Pope's climate change encyclical leaks

Pope's climate change encyclical leaks
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An Italian magazine on Monday posted an early draft version of Pope FrancisPope FrancisVatican bans West Virginia bishop from public ministry over sexual misconduct allegations Pope Francis: 'No one is exempt' from helping migrants Pope 'profoundly saddened' by migrants' drowning in Rio Grande MORE’ highly anticipated environment encyclical, a move that a Vatican official denounced as a "heinous act."

L'Espresso posted the 192-page Italian language document on Monday, four days before the Vatican is planning to release the public version. According to the National Catholic Reporter, the text is an early draft of the encyclical, which is expected to make a moral case for taking on climate change.


A Vatican official told Bloomberg News that the leak is "heinous act," and a spokesman said news organizations should not report on the document until the final version comes out at noon in Rome on Thursday.

"You are invited to respect the journalistic honesty that requests you wait for the official publication of the final text," Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi said in a statement, per the National Catholic Reporter.

In the draft, the pope says that human activity is driving climate change, according to a translation by Crux, a Boston Globe website focused on the Catholic issues.

The encyclical calls for “changes in styles of life, of production and consumption, to combat this warming, or, at least, the human causes that produce and exacerbate it.”

Francis writes that the Earth “protests for the evil that we’ve caused due to irresponsible use and abuse” of natural resources. He calls for a greater focus on a “sustainable and integral form of development” to combat climate change in the future.

“We grew up thinking we were the earth’s owners and dominators, authorized to pillage it,” Francis writes. “Violence in the human heart wounded by sin shows itself also in the symptoms of disease that we see in the soil, the water, the air and living creatures.”

The document calls climate change “one of the principal challenges now facing humanity," according to Crux, and it asks readers to accept that it's actually happening. 

“It’s enough to look at reality with sincerity to see that there’s a great deterioration in our common home,” the encyclical says.

The encyclical, titled "Laudato Si, On the care of the common home,” comes ahead of a major international climate conference later this year. It is Francis’ second encyclical and will be his most thorough discussion of environmental issues to date, though he’s long advocated for a more active role in protecting the environment. 

“This encyclical is addressed to all,” Francis said on Sunday. “Let us pray that all receive its message and grow in responsibility towards the common home that God has entrusted to us all."

—This post was updated at 2:35 p.m.