As tens of thousands of people watched in St. Peter's Square on Sunday, a seagull and a large black crow swept down on the doves right after they were set free from an open window of the Apostolic Palace.
One dove lost some feathers as it broke free from the gull. But the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove.
It was not clear what happened to the doves as they flew off.
While speaking at the window beforehand, Francis had appealed for peace in Ukraine, where anti-government protesters have died
AP Photos//Gregorio Borgia
Pope Francis looks at two children as they free doves during the Angelus prayer he celebrated from the window of his studio overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014
A dove which was freed by children with Pope Francis during his Angelus prayer, is attacked by a black crow in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday.
Symbols of peace have come under attack at the Vatican. After the pope and the two children left the windows, a seagull and a big black crow quickly swept down, attacking the doves, including one which had briefly perched on a windowsill on a lower floor. One dove lost some feathers as it broke free of the gull, while the crow pecked repeatedly at the other dove.