Pope Francis was initially his usual smiling self while saying hello to the packed crowd in Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Square on New Year’s Eve.
But one woman had him showing a rare display of anger and frustration not often seen by the typically warm and stoic figure.
In the now-viral video, shown here, a woman can be seen wearing a black coat and leaning against the security railing. It was obvious she wanted to make contact with the pope, but when he didn’t reach out to shake her hand and began to walk away, she grabbed his right hand and wouldn’t let go. She even appeared to pull him back toward her.
In a surprise move, the pope slapped the woman’s hand and looked visibly angry. It wasn’t until a security guard approached her that the woman let go of her grip.
More conservative critics in the Catholic community said the pope displayed “graceless” disrespect. And now he has even issued an apology.
According to CNN, as the pope addressed the people in St. Peter’s Square and dished out his well-wishes for the upcoming year, he said, “So many times we lose patience, even me, and I apologize for yesterday’s bad example.”
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