I concur, with a more literal rendering “harmless as doves.”
Being wise as a serpent chiefly means knowing where the serpent wants to strike and how, and taking preventive action to avert needlessly exposing one’s vulnerability. It doesn’t mean setting up a Serpent World within the church....
” It doesnt mean setting up a Serpent World within the church....”
I am not suggesting that, I doubt that Douglas Hyde was or that Fr. Charles Erlandson was.