Pope Francis has issued an apology for smacking the hand of a worshiper who grabbed him and yanked him toward her during New Year’s celebrations.

The actions of a visibly frustrated Francis slapping his way free from the clutches of a well-wisher as he walked by Catholic faithful on New Year’s Eve were caught on camera and shared around social media.

‘We lose patience many times,’ Francis confessed.

“It happens to me too,” the head of the Catholic Church said before celebrating Mass at the vatican.

“I apologise for the bad example given yesterday.”