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01st Jan 2020

Pope Francis apologises after slapping the hand of a woman who grabbed him

Alan Loughnane

He denounced all forms of violence against women.

Pope Francis has apologised after slapping a woman’s hand as he met with the public outside the Vatican on New Year’s Eve.

Francis had been shaking hands with people along the barriers when he shook hands with a woman who pulled him closer and didn’t let go.

The footage of him slapping her hands while his security team rushed to pull her away was shared widely on social media since New Year’s Eve.

“We lose patience many times,” Francis said to St Peter’s Square on New Year’s Day before celebrating mass at the Vatican.

“It happens to me too. I apologise for the bad example given yesterday.”

The pontiff later denounced violence against women as “a profanation of God, born of a woman”.

“Every form of violence inflicted upon a woman is a blasphemy against God, who was born of a woman,” Francis said.