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Pope Francis

‘I got bashed’: Popemobile jolt gives Francis a black eye

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 September, 2017, 2:28am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 September, 2017, 10:46pm

Pope Francis got a cut on his brow and blood on his white cape on Sunday when he bumped into the window of his Popemobile while waving to admirers in Colombia.

Francis, 80, was standing up in the specially designed vehicle during a procession through the Caribbean city of Cartagena when the vehicle braked sharply.

Television pictures showed him colliding with the glass of the vehicle’s covered platform, and then being assisted by his bodyguard.

He was seen later with a black eye and a small dressing on his brow, but still smiling.

“I got bashed,” he joked to reporters.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told journalists: “The pope is all right. Ice was put on it and he was treated. He will continue the schedule for his visit with no changes.”

Francis was in Cartagena on the last day of a four-city Colombian tour.

The highlight for Francis was prayer at the tomb of Saint Peter Claver, the 17th century missionary who ministered to hundreds of thousands of African slaves who were brought through Cartagena’s port during Spanish colonial times to be sold.

Francis said the legacy of the Spanish priest should serve as a model for the Catholic Church and he urged Colombians to work towards a more peaceful future. He also lashed out at drug dealers and traffickers, condemning them as unscrupulous merchants of death.

“You can’t play with the lives of our brothers or manipulate their dignity,” he said.

Francis also called for an end to political violence in neighbouring Venezuela and protection for the vulnerable.

Additional reporting by Associated Press