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Pope Francis, surprised by gift of bird cage, sets 2 doves free in St. Peter's Square

  • Pope Francis frees a dove during his weekly general audience in St. Peter Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. As Francis toured the square in his open-topped popemobile at his Wednesday audience with the public, someone at the edge of the crowd thrust a white bird cage at him. Looking puzzled, his security detail took the cage, containing a pair of white doves, and handed it to Francis. Without hesitation, the pope opened the cage door, thrust a hand inside and extracted one dove, and with a flick of his hand, sent the bird flying over the square. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)The Associated Press

  • Pope Francis looks at a dove fly away after he freed it from a cage during his weekly general audience in St. Peter Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. As Francis toured the square in his open-topped popemobile at his Wednesday audience with the public, someone at the edge of the crowd thrust a white bird cage at him. Looking puzzled, his security detail took the cage, containing a pair of white doves, and handed it to Francis. Without hesitation, the pope opened the cage door, thrust a hand inside and extracted one dove, and with a flick of his hand, sent the bird flying over the square. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)The Associated Press

  • Pope Francis takes a dove out of a cage to free it during his weekly general audience in St. Peter Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. As Francis toured the square in his open-topped popemobile at his Wednesday audience with the public, someone at the edge of the crowd thrust a white bird cage at him. Looking puzzled, his security detail took the cage, containing a pair of white doves, and handed it to Francis. Without hesitation, the pope opened the cage door, thrust a hand inside and extracted one dove, and with a flick of his hand, sent the bird flying over the square. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)The Associated Press

  • Pope Francis frees a dove during his weekly general audience in St. Peter Square at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. As Francis toured the square in his open-topped popemobile at his Wednesday audience with the public, someone at the edge of the crowd thrust a white bird cage at him. Looking puzzled, his security detail took the cage, containing a pair of white doves, and handed it to Francis. Without hesitation, the pope opened the cage door, thrust a hand inside and extracted one dove, and with a flick of his hand, sent the bird flying over the square. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)The Associated Press

  • Pope Francis frees a dove as he is driven through the crowd in St. Peter's Square for his weekly general audience at the Vatican, Wednesday, May 15, 2013. As Francis toured the square in his open-topped popemobile at his Wednesday audience with the public, someone at the edge of the crowd thrust a white bird cage at him. Looking puzzled, his security detail took the cage, containing a pair of white doves, and handed it to Francis. Without hesitation, the pope opened the cage door, thrust a hand inside and extracted one dove, and with a flick of his hand, sent the bird flying over the square. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)The Associated Press

Two doves owe their freedom, including a soaring flight over St. Peter's Square, to Pope Francis.

As he toured the square in his open-topped popemobile at his Wednesday audience with the public, someone at the edge of the crowd thrust a white bird cage with two doves inside at him. Looking puzzled, his security detail took the cage and handed it to Francis.

Without hesitation, the pope opened the cage door, thrust a hand inside, extracted one dove and sent it to fly over the square.

Francis struggled to remove the other bird, whose feathers got caught in the cage bars. It sat for a while on his hand, before it too flew off.