Washington Post: "Pope Francis, who has made the environment a clear focus of his papacy over the past three years, deepened his vision Thursday of a green church in which caring for the planet is as important a Catholic commitment as caring for the sick and the hungry."
"Catholics currently subscribe to seven corporal and seven spiritual 'works of mercy' — obligations that include sheltering the homeless, visiting prisoners and burying the dead. On Thursday, in an address explaining why Catholics must make practical changes in their daily routines to safeguard the earth that God created, Francis added care for the environment as an eighth work of mercy."
"The modern world has new forms of poverty, Francis said, and thus requires new forms of mercy to address them."
“'When we mistreat nature, we also mistreat human beings,' he wrote in his message for the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which falls on Sept. 1. He discussed the effect of global warming, which he noted is caused in part by human activity, on the world’s poorest people."
"'This is leading to ever more severe droughts, floods, fires and extreme weather events,' Francis wrote. 'Climate change is also contributing to the heart-rending refugee crisis. The world’s poor, though least responsible for climate change, are most vulnerable and already suffering its impact.'"