The head of the Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State Pope Francis has apologized after slapping a woman’s hand who abruptly grabbed his hand as he greeted pilgrims at the Vatican on New Year’s Eve.
The 83-year-old Pope Francis stated “I apologize for the poor example yesterday.”
During his Angelus address to a packed St Peter’s Square on New Year’s Day the Pope said “We often lose patience. So do I.”
The pope was visiting the nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square during New year Eve when the incident happened.
Prior to the incident, the woman who’s identity is still unknown had made the sign of the cross which is a ritual blessing made by members of some branches of Christianity.
She tried to say something to the Pope as she took his hand but it is unclear what she was trying to tell him.
Apparently the woman would not let go the Pope and in a gesture that appeared to cause him pain.
Video of the incident went viral on the internet and Pope is trending on Twitter worldwide.
This evening after visiting the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis loses his cool after being grabbed by a pilgrim who wouldn't let go of his hand. The Pope repeated slapped her hand and told her to let go of him. pic.twitter.com/6Qrgh8aZKz
— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) December 31, 2019
In his New Year message Pope Francis wished for peace in the world at the start of the New Year.
He was addressing the devotees at Saint Peter’s Square on World Peace Day.
During a morning mass in the Vatican Basilica the Pope condemned violence against women and called for an end to the exploitation of women.
He said “By how we treat a woman’s body, we can understand our level of humanity.”