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‘I was punched!’ jokes pope about popemobile accident

Pope Francis jokes that he was ‘punched’ after he cut his eyebrow and stained his white cape with blood when he bumped into the window of his popemobile while waving to the public in Colombia on Sunday.


ABC News

Pope Francis lost his balance while riding in the Popemobile through a crowd in Cartagena, Colombia, on Sunday, bruising his left cheekbone and eyelid, but he was not seriously hurt.

The Vatican said he received ice treatment and was fine. A smiling Pope continued the trip wearing a bandage over his cut.

“I was punched. I’m fine,” he joked afterwards, the bruises on his face clearly visible.

Video images showed the pope hitting the left side of his face against a vertical bar of the Popemobile, a specially designed, open-top vehicle that allows the pontiff to stand and greet the faithful as his motorcade advances.

A few drops of blood were seen on his white cassock and the area around his left eye looked bruised and swollen.

“The Pope is fine. He injured his left cheekbone and eyelid,” spokesman Greg Burke said.

The Pope had flown from Bogota to Cartagena in his last stop of a five-day Colombia trip centred on reconciliation.

He used the occasion to again decry modern slavery and human trafficking and defend the rights of immigrants.

Human rights groups estimate millions of people around the world are victims of human trafficking and forms of modern slavery such as forced labour and prostitution.

“Here in Colombia and in the world, millions of people are still being sold as slaves; they either beg for some expressions of humanity, moments of tenderness, or they flee by sea or land because they have lost everything, primarily their dignity and their rights,” the Pope said.

He visited the impoverished neighbourhood of San Francisco and blessed the cornerstone of a shelter for at-risk Afro-Colombian girls vulnerable to child prostitution, drugs and violence.