End Vatican Peace Dove Release


Target: Pope Francis, Pope of the Catholic Church

Goal: End the release of peace doves after two birds were attacked upon their release in the Vatican

After a speech at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City where Pope Francis addressed ongoing issues of violence in Ukraine, two doves were released as a gesture of peace. This symbolic act of diplomacy quickly turned into a nightmare when the two doves were attacked by a crow and a seagull almost immediately upon their release. Urge Pope Francis to discontinue the practice of releasing peace doves.

While the Pope’s intentions were honest, the release of peace doves is problematic for many reasons. According to National Geographic, doves have been bred for hundreds of years to look unnaturally white and they now attract predators more easily than their camouflaged peers. While white animals often symbolize hope and peace for traditional religions, white doves have been domesticated to their detriment and their fair coats now prevent them from hiding in the wild. As a result, they typically do not survive for long after their release.

In this case, the open city provided little shelter for the doves as they were launched into the air, and crows and gulls passing by were quick to take notice. While one of the birds escaped, the fate of the other is still unknown.

To make matters worse, onlookers considered the ironic incident a bad omen. In order to protect the livelihood of birds as well as the mental wellness of those who trust in symbolic events, a different form of peace gesture must be implemented. If continued, this present practice could result in the destruction of more peace doves.

Thank the Pope for his well-intentioned actions, but urge him to discontinue the release of peace doves in the future.


Dear Pope Francis,

I am writing to express my concern over the recent incident at the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City, where two peace doves were harmed. Upon the release of the two white birds, both were viciously attacked by a crow and a seagull. While your symbolic act of peace was undeniably well-intentioned, it resulted in direct harm to wildlife and therefore should be discontinued in the future. Additionally, because white doves have been domesticated and specifically bred to look unnaturally pale for ceremonial release, they die quickly once released into the wild.

While I thank you for encouraging our society to practice peace, I urge you to discontinue the harmful practice of releasing peace doves in the future.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Alexandre Roschewitz via Flickr

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  1. Birds in captivity do not understand how to survive in the wild because the cage is all they knew and got used to. Like human, if we have never exercise, it will be difficult at first until we make it a habit. Flying requires practice which cage birds never got a chance to do, and they will immediately become prey. This does not represent PEACE if the birds are killed. Best thing for human to remember is to keep them in the wild to begin with, so they are free to roam. We are all love freedom and so do wildlife.

  2. Sandra Zaninovich says:

    Travesty by this so-called “caring” pope.

  3. I have signed all petitions but not this one, because, as you, I was startled at the news, but then got informed about and found out that the dove, like her companions, live FREE and go back to her shelter at night. IT is a domesticated bird indeed, but living free, as all animals should be able to!

  4. This was most unfortunate. I am sure that Pope Francis was not deliberately trying to have any harm to come to these birds. He is more compassionate. He just needs to be made aware, so it does not happen again.



  6. Vicky Cole says:

    I think we have a wonderful Pope who couldn’t have forseen this and does a lot for human and animal welfare, but this maybe should not be done again if birds are hurt. We are fortunate to have someone who has spoken out against animal cruelty so much

    O most beautiful flower of Mt Carmel, fruitful vine, splendour of Heaven, Blessed mother of the Son of God, Immaculate Virgin, assist me in my necessity. O Star of the Sea help me, show me herein you are my mother . O Holy Mary Mother of God, Queen of heaven and earth, I humbly beseech thee from the bottom of my heart to assist me in my necessity (please pray for an end to unnecessary suffering and cruelty)
    There are none that can withstand your power

    O Mary conceived without sin pray for us who have recourse to thee (3 times)

    O Holy Mary I place this cause in your hands (3 times)
    Say for 3 consecutive days and publish

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