The Vatican denied on Wednesday an Italian media report that Pope Francis has a benign brain tumor. “The circulation of entirely unfounded news regarding the health of the Holy Father by an Italian newspaper is gravely irresponsible and unworthy of attention,” chief Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement. “Furthermore, as is clearly evident, the pope is carrying out his very intense activity in a totally normal way,” he said. Francis later held his weekly general audience before tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square and was due to return to a three-week gathering of Roman Catholic bishops from around the world, which he has been attending daily. The newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale, a national paper based in central Italy, reported on its front page on Wednesday that a Japanese doctor and his team had secretly flown from Tuscany to the Vatican on a helicopter bearing the Vatican’s white-and-yellow flag to examine the pope “some months ago”.
The complete statement from the Holy See press office is here.