“The Pope is carrying out all his usual activities with the same intensity, these rumours are irresponsible and not worthy of attention,” Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi told Ansa on Wednesday.
Italian newspaper Quotidiano Nazionale on Wednesday reported that the 78-year-old Argentinian pontiff had been diagnosed with the tumour some time ago, after scans carried out by a world renowned Japanese expert in Tuscany revealed a small, dark spot on his brain.
The paper reported that the tumour was benign and could be cured without surgery, and insisted that the story was true – despite the Vatican denial.
“The denial is understandable,” wrote the editor of Quotidiano Nazionale, Andrea Cangini on Wednesday.
“But we have been holding back from publishing this story while we made sure it was reliable. We have no doubt about its truth."