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‘Don’t bite!’ Pope negotiates papal kiss after hand-slapping controversy

The moment came after video of him slapping away the hand of an overly enthusiastic pilgrim went viral and sparked a papal apology.

Pope Francis greets the faithful at the end of his weekly general audience at the Vatican (Gregorio Borgia/AP)
Pope Francis greets the faithful at the end of his weekly general audience at the Vatican (Gregorio Borgia/AP)

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

Pope Francis has cautiously waded back into the crowds after video of him slapping away the hand of an overly enthusiastic pilgrim went viral and sparked a papal apology.

Francis gingerly agreed to a nun’s request for a kiss on the cheek on Wednesday, but said he would only approach her if she did not bite.

The moment occurred as Francis entered the Vatican auditorium at the start of his weekly general audience.

Francis kept his distance when the sister first asked for a papal kiss, and then negotiated the terms: “I’ll give you a kiss, but keep calm. Don’t bite!”

PA

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