Pope Francis is drafting an encyclical on the environment.
According to multiple media reports, the Vatican announced Friday that the pope is in the early stages of a work on “the ecology of man.”
The pope adopted his name from St. Francis of Assisi, known for his love of nature and the environment. Francis has previously spoken about the exploitation of the earth’s natural resources and urged followers to “respect for the whole of creation and the protection of our environment.”
Since taking control of the church in March, Francis hasn’t shied away from taking strong political positions, often with a populist bent. Many Democrats have been encouraged by his focus on combating poverty and his criticisms of unrestrained capitalism.
President Obama will meet with Pope Francis at the Vatican at the end of March.
The Catholic church, however, sharply disagrees with a number of the Obama administration’s policies, such as the health law's contraception coverage and the U.S. government's tacit support for gay marriage and legalizing marijuana.
Catholic leaders are also concerned about allegations that the National Security Agency spied on the Vatican.