A visibly upset Pope Francis had some tough words for a rowdy crowd when their shoving caused him to fall on a disabled boy during an event in Mexico.
Following an encounter with young people in the city of Morelia, Pope Francis took time to greet those in the crowd, distributing rosaries as he went.
At one point, the jostling of the crowd trying to grab a rosary from the pontiff was so severe that the Pope lost his balance, falling forward on a boy in a wheelchair.
“What's going on with you? Don't be selfish! Don't be selfish!” Francis said forcefully as he got back up.
Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican Press Office, later told the media that the Pope’s response was natural, given the circumstances.
“It's a very human reaction, very normal... anyone in a similar situation would have reacted that way, especially after a long day of activities,” he said.
The spokesman said that after many meetings where the Pope “was giving everything he had to be kind with everyone, he is pulled down from one side and started to fall — this really is something that can put you on edge.”
Fr. Lombardi said the event is ultimately of little importance and noted that the pontiff continued on with his activities with the same enthusiasm and affection as before.
Pope Francis was in the city of Morelia on his fourth full day of his Feb. 12-17 visit to Mexico. He also spent time visiting a children’s hospital and prison, praying before the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, and meeting with young people, workers, religious and civil authorities.
His final major event will be a Feb. 17 Mass in Ciudad Juárez, a city plagued by drug violence which borders the U.S. city of El Paso, Texas.