VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis seems to have made up with the world of birds.
After his dove release went terribly awry on Sunday, Francis gladly blessed and held a green parrot named Amore that was offered to him by his owner, Francesco Lombardi.
Francis initially drove by Amore during his general audience, but then doubled back and took the bird for a few seconds on his finger. Lombardi said Amore parroted back the “Papa” that the crowd was chanting.
The scene wasn’t so peaceful on Sunday, when children flanking Francis set free two white doves from his studio window overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Tens of thousands of people watched as the birds were attacked by a crow and seagull.
There is no word on the fate of the doves.
Animal rights activists have urged Francis end the tradition, saying domesticated doves can’t survive in the wild.
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