Pope Francis apologizes for losing his temper with woman who yanked his arm

Pope Francis veered from prepared remarks during a New Year’s Day homily Wednesday to apologize for an incident on New Year’s Eve where he had slapped the hand of a woman who yanked his arm as he was greeting people on the way to the Vatican Nativity scene. ‘So many times we lose our patience. Me, too,’ the pope said. “And I apologize for yesterday’s bad example.’

Pope Francis, 83, was visibly annoyed after breaking free of the unidentified woman’s grip, after smiling while greeting the people before he reached her. It’s rare for this pope to show annoyance, though he angrily reprimanded somebody for being ‘selfish’ after he was pulled off balance onto a person in a wheelchair during a 2016 trip to Mexico, The Washington Post recalled. The pope’s New Year’s Day message at the Vatican included a denunciation of violence against women, from rape and forced prostitution to verbal abuse. ‘We can understand our degree of humanity by how we treat a woman’s body,’ he said. Peter Weber

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