Pope Francis on Wednesday apologized for his widely talked about him slaping a woman who had grabbed his hand as he greeted Catholic faithful on New Year’s Eve.
The image of the Pope slapping his way free from the clutches of the crowd surfaced instantly on social media.
A personal apology followed.
“We lose patience many times,” Francis confessed.
“It happens to me too. I am sorry for the not too good example given yesterday,” the Pope said before celebrating Mass at the Vatican.
Twitter users talked on abandon on the pontiff’s prompt riposte to the woman.
The scene occurred after the Pope had greeted the children was leaving when the woman who had crossed herself then cried out something, pulled Pope’s hand and almost caused him to fall.
The 83-year-old pope grimaced before he was able to break free by slapping twice the woman’s hand.
Walking with some difficulty, he continued his tour while maintaining a greater distance from visitors, and relaxed again as he came into contact with other children.
Twitter reactions were mostly supportive of the pontiff’s instinctive reaction.
“HE IS HUMAN.. Been a Pope doesn’t make you immune to Pain or avoid Reaction to pain,” one typical comment read.
In Francis first Mass of the New Year, the pontiff later denounced “all violence against women” as “a profanation of God, born of a woman.”
He also said women were “the source of life” but added that they were constantly “offended, beaten, abused and forced into prostitution” and forced to “suppress the life they carry within” them.