POPE FRANCIS has issued an apology after footage surfaced of him slapping a woman after she grabbed his hand during a greeting of the Catholic faithful on New Year’s Eve.
The Pontiff was filmed angrily slapping away the woman’s hand as she attempted to pull him towards her.
Pope Francis had just greeted children before the Nativity scene on Saint Peter’s square in Rome when the confrontation occurred.
Crossing herself and uttering a quiet few words to herself, the woman pulled at the Pope’s hand as he turned away from the attending crowd.
In doing so, she almost caused the leader of the 83-year-old to lose his footing, prompting him to grimace before breaking away from her grip and slapping her hand twice.
He continued on with his tour, though maintained a wider distance from the visiting masses.
Footage of the incident subsequently went viral on social media, prompting the Pope to issue a personal apology over the incident.
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 2, 2020
“We lose patience many times,” Pope Francis said.
“It happens to me too. I apologise for the bad example given yesterday,” the head of the Catholic church said.
Speaking in the first Mass of the New Year, the Pope denounced “all violence against women” as “a profanation of God, born of a woman”.
He proclaimed women as “the source of life” and admonished the fact many “offended, beaten, abused and forced into prostitution” and even made to “supress the life they carry within” them.
The Pontiff also noted that “rebirth of humanity began with a woman,” and took aim at the role of woman in the adult entertainment industry and they fact they are “sacrificed on the profane altars of advertising, profit, pornography”.