I don’t usually publish two posts in a single day, but I wanted to pass this information along. Thanks to Beth at I Once Was Lost for bringing this matter to my attention:
Yesterday evening, New Year’s Eve, pope Francis walked beside a barrier at St. Peter’s Square to greet and “bless” the throng of people who had gathered. After shaking hands with many of the folks pressed against the barrier, the pope began to walk away, but one pious Catholic would not be disappointed and reached out and grabbed Francis’ hand, pulling him toward her. The startled pope tried to pull his hand away and even began slapping at the woman’s hand with his free left hand to break her grip.
Allow me to paint between the lines of this scenario. This pious Catholic woman fulfilled the dream of a lifetime by traveling from her faraway country to the Vatican in Rome, Italy to see the pope in person during a New Year’s Eve appearance at St. Peter’s Square. She arrives at the square many hours ahead of time in hopes of getting a good spot to view the “holy father.” As the pope begins walking next to the barrier and shaking hands with the “pilgrims,” the woman pushes and jostles her way next to the barricade to position herself for a personal encounter with the “Vicar of Christ.” As Francis approaches, the woman nervously blesses herself with the sign of the cross as she prepares for the encounter. She can barely contain herself as she anxiously anticipates what will certainly be the greatest moment of her life. However, immediately after shaking the hand of the person next to her, the pope begins to veer away from the barrier. The woman responds instinctively. She won’t be denied after all of her hard effort and anticipation. She reaches out and grabs the pope’s hand and pulls him toward her. Francis reacts in surprise and anger by violently slapping at the frenzied woman’s iron grip.
As the Guardian newspaper reports, the “video of the incident went viral, prompting indignation on social media. One Twitter user wrote: ‘What the pope did demonstrates one thing – he’s a man.’”
In a speech to a crowd assembled at St. Peter’s square on New Year’s Day, Francis apologized for his violent reaction. Ironically, in his prepared address he condemned all violence against women.
Yes, the pope is just a man. Would Peter the apostle have accepted all of the slavish adulation and servitude accorded to Francis and all of the previous popes down through the ages? We’ll let Scripture speak:
“When Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him. But Peter lifted him up, saying, ‘Stand up; I too am a man.’” – Acts 10:25-26
Yes, Francis is just a man, a man who propagates a spiritually deadly false gospel of sacramental grace and merit. We know from God’s Word that salvation is by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.
Pope Francis apologises after slapping woman’s hand