Pope says he hit woman because he didn’t like her trying to control what he did with his own body

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Pope Francis has today offered an explanation as to why he hit a woman in St Peter’s Square on New Year’s Eve.

Footage quickly circulated yesterday of the Pontiff angrily striking the hand of a female member of the public who had grabbed his hand and refused to let go.

Taking a glug of communion wine, Pope Francis told reporters, “I apologise for losing my temper on Tuesday evening, and for striking that pilgrim lady.

“It’s just that if there is one thing that really grinds my gears it is someone trying to control what another does with their own body. She was trying to hold me still longer than I wanted to, and I can’t think of a greater intrusion on the rights that someone has over their own body than that.”

He concluded, “I just hope she has also sought forgiveness for daring to try and control what I do with MY body.”

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A spokesperson for the Vatican told press, “His Holiness has apologised to the lady in question, and seeks to put this all behind him. But you can’t really blame him for his little outburst – if only our Holy Book offered advice on ‘turning the other cheek’ in these situations.”