Pope Francis, who named himself after the patron saint of the environment and animals, already made something of a statement about his opinions on environmental issues when he held up an anti-fracking t-shirt last fall. But now, sources in a Huffington Post article say the Pope is taking things one step further and writing an encyclical on humankind’s relationship with the environment. For those unfamiliar with the term, an encyclical is a letter circulated by the Pope to a certain audience of Bishops. A publication date has not yet been set.
Philip Pullella, Journalist, Reuters
VATICAN CITY, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Pope Francis, who took his name from the saint seen as the patron of the animals and the environment, is writing an encyclical on man’s relationship with nature, the Vatican said on Friday.
The Vatican spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, confirmed the project after French President Francois Hollande told reporters the pope had told him about it during a meeting earlier in the day.
Lombardi told Vatican Radio that the project was still in its early stages and that it was premature to say when it would be ready.
He said the theme of the encyclical, the highest form of papal writing, would be “the ecology of mankind”.
Since his election in March, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics has made many appeals in defence of the environment.