Francis confirms encyclical on environment has been written

Document under revision

Pope Francis has confirmed that his encyclical on the environment has been written and is currently under revision, reports Vatican Radio.

In an impromptu press conference on the flight back from South Korea on Monday, the Pontiff said he wrote the encyclical with the collaboration of Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and others.

While he did not give a date for its release, the Pope said the encyclical is one-third longer than his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium and that it presented many difficult questions.

It is possible to discuss the stewardship of creation and ecology with clarity “only to a certain point,” he told journalists. “But then scientific hypotheses come into play, some feasible, and others perhaps not.”

Norman Levesque, director of the Green Church Project, a pan-Canadian ecumenical initiative, based at the Canadian Centre for Ecumenism in Montreal, said he expects Pope Francis’ encyclical to follow the progression of thought on the environment, developed and articulated by previous pontiffs.

“Paul VI was very focussed on (sustainable) development. John Paul II was more involved in social justice. Benedict XVI (focussed on) respect for the order of creation,” he said. “So we’re going from careful development, to eco-justice, to the order of creation and respecting it.”

Pope St John Paul II, always put a human face on the environmental crisis, Levesque added, underlining that it is the poor and vulnerable who suffer most the effects of environmental degradation.

FULL STORY Creation Care offers Christian answers to ecological crisis (Vatican Radio)

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Pope holds press conference on flight back from Korea (Vatican Radio)

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