Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Vatican Appoints Hawk

The Vatican has announced that it has brought a hawk in, to protect the Holy See's doves.

This has been warmly received in the Dove community. One dove said,

"We're really grateful to the Holy Father for bringing the hawk in. We are peaceable, forward-thinking, Tablet-reading doves. We are sure that, under the shadow of the hawk's wings, we can continue our peaceful progress in dialogue with our friends, the Lambeth sparrows, and continue to learn from them. We know that the hawk is not a great friend of the Lambeth sparrows, and he thinks that the Tablet is only fit for lining our coop. But we Vatican doves are so many more than him, that we are sure we will continue, democratically, to move our columbine way of life forward.  Coo."

The hawk, however, seemed less amenable to the dove's views. When reporters asked his opinion, he replied,

"Passeres bene sapiunt. Et degustant bene columbae. Accipitris sum."

Observers remark that, as Latin goes, this is an extraordinary form

(Late update - it appears the story was some kind of delayed-action April Fool joke... I think the text above still stands) 


  1. I think that there has been a problem with the translation of this particular bon mot! I understand that the hawk in question is an Argentinian White Crested Kite. Given the linguistic difficulties of a hawk articulating Latin labials through a beak, the hawk has clearly been misquoted. Allowing for Latinpodean articulation of ecclesiastical Latin, you will find that what the hawk actually said was: "Passeres bene sapiunt. degustant bene columbae. Accipitris sum!"

    1. Thank you Pete. I have updated my sources accordingly from the pig-Latin that I originally posted.

      It is worth pointing out that the laden weight of an Argentinian White Crested Kite is much greater than that of a sparrow, and therefore they are of great use in transporting coconuts to England. Or they would be, if they were migratory,

  2. As I tweeted an hour ago to @thechurchmouse and @GdnBelief, the Pope should watch The Borgias on TV. In one episode the Borgia pope brought in a hawk to clear Rome of pigeons, but it killed the papal doves instead. No reply yet, and the Guardian link is broken. So the hawk may be using the Guardian to line its nest, but I hope it hasn't taken Mouse.


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