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Pope Backs Climate Change Science, Denounces World Leaders

Pope Francis attends a meeting with the Roman Diocesans in St. Peter's Square on June 14, 2015 in Vatican City, Vatican.

Pope Francis attends a meeting with the Roman Diocesans in St. Peter's Square on June 14, 2015 in Vatican City, Vatican.

Photographer: Franco Origlia/Getty Images
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Pope Francis has endorsed the science behind global warming and denounced the world’s political leaders for putting national self-interest ahead of action. Now, Catholic priests are gearing up to spread the word.

The 192-page leaked draft of a papal encyclical, published Monday by the Italian magazine L’Espresso, is an attempt to influence the debate before United Nations climate talks scheduled for the end of the year in Paris. Father Federico Lombardi, the pope’s spokesman, said the text was not the final one, which will be officially released midday local time Thursday by the Vatican.