Pope Francis apologizes for slapping well-wisher’s hand

Pope Francis apologizes for slapping well-wisher’s hand
Pope Francis was less than genial after a woman yanked his arm as he greeted pilgrims at St. Peter's Square. (Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)

Pope Francis has apologized for slapping a well-wisher’s hand in St. Peter’s Square Tuesday.

In remarks Wednesday, Francis said “so many times we lose patience. Me, too.” He then added “I say ‘excuse me’ for the bad example” he gave in the incident Tuesday, The Associated Press reported.

A visibly annoyed Pope Francis slapped a woman’s hand Tuesday when she pulled his arm and yanked him toward her as the pontiff greeted pilgrims at St. Peter’s Square.

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The 83-year-old pope was walking down a line of admirers, clasping their hands and smiling, NBC News reported. Francis was on his way to see the large Nativity scene set up in the cobbled esplanade in the center of Vatican City and turned away from the crowd, Reuters reported.

Video from the event captured the moment when a woman reached out, grabbed the pope’s hand and forcefully pulled him toward her, CNN reported.

Francis immediately recoiled away from the woman and slaps her hand twice while scolding her, NBC News reported.

The woman had made the sign of the cross as the pope had approached her, Reuters reported. It was unclear what she was saying as she pulled the pontiff toward her, the news organization reported.