Pope Francis has apologized for smacking an Asian woman’s hand during a meet and greet at St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Tuesday.
The pope greeted several people as he made his way to the Nativity when a woman suddenly extended her arm over a barricade and grabbed the supreme pontiff’s hand and yanked him towards her, according to CNN.
However, the pope did not like the woman’s gesture and immediately smacked her hands to free himself. He was also visibly upset by the encounter and reportedly briefly shouted at the woman.
Pope Francis apologized a day later for the encounter during an address to the pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square on New Year’s Eve, The Washington Post reported.
“So many times we lose our patience; me too, and I apologize for yesterday’s bad example,” he said.
Before apologizing, the pope delivered a homily on the topic of women and denounced “every form of violence” including verbal abuse, forced prostitution, and rape.
“We can understand our degree of humanity by how we treat a woman’s body,” he said.
Feature Image Screenshot via Guardian News