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Pope Francis will once again use his considerable platform to speak out against environmental damage across the globe.
After releasing an encyclical — a papal letter to all bishops in the Roman Catholic church — in 2015 in which he described how the Earth is beginning to look like “an immense pile of filth,” the Pope announced during his weekly general audience at the Vatican on August 30 that he will release a follow-up on Oct. 14.
As the Guardian noted, it will coincide with the feast day of the patron saint of the environment, Francis of Assisi.
“The human environment and the natural environment deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation,” the Pope said in that 2015 release.
He used similar language in his August announcement, in which he called for an end to the “senseless war on our common home,” adding that climate injustice and damage to nature is “a terrible world war.”
In July, Pope Francis used his Angelus message in St. Peter’s Square to raise his concerns about the environment, calling on listeners and global policymakers to take urgent action regarding the warming climate.
His speech came amid flooding in South Korea and deadly heat waves all over the world.
“Please, I renew my appeal to world leaders to do something more concrete to limit polluting emissions,” he said, per Reuters. “It is an urgent challenge, it cannot be postponed, it concerns everyone. Let us protect our common home.”
Rising temperatures have been linked to extreme weather events worldwide. According to the Guardian, in the eight years since the Pope’s first encyclical address, there have been more severe hurricanes, more frequent wildfires, and more intense heat waves that have lasted longer across the world.
Environmental damage such as pollution and deforestation are significant contributors to global heating, which is linked to each of these extreme weather events.
Hopefully, the Pope’s next environmental plea will be as powerful, if not more, than the last one. According to Reuters, the Pope’s 2015 encyclical made an impression at that year’s Paris climate conference, with former U.S. secretary of state John Kerry saying it had a “profound impact.” Goals to limit global heating were later mapped out at the conference.
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