National Catholic Reporter

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Catholic social teaching

Climate encyclical expected to send strong moral message to the world

Pope Francis' upcoming encyclical on ecology and climate is expected to send a strong moral message -- one message that could make some readers uncomfortable, some observers say.

"The encyclical will address the issue of inequality in the distribution of resources and topics such as the wasting of food and the irresponsible exploitation of nature and the consequences for people's life and health," Archbishop Pedro Barreto Jimeno of Huancayo, Peru, told Catholic News Service.

Valuing creation a long-held Catholic tradition

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With its release, Pope Francis’ encyclical on the environment will be the first such document to focus exclusively on issues of ecology and humans’ place within and relationship with God’s creation.

While Francis’ document has sparked renewed interest in this area, Catholics have a history of valuing creation. Its care is one of the strands of Catholic social teaching -- along with maintaining the dignity of all people, the common good, and peace and reconciliation -- present across the fabric of our history.

Cardinal says pope's steady focus on poverty emphasizes body, soul

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Pope Francis has worked to keep in the public discourse the issue of poverty understood in its widest possible sense, said the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

"Going well beyond a merely economic conception of poverty, Pope Francis has tried to indicate to the world the true poverty of the human condition in our times: the poverty of body and soul, pointing out all the forces at work in the world further impoverishing mankind," said Cardinal Gerhard Müller.

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