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Vatican Denies Report That Pope Francis Has a Curable Brain Tumor

Pope Francis Holds General Audience in St. Peter's Square 0:31

The Vatican on Wednesday firmly rejected a newspaper report that Pope Francis has a brain tumor, calling the article "inexcusable and unconscionable."

Image: Pope Francis blesses the faithful during his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican
Pope Francis blesses the faithful during his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican on Wednesday. ALESSANDRO BIANCHI / Reuters

The Italian daily newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale published a front-page story Wednesday headlined "The Pope is Sick." The article alleged the 78-year-old pontiff was diagnosed with "a small dark spot on the brain," which was curable without surgery, according to a translation by Reuters.

The Vatican has issued a series of denials since the article's contents first came to light late Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said the pope was "in good health" and dismissed the paper's story as "unfounded information."

"I reiterate that the publication of this false information is a grave act of irresponsibility, absolutely inexcusable and unconscionable," Lombardi said.

The latest denial came after Francis held his weekly general audience Wednesday before tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square.