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Vatican Denies Report Pope Has Small, Curable Brain Tumor

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    Vatican Denies Report Pope Has Small, Curable Brain Tumor
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    Pope Francis prays during his weekly general audience at St. Peter's Square on Oct. 14, 2015 at the Vatican.

    The Vatican is denying a report in an Italian newspaper that Pope Francis has a small, curable brain tumor.

    The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the report Wednesday in the National Daily was "unfounded and seriously irresponsible and not worthy of attention. "

    "The pope is carrying out as always with his intense activities," Lombardi said in a statement.

    Lombardi told The Associated Press that the pope never traveled by helicopter to Tuscany, contrary to the report in the National Daily.

    Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper said the pope had traveled to the San Rossore di Barbaricina clinic near Pisa in recent months to see a Japanese specialist, Dr. Takanori Fukushima. The newspaper said the doctor determined that the small dark spot on Francis' brain could be cured without surgery.

    The newspaper's editor, Andrea Cangini, said it stood by its story.

    The hospital's director did not respond immediately to an email seeking comment on the report, although Italy's strict privacy laws would preclude any disclosures without clear consent.