Vatican: Pope's flash of anger 'human'

2016-02-17 21:16
Pope Francis prays during his visit to the Morelia Cathedral in Mexico's Michoacan state. (L'Osservatore Romano, Pool via AP)

Pope Francis prays during his visit to the Morelia Cathedral in Mexico's Michoacan state. (L'Osservatore Romano, Pool via AP)

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Mexico City - The Vatican has defended Pope Francis's "human reaction" after he briefly lost his temper when an over-enthusiastic admirer in Mexico tugged him over on top of a child in a wheelchair.

The 79-year-old pontiff was greeting worshippers on Tuesday in the city of Morelia when a member of the crowd pulled him forward by the hand, causing Francis to fall on top of the wheelchair user.

The pope straightened up with the help of his bodyguards and smiled briefly before his face turned stern and he told an excited admirer: "Don't be selfish."

He soon started to smile again and hand out rosaries.

"It was a normal human reaction" to certain admirers' "excessive enthusiasm", Vatican spokesperson Federico Lombardi told reporters late on Tuesday in Mexico City.

The pope has said in the past that he is prone to anger,  but that his bad tempers do not last.

Earlier in the celebration, he had warmly embraced two girls with Down's syndrome who ran towards him on the stage where he had appeared to the crowd.

Read more on:    pope francis  |  vatican city  |  mexico

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