Pope tumour story part of alleged plot against him

Senior cardinals have said a news story that the Pope has a brain tumour was intended to weaken his authority.

Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias told The Tablet the story indicates there are people who want to damage the Pope.

“It’s the first thought that came to me. Somebody is trying to weaken the Pope’s position and to indicate ’Ok now that’s it, he is just here for a short time’,” said Cardinal Gracias.

The cardinal thought the motivation for the story could be to try to “put the brakes” on the Pope’s reforms.

“It has something to do with his popularity. What he is saying is just the Gospel so I can’t see why they are upset up about it,” he added.

Cardinal Gracias is a member of the Pope’s advisory “C9” council of cardinals.

German Cardinal Walter Kasper said of the story: “It’s evident to me that some people don’t like this Pope. Maybe they were trying to influence us (in the synod).”

“Certain people, both inside and outside the Church, are nervous about the outcome of the synod,” he said.

The tumour story was an attempt to “upset” the final days of deliberation at the gathering, the cardinal said.

The story alleging Pope Francis saw a Japanese neurosurgeon about a brain tumour was denounced by the Vatican as “completely false”.

The editor of Quotidiano Nazionale, the Italian newspaper that first published the story, has denied assertions that he is part of a conspiracy against the Pope.

Andrea Cangini said that “time will tell who was right”—the newspaper or the Vatican.

Cangini said he would not violate a confidentiality agreement with his source for the story.

Brain cancer specialist Dr Takanori Fukushima released a statement saying that he had never medically examined the Pope.


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