Pope Francis
Photograph by Andreas Solaro — AFP/Getty Images
By Michal Addady
October 21, 2015

A story that appeared on the front page of Italian newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale on Wednesday said the Pope has a brain tumor, CNN reports.

The article identifies Dr. Takanori Fukushima as the one who had examined Pope Francis. Fukushima, a Tokyo native, currently works as a neurosurgeon in North Carolina where he is also a professor at Duke University. Additionally, he works as a consultant at the San Rossore di Barbaricina clinic near Pisa, Italy.

The report asserts that Fukushima flew to the Vatican via helicopter from Pisa in order to examine the pontiff and discovered a small tumor in his brain that could be treated without the need for surgery.

Reverend Federico Lombardi, a spokesperson for the Vatican, vehemently denies the newspaper’s report, calling it “inexcusable and unconscionable,” adding that “no Japanese doctor has visited the Pope in the Vatican and there have been no examinations of the type indicated in the article.”

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