Pope Francis apologised Wednesday for losing patience and smacking the hand of a woman who grabbed him.

  • Pope Francis apologised in a New Year's Day address for losing patience and smacking the hand of a woman who grabbed him.
  • "I apologise for yesterday's bad example," he said.
  • Videos of the incident showed the pope navigating a crowd when a woman reached out and grabbed his hand, yanking him toward her and initially refusing to let go.
  • He then smacked the woman's hand as a security guard tried to loosen her grip.
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Pope Francis apologised for smacking the hand of a woman who grabbed him on New Year's Eve.

In a New Year's Day address at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, Francis acknowledged the incident and spoke about the virtue of patience.

"So many times we lose our patience. Me too, and I apologise for yesterday's bad example," he said, according to The Washington Post.

Videos of the incident showed Francis walking alongside a crowd of people, greeting them and grasping some of their hands before turning away.

But as he pivoted, a woman reached out and grabbed his hand, yanking the pope towards her and initially refusing to let go.

Francis then smacked the woman's hand as a security guard tried to loosen her grip.

It's unclear who the woman was, or what she was trying to say to the pope.

Somewhat ironically, Francis also denounced violence against women in a later segment of his speech.

"Women are sources of life. Yet they are continually insulted, beaten, raped, forced to prostitute themselves and to suppress the life they bear in the womb," Francis said, according to CNN. "Every form of violence inflicted upon a woman is a blasphemy against God, who was born of a woman."

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