Pope Francis was in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City today, greeting pilgrims, and shaking their hands.
As he turned away from the people to leave, a woman who had hoped to shake his hand, grabs his hand and pulls him back very strongly, saying something to him that is not clear.
He appears to wince, then smacks her hands multiple times to let him go, yelling at her and very angry in response.
Reuters decorously describes his face as “disgruntled” which is perhaps less than accurate.
You can be the judge.
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 31, 2019
This Catholic account that follows and reports on his actions, said that he told her to let go.
This evening after visiting the Nativity scene in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis loses his cool after being grabbed by a pilgrim who wouldn't let go of his hand. The Pope repeated slapped her hand and told her to let go of him. pic.twitter.com/6Qrgh8aZKz
— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) December 31, 2019
People had a variety of reactions, from “she pulled him too hard and he’s human,” to wow, “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Pope smack a woman or have a look like that on his face.”
She was over-enthusiastic and should have been more respectful but wow. His face. 😳
— Caroline Farrow (@CF_Farrow) December 31, 2019
Not the best reaction from him but the guys 83 and that was probably very annoying and uncomfortable when he was trying to move away.
— Peter Smith 💎 (@realBootyBreath) December 31, 2019
But, honestly, can you imagine Benedict XVI or JP II reacting like that under the same exact circumstances? Of course not. This is a different kind of man.
— Rafael Pi Roman (@RafPiRoman) December 31, 2019
Actually, people do that all the time. They are taken up in the moment. Security should have stopped it sooner.
— Netmilsmom (@Netmilsmom) December 31, 2019