published Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

After dove disaster, Pope Francis takes a parrot

In this image made from video distributed by CTV, a man, left, offers his parrot to Pope Francis, center, during his tour through the crowd in St. Peter's Square, part of his weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
In this image made from video distributed by CTV, a man, left, offers his parrot to Pope Francis, center, during his tour through the crowd in St. Peter's Square, part of his weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

VATICAN CITY — 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 on Wednesday 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. The birds were soon attacked by a crow and seagull. Animal rights activists have urged Francis end the tradition, saying domesticated doves can't survive in the wild.

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