A video has emerged online showing the moment Pope Francis angrily smacked the hand of a woman while struggling to free himself from her grip outside the Vatican as he toured the Christmas nativity scene in St Peter’s Square.

Pope Francis was walking through the square in Vatican City and greeting pilgrims on his way to see the large Nativity scene set up in the huge, cobbled esplanade.

After reaching out to touch a child, the pope turned away from the crowd only for a nearby woman to seize his hand and pull her toward him.

The abrupt gesture appeared to cause him pain and Francis swiftly wrenched his hand free, and he briefly shouted at the woman.

Watch the video below:

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