Pope apologizes for slapping arm of pilgrim

Pope Francis apologized on Wednesday for having angrily slapped a women's arm when she had grabbed hold of his hand and yanked him toward her, saying he had lost his patience and set a "bad example". 

His unsual apology came after he used his first homily of the new year to denounce violence against women, which he compared to profaning God. 

The pope said last April the church had to acknowledge a history of male domination and sexual abuse of women. A month later, he appointed for the first time four women to an important vatican department that prepares the major meeting of world bishops.