(CNN) Talk about your angry birds.
A crow and a seagull attacked two white doves released by children standing next to Pope Francis on Sunday at St. Peter’s Square. The birds of prey swooped down just as the doves flew from the open window in the Apostolic Palace.
One dove broke free from the gull, after losing a few feathers in the fray. A crow pecked the other dove before both “birds of pray” broke free and flew away. Their ultimate fate is unknown. The attack occurred after the Pope and children had walked away from the window.
The Pope had offered prayers for Ukraine, the site of pitched civil strife, just before releasing the birds as a gesture of peace, and some say the dove-attack portends poorly for Eastern European nation.
Bad omen? @DavidKenner Pope Francis’s peace doves being attacked by crows,in the world’s least hopeful symbolism ever pic.twitter.com/Nki2JbJMV6
— notanna1AnnaNotaro (@notanna1) January 26, 2014
Others took a more humorous approach.
Pope’s peace doves attacked. A natural reminder that there will always be opposition to peacemaking. @washingtonpost pic.twitter.com/Jwoejn4O1A
— James Martin, SJ (@JamesMartinSJ) January 26, 2014
Doves as Judeo-Christian symbols of peace date back to biblical times. A dove returns to Noah with an olive leaf, letting him know that the flood had receded.
Later, the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus “like a dove” after his baptism, according to the Gospel of Matthew.