Pope Francis has offered an unreserved apology after slapping a woman’s hand twice after she suddenly grabbed him as he turned to walk away after greeting and shaking people in the crowd on New Years eve.
In his New Year’s message on Wednesday, he said:
“So many times we lose patience, even me, and I apologise for yesterday’s bad example,” he told his congregation who gathered for the New Year mass.
“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 honoured.”
“We can understand our level of humanity by the way we treat a woman’s body,” he said.
“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.”