I generally try not to see too much symbolism in events — I remember when wingnut Glenn Beck remarked that a flock of geese flying overhead during one of his KKK rallies was a “miracle,” was “God’s flyover,” and I want to be mostly nothing like Glenn Beck — but it’s difficult not to see some symbolism in the news and in the news photos of the two white “peace” doves that, when two bonny-faced white children released from a window at the Vatican with Pope Francis, were promptly savaged by a seagull and a crow today.
Vatican City — Two white doves that were released by children standing alongside Pope Francis as a peace gesture have been attacked by other birds.
As tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter’s Square [today], a seagull and a large black crow swept down on the doves right after they were set free from an open window of the Apostolic Palace.
One dove lost some feathers as it broke free from the gull. But the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove.
It was not clear what happened to the doves as they flew off.
While speaking at the window beforehand, Francis had appealed for peace in Ukraine, where anti-government protesters have died.
Here are some of the news photos:
Associated Press photos
Any symbolism seen in this, I suppose, would be much like a Rorschach test:
Catholicks might view it as a hostile world attacking the peaceful Catholick church. (Yeah, right. I just saw the excellent film “Philomena.” The Catholick church has been and remains one of the most evil, most oppressive institutions on the planet, even though its new pope has tried to put a happy face on all of it.)
Even a fairly reasonable person might see it as a general symbol of or statement on the state of peace in the world today, I suppose.
Anti-“Christo”fascists like myself might tend to view today’s incident of “The Birds” Meets Pope Smiley Face as the Universe’s commentary on the Catholick church itself, but most of us anti-“Christo”fascists, also being atheists or leaning toward atheism, anyway, and generally favoring science and logic and reason over hocus-pocus (such as the visage of Jesus “miraculously” appearing on a piece of toast), probably view it as just a fairly poor idea for the Catholick church to be releasing weaker birds into an environment where there are hungry, more powerful birds — duh.
Still, while I feel sorry for the doves — just two more victims of the Catholick church — and while I hope that they are OK, I kind of have to laugh inside.
P.S. Apparently, it’s dangerous to be a dove at the Vatican. TheWire.com notes that “last year, Pope Benedict XVI’s ceremonial dove release for victims of the Holocaust was marred when a seagull also attacked a dove and pinned it against a window pane.” That dove, reportedly, got away, but before today’s dove release, the Vatican knew that such an attack was a possibility.