The Vatican confirmed Friday that Pope Francis has begun a draft of an encyclical focusing on the environment.
"The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said the document was still very much in its early stages and that no publication date has been set. He said it would be about ecology and more specifically the 'ecology of man.'"
In November, speculation began to rise  regarding an environmental encyclical, when an environmental justice coalition blogged that during a meeting of environmental activists -- famously where Francis held up anti-fracking and gold-mining shirts -- the pope "mentioned that he is preparing an encyclical about nature, humans and environmental pollution."
[Brian Roewe is an NCR staff writer. Follow him on Twitter: @BrianRoewe .]