The world saw a different side of Pope Francis on New Year’s Eve after the pontiff tore himself free from a woman who had grabbed his hand and pulled him toward her.
A woman seeking the Pope’s blessing on New Year’s Eve instead ended up enraging the pontiff after grabbing his arm to get his attention. A video of the altercation shows Francis walking through Vatican City as he greeted pilgrims. After reaching out to touch a child, a nearby woman seized his hand, jerking the religious leader around – a yank that appeared to cause him pain.
This evening after visiting the Nativity scene in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis loses his cool after being grabbed by a pilgrim who wouldn’t let go of his hand. The Pope repeated slapped her hand and told her to let go of him. pic.twitter.com/6Qrgh8aZKz
— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) December 31, 2019
After slapping her hand several times, the Pope freed himself of her grip. The usually serene Francis scowled as he walked away.
Francis has a history of repelling unwanted contact. In March, he was criticized for refusing to allow members of the faithful to kiss his papal ring during a visit to an Italian shrine.
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