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Vatican Spokesman: Encyclical on Ecology Will Most Likely Be Released Before Summer


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Rome (ZENIT) -- The director of the Holy See Press Office refuted claims that Pope Francis’ anticipated encyclical on ecology will be released by the end of January.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi made his remarks on the encyclical during a press conference yesterday that detailed the Holy Father’s upcoming trip to Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

Responding to a journalist’s question, Fr. Lombardi stated that the encyclical is “still being prepared” and it’s release “is not imminent.”

“The news that has come out recently, that said that we would receive it in late January or February, is unreliable,” he said.

However, the Vatican spokesman told journalists that while the encyclical needs more time, he believes that it will be released “before the summer.”

Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has made the care for the environment and creation one of his principal concerns. During a meeting in January 2014 with ambassadors from around the world, the Holy Father warned that the exploitation of the environment was one of many threats to peace.

“Even if 'nature is at our disposition,' all too often we do not 'respect it or consider it a gracious gift which we must care for and set at the service of our brothers and sisters, including future generations,” he said.

“Here too what is crucial is our responsibility on the part of all in pursuing policies respectful of the earth which is our common home. I recall a popular saying: 'God always forgives, we sometimes forgive but when nature-creation—is mistreated she never forgives.'"

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