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

The image of Francis slapping his way free from the clutches of an admirer last week was an instant hit on social media.

Image: PA Images

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 today, but said he would only approach her if she did not bite.

“I’ll give you a kiss, but you must stay calm. Don’t bite!” he told the enthusiastic nun.

She had been shouting “Long live the pope!” as Francis greeted pilgrims before his weekly general audience.

The 83-year old Argentinian then bent to kiss her on the cheek, sparking cheers from fellow worshippers in the crowd.

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

The image of Francis slapping his way free from the clutches of an admirer last week was an instant hit on social media.

A personal apology followed.

“We lose patience many times,” Francis confessed.

“It happens to me too. I apologise for the bad example given yesterday,” the head of the Catholic church said before celebrating Mass at the Vatican.

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Press Association

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