Pontiff admits that even he sometimes loses his patience.
Pope Francis has apologised for slapping a woman’s hand as he greeted pilgrims after visiting the Vatican's Nativity scene in St Peter's Square on New Year’s Eve.
A visibly angry pope lost his patience after a woman grabbed his hand and yanked his arm abruptly, seemingly causing pain to the pontiff, who reacted by pulling himself free and slapping the woman's hand.
Footage of the incident went viral on social media around the world, prompting widespread criticism of the pontiff, even though many commentators agreed that the woman's behaviour was also inappropriate.
During his Angelus address in Piazza S. Pietro on New Year’s Day, Pope Francis referred to the incident: “I apologise for the bad example yesterday … sometimes even I lose my patience."
The pope also used his New Year's Day address to condemn violence against women.
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Pope apologises after slapping woman's hand
Forum Sancti Petri, Città del Vaticano, Vatican City