Pope Francis was “caught” off-guard, it seemed, when a devout (Catholic? Asian?) by-stander grabbed his hand. He reacted by slapping the woman’s hand and pulled back his arm.
This must be the reason why he suddenly departed from his scripted words during the Wednesday service. He went on to apologize publicly for losing his temper and slapping a woman’s hand the night before.
Note: The video above was not included in the official livestream feed seen worldwide as shared on this previous article.
“Jesus did not remove evil from the world but defeated it at its root. Her salvation is not magic, but it is a ‘patient’ salvation, that is, it involves the patience of love, which takes charge of iniquity and takes away its power,” the pontiff told crowds gathered in Saint Peter’s Square for his Angelus prayer Wednesday.
“The patience of love: love makes us patient. So often we lose patience. So do I, and I apologize for yesterday’s bad example,” he said, visibly choked up:
The Pope’s apology referred to an incident that occurred Tuesday evening in Saint Peter’s Square following the end-of-year prayers, including the Te Deum. As Francis was walking in the midst the crowds, a woman held onto his hand, yanking him back toward her.
As recorded on video, the pope was clearly annoyed he had to repeatedly slap the woman’s hand and then walked away.
During the new year mass on Wednesday morning, the pope spoke and referenced about the need for people to show greater respect toward women (sic).
“Every form of violence inflicted upon a woman is a blasphemy against God, who was born of a woman,” he said.
Watch the full Vatican New Year mass below: