Pope Francis experienced an uncomfortable encounter with an intrusive fan while greeting the public in the Vatican on December 31. When a woman latched onto his hand and wouldn’t let go, he slapped her hand and appeared to give her a scolding.
Pope Francis, 83, had a startling confrontation with an eager fan while shaking hands and kissing babies in the Vatican on Tuesday. He was all smiles while greeting the public, until a woman grabbed his hand and pulled him, nearly knocking him off his feet. The Pontiff’s mood shifted rather quickly after the unexpected moment, and he wasn’t happy to say the least.
As seen in a now viral video, Pope Francis slapped the woman’s hand in an attempt to get her to let go of his hand. He then appears to scold her before moving on through the crowd of fans. Right after the feisty encounter, a security guard can be seen grabbing the woman’s hands and moving her back from the barrier, which separated the crowd from Pope Francis.
Many fans online were surprised by how Pope Francis handled the aggressive moment. Nonetheless, he has since apologized. In a public statement he expressed his regret for setting a “bad example,” when, in his words, he lost “patience” in an attempt to free himself from the woman’s grip.
At Angelus this morning, Pope Francis visibility chokes up, as he apologises for his “bad example yesterday”, when in his words he lost “patience” when a pilgrim grabbed his hand and wouldn’t let go, and he slapped her hand in order to free himself. pic.twitter.com/4k6RfQj5ZI
— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) January 1, 2020
This evening, whilst on his way to pray before the Christmas crib in St. Peter’s Square, a child fell from the barriers on to the floor by Pope Francis’ feet. The Pope made sure he was alright and gave him a rosary. Pope Francis at his very best. pic.twitter.com/sS5GUoTy7c
— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) December 31, 2019
It was an eventful day for the Pope on New Year’s Eve, as he comforted a young boy who fell right in front of him during the greeting. Just before the Christmas crib in St. Peter’s Square, a child fell from the barriers into Pope Francis’ feet. He took notice and quickly checked on the youngster to ensure he was alright. The Pope then handed him a rosary and kissed his head. Fans looked on and cheered during the special moment.