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