Pope Releases "Peace Doves", Birds Attacked


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It's almost like something out a dark comedy.

On Sunday, as thousands gathered in St. Peter's Square, two white doves were released by children. Standing next to them was Pope Francis himself.

The gesture was meant to promote world peace. You can't get much more sweet and well meaning than that, right?

Well, Mother Nature was having none of the Holy Father yesterday.

Shortly after the two beautiful birds were set free, they were attacked by a crow and a seagull. The two birds themselves had just been set free from the Apostolic Palace, and for whatever reason took their distress out on the helpless doves. Neither bird was fatally injured, though both were wounded and one lost quite a bit of its feathers in the attack.

The symbolic act followed a plea for peace in Ukraine, were protests have been raging for months, and the clashes had turned violent. Three Ukrainian protesters had been killed a week ago, and opposition leaders had turned down offers of government positions made by President Yanukovych.

While this event can and will be viewed as a terrible and sad coincidence that may have frightened children, there is likely going to be symbolism taken away from the event, and with good reason.

While doves represent peace, nonviolence and good will, crows are known to represent death and bad omens. As for seagulls, they've actually been known to be signs of good fortune.

So to the superstitious, this may have been one way of saying that although we may want world peace and an end to conflict, these things will not be forthcoming. Instead of peace and nonviolence, there will be violence, death, and terrible fortunes to be had.

This conclusion may be obvious to some without the symbolism. Regardless, rather than being disheartened by signs and symbolism gone wrong, there is a positive take away.

The doves somehow managed to bring together a seagull and a crow, two birds not known to get along:

Image via ITN