Pope Francis pulls himself free from woman’s clutches (Video)

Pope Francis has apologised for hitting the hand of a well-wisher who grabbed him and yanked him toward her.

In his New Year’s wishes to the public in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, the 83-year-old leader of the Catholic Church confessed to losing his patience with the woman while he was strolling in the square Tuesday night to admire the Vatican’s Nativity scene.

Cameras captured the scene when the woman, from behind a barrier, reached out and grabbed the pope’s hand, pulling him violently toward her.

Francis reacted sharply, exclaimed something and then slapped her hand so she would let him go. Frowning in anger, he turned and strode away.

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