06/01/2020 12:16 PM AEDT

Pope Francis Pulls Himself Away From Woman Who Yanked His Hand

The abrupt gesture appeared to hurt the Pontiff so Francis swiftly wrenched his hand free.

ROME, Dec 31 (Reuters) - A visibly indignant Pope Francishad to pull himself away from a woman in a crowd in St Peter’s Square on Tuesday after she grabbed his hand and yanked him towards her.

Pope Francis was walking through the square in Vatican City and greeting pilgrims on his way to see the large Nativity scene set up in the huge, cobbled esplanade.

After reaching out to touch a child, the pope turned away from the crowd only for a nearby woman to seize his hand and pull her towards him. The abrupt gesture appeared to cause him pain and Francis swiftly wrenched his hand free.

The woman had made the sign of the cross as the pope had approached. It was not clear what she was saying as she subsequently tugged him towards her.

(Reporting by Crispian Balmer, Editing by Timothy Heritage)

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