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Pope Francis Apologizes For Setting 'Bad Example' By Smacking Woman's Arm After She Grabbed Him On New Year's Eve

On Wednesday, January 1, Pope Francis issued an apology.

The pontiff's mea culpa was for the way he acted on New Year's Eve, slapping a woman's hand to make her let go of his arm.

In a clip of the incident, which has gone viral, a woman grabs the Pope's arm as he's greeting pilgrims in St. Peters Square. She seems to pull him towards her and he tries to yank his arm away.

When she won't let go, he slaps her hand several times before walking away with a scowl.

Indignant Pope Francis slaps woman's hand to free himself at New Year's Eve gathering

The next day, the Pope issued an apology, saying he had set a "bad example."

He also spoke at length about the role women should play in the world.

"So many times we lose patience, even me, and I apologize for yesterday's bad example...All violence inflicted on women is a desecration of God..."
"How often is a woman's body sacrificed on the profane altar of advertising, profit, pornography...[The female body] must be freed from consumerism; it must be respected and honored..."
"We can understand our level of humanity by the way we treat a woman's body..."

The Pope also connected women to immigration, saying:

"Today, even motherhood is humiliated because the only growth that interests us is economic growth."
"There are mothers who risk perilous journeys to desperately try to give the fruit of the womb a better future and are judged to be redundant by people whose bellies are full of things but whose hearts are empty of love."

The Pope concluded by saying that women "must be fully involved in the decision making process."

Online, many people felt the Pope's apology was understandable and satisfactory.

Others, however, thought the Pope's actions called for something more substantial.

Meanwhile, the internet was united behind countless jokes regarding the slap.

So is the moral of the story "always be careful around the Pope"?

You never know when he's going to lash out with a good firm slap.