Italian magazine leaks draft of pope's environment encyclical

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 15, 2015 2:47 PM

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - An Italian magazine on Monday put a leaked draft of Pope Francis' encyclical on its website but the Vatican said it was not the final version and asked journalists to wait until the official version is released.

"An Italian text of a draft of the pope’s encyclical “Laudato Si’” has been published. Please note that it is not the final text ..." Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement to reporters after the magazine L'Espresso put the 200-page draft on its website.

"The rules of the embargo remain in place. We ask journalists to respect professional standards, which call for waiting for the official publication of the final text," Lombardi added.

The official text is due to be released on Thursday. Journalists are expected to receive texts in various languages on Wednesday with an embargo for 1000 GMT (6 a.m. EDT) on Thursday.

According to people familiar with the encyclical who spoke to Reuters last week, the pope urges all people to be stewards of creation and he addresses the human causes of climate change.

By making environmental protection a moral imperative, his intervention could spur the world's 1.2 billion Catholics to lobby policymakers on ecology issues.

Francis has said he wants the document, called "Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home", to be part of the debate at a major U.N. summit on climate change later this year.

The people familiar with the encyclical said it would note the impact of climate change on the poor and discuss inequalities of wealth -- already a major theme for the first pope from Latin America, where poverty is widespread -- and population issues.

Rich nations will be asked in the encyclical to re-examine "throw-away" lifestyles.

(Reporting By Philip Pullella; Editing by Gareth Jones)