Pope Francis apologized on Wednesday 1st January, 2020 for his widely-viewed slap of a woman, who had gripped his hand as he greeted Catholic faithful on New Year’s Eve.
The image of Francis slapping his way free from the clutches of the admirer was an instant hit on social media.
A personal apology followed. The Pope said, We lose patience many times. It happens to me too. I express regret for the bad example given yesterday.
Pope Francis had greeted children before the Nativity scene on Saint Peter’s Square and was turning away when the woman, who had crossed herself then cried out something, pulled on his hand and almost caused him to fall.
The 83 years old grimaced before managing to break free by slapping her hand twice.
He continued his tour, walking with some difficulty while maintaining a slightly greater distance from visitors, and gradually relaxed again as he came into contact with other children.