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Vatican criticises 'unfounded' reports of Pope brain tumour

The Vatican has hit back at reports claiming Pope Francis has a benign brain tumour - calling the claims "unfounded" and "gravely irresponsible".

The Vatican called the reports 'unfounded' Credit: Reuters

National Italian newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale splashed on news that the 78-year-old religious leader had secretly flowin by helicopter to see a Japanese doctor based in Tuscany "some time ago".

He was diagnosed with "a small dark spot on the brain", the report said, but added that it was curable.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi denied the reports.

The pope is carrying out his activity with his usual high level of intensity.

Spreading unfounded news is gravely irresponsible and is not worthy of attention.

– Father Federico Lombardi
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