Pope Francis issued an apology on Wednesday after displaying a flash of anger while greeting the hoards of pilgrims that find their way to the Vatican every year.
In an incident that was captured on film, the 83-year-old pope, who was walking through the city greeting the faithful can be seen reaching into the crowd, seeking the hands of children. As he turns away, a woman from the crowd grabs his hand and yanks him towards her, causing him to sway slightly and momentarily lose his balance. Francis was visibly left disgruntled, as he slapped the woman’s hands twice to free himself and then turn away angrily.
The video spread like wildfire on the internet and became a source for jokes and conversation alike. Netizens stood divided as they debated the wrongs and rights. Many of whom dislike Francis deemed the video "disturbing" and "embarrassing", while others came to his defence and called out the woman for yanking at a man of his age so forcefully.
The pontiff, in his traditional Wednesday remarks, offered an apology as he talked about patience and how it conquers “iniquity and power.”
“Many times we lose our patience,” he said. “I do, too, and I’m sorry for yesterday’s bad example.”
This is not the first 'handshake incident' that became the talk of the town. In March last year, Pope Francis repeatedly withdrew his hand from worshipers as they sought to kiss his ring.