Vatican refutes reports on Pope's health
The Vatican newspaper announced that the report on Pope's health was "unfounded" and "completely irresponsible." This announcement was in answer to an article in an Italian daily newspaper that had run a story claiming that the Pope was battling health issues. The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano said that "The timing of this reveals an intent to manipulate and create unnecessary uproar."
Italian newspaper claims Pope has brain-tumor
On 21 October 2015, an Italian newspaper published that Pope Francis had a small, curable brain tumor. Quotidiano Nazionale claimed that the Pope had traveled to the San Rossore di Barbaricina clinic near Pisa to visit Takanori Fukushima, a Japanese doctor regarding his condition. The doctor had "determined a small dark spot on the pope's brain, which could be cured without surgery".
Rumours about health not a first-time occurrence
This isn't the first time that such rumors have surfaced about Pope Francis' health. His infrequent appearances in the summer of 2014 had given birth to similar health rumours.
Vatican cardinals condemn the report
Cardinal Walter Kasper of the Vatican said the story was a tactic to sabotage the bishops' assembly. Buenos Aires Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez said that spreading false news to "discredit a person in power" was an old measure. He further said that it was an attempt to make the Pope appear unsteady so that it feels like he needs to be replaced.
Doctor named in newspaper denies treating Pope
Takanori Fukushima, the neurosurgeon named by the Italian newspaper claimed that he had "never medically examined the Pope". He issued a statement which said that, "These stories are completely false." Reports further suggested that Fukushima had met Pope twice during his medical trips to Europe and that the Pope had never travelled to meet him in Tuscany as claimed.
Is there a conservative angle at play?
The report came when the Pope and 270 bishops are in the last days of the Roman Catholic Church's debate on approach to "sensitive family issues, including divorce, homosexuality and the role of women." This could be "apocalyptic strategy" of conservatives against Francis to "discredit" and "destabilize him." This could be a ploy to get bishops thinking that Pope was in his last days.
What is a Synod?
Such meetings as the one taking place in the Vatican "to decide an issue of doctrine, administration or application" are termed as Synod meaning "assembly or meeting."