A draft of the long-awaited Catholic Encyclical on Climate Change has been leaked four days early by an Italian magazine.
The 192-page document, written in Italian, is the Pope’s first major teaching on climate change and its effects on the world’s poor.
Invoking the memory of Pope John XXIII, who fifty years ago wrote an encyclical on the rejection of war which he extended beyond the Catholic world to “all men of good will,” the letter opens with the Pope’s intention to enter into dialogue with “all who respect our common home.”
He goes on to call on wealthy countries to assist poorer nations in the development and use of less polluting forms of energy, recognising that the main priority of poor nations will be the “eradication of poverty.”
The Pope hopes that the document will influence debate ahead of the UN’s COP 15 talks on Climate Change due to take place in Paris later this year.
A Vatican official has called the leaking of the document a “heinous act.”