series of health problems this year, most notably leg pain due to sciatica, for which he regularly undergoes physical therapy. He also had part of one lung removed when he was a young man, which has led to lung problems in his old age.
It might be in the Vatican’s best interest to hide the pope’s condition from the general public, as they don’t want any chaos to stem from panic over his health.
What do you think about this? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.