Awaiting ecology encyclical, Catholic groups prepare for pope’s message

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April 29, 2015

A volunteer picks up trash at Freedom Island, a marshland considered to be a sanctuary for birds, fish and mangroves in a coastal area of Las Pinas City, near Manila, Philippines, April 22. Few papal encyclicals have been as eagerly awaited as Pope Francis' upcoming statement on the environment.  (CNS photo/Romeo Ranoco, Reuters) See ENCYCLICAL-PLANS April 29, 2015.

A volunteer picks up trash at Freedom Island, a marshland considered to be a sanctuary for birds, fish and mangroves in a coastal area of Las Pinas City, near Manila, Philippines, April 22. Few papal encyclicals have been as eagerly awaited as Pope Francis’ upcoming statement on the environment. (CNS photo/Romeo Ranoco, Reuters)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Few papal encyclicals have been as eagerly awaited as Pope Francis’ upcoming statement on the environment.

While no date other than early summer for its release has been announced, anticipation is building among Catholics as well as non-Catholics and advocates for the environment. Based on the pope’s past statements, they expect the document will call people to protect human life and dignity through greater appreciation and preservation of God’s creation.

What Pope Francis is expected to say has its roots in God’s creation of the world, Dan Misleh, executive director of the Catholic Climate Covenant, told the First Friday Forum of Lorain County in Elyria, Ohio, in early April.

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