Encyclicals are important for Catholics. Our theologians study them. Our pastors preach them. Sometimes we even read them.

But there has never been an encyclical like the yet-to-be published papal letter on the environment and climate change due out next month. Even the editorial board of The New York Times is waiting with baited breath. “The Pope is right to speak up for our planet, and the greater the impact the better,” the newspaper wrote in its April 29 editorial.

Published in International

Pope Francis has declared a special jubilee to help the world encounter the awesome, awful and awe-filled mercy of God. The world prefers cheap grace, and thinks it can get it from the Holy Father. The world — represented recently by Raul Castro and Al Gore — will be disappointed.

Published in Fr. Raymond de Souza

Some time next month the Vatican will release the Pope’s much-anticipated encyclical on the environment. It will be the first time a pope has devoted an encyclical to environmental matters and already critics are questioning Pope Francis’ qualifications to address this complex scientific issue.

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WASHINGTON - With extreme poverty having been cut in half over the last generation — and the Millennium Development Goals target of poverty halving having been achieved five years ahead of the 2015 deadline — veterans of the global war on poverty believe it is possible that extreme poverty can be wiped out in the next 15 years.

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Top officials from the Vatican, the head of the United Nations and leading scientists came together at a summit Tuesday (April 28) in Vatican City to label the fight against man-made climate change as a “moral issue.”

Published in Vatican

VATICAN CITY - Promoting sustainable development and mitigating climate change will take more than just global policies and agreements, it will also take a strong, unified stance from the world's religions, the secretary-general of the United Nations said at the Vatican.

Published in Vatican

The Vatican is set to host a major conference on climate change this month that will feature leading researchers on global warming and an opening address by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

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OTTAWA - Religious congregations and faith groups from across Canada have urged Canada’s finance minister to put a price on carbon emissions to combat climate change.

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MANILA, Philippines - Dozens of Filipino Catholics are joining a global Lenten fast to call on world leaders to act on climate change.

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GENEVA - No one is exempt from either the impacts of climate change or the moral responsibility to act to address this global concern, a Vatican official told members of the U.N. Human Rights Council.

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OTTAWA - People on both sides of the political spectrum share sentiments on protecting the environment, says a former U.S. Republican congressman, but while the left might offer “pie in the sky” solutions that don’t work, conservatives can offer solutions that “understand human nature” and “free market solutions that work.”

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Fossil Free Faith has launched a new program recruiting youth to lead the conversation in their faith communities about divesting in fossil fuel companies.

Published in Faith

TORONTO - Catholics around the world are participating in a 40-day Lenten fast to pray for unity in the Catholic Church and among world leaders in addressing climate change.

Published in Canada

WASHINGTON - The much-anticipated encyclical by Pope Francis on the environment, expected sometime this spring or early summer, is generating a lot of buzz in Washington and elsewhere.

Published in International

ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM COLOMBO, Sri Lanka - Commenting on recent killings by Islamist terrorists at a Paris newspaper, Pope Francis condemned killing in the name of God, but said freedom of expression should be limited by respect for religion and that mockery of faith can be expected to provoke violence.

Published in International