The Pope lost his patience.
Pope Francis has issued an apology for his behavior when greeting pilgrims at the Vatican’s Nativity scene.
The incident caught on camera, shows a woman in the crowd grabbing the 83-year-old Pope’s hand, calling him back. She does not let go until Francis swats the woman’s hand twice in order to get out of her grip. Angrily, he walks away.
Naturally, the scene caused many to criticize the Pope for his actions, drawing back to a similar instance in which the Pope withdrew his hand from worshippers attempting to kiss his ring.
“Many times we lose our patience,” he began before delivering on a New Year’s address on Wednesday, per the New York Times. “I do, too, and I’m sorry for yesterday’s bad example.”
He would use the bulk of his speech to denounce violence against women, using the apology as an appropriate transition.
“Women are sources of life,” said the Pope at one point. “Yet they are continually insulted, beaten, raped, forced to prostitute themselves and to suppress the life they bear in the womb […] Every form of violence inflicted upon a woman is a blasphemy against God, who was born of a woman.”