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Vatican Asks Catholics to Drop Investments in Fossil Fuels, Arms


FILE - In this Sunday, June 7, 2020 file photo, Pope Francis delivers his blessing as he recites the Angelus noon prayer from the window of his studio overlooking St.Peter's Square, at the Vatican. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, File)
Vatican Asks Catholics to Drop Investments in Fossil Fuels, Arms
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The Vatican is urging Roman Catholics to sell investments in arms manufacturers and businesses that specialize in oil and other fossil fuels. It also has asked Catholics to look closely at companies in areas such as mining to see if they are hurting the environment.

The calls are part of a new document for Catholic religious leaders and workers. It marks the fifth anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si” (Praised Be) on the need to protect nature, life, and defenseless people.

The document suggests ways to reach the goals of the Pope’s letter. The encyclical expressed support for agreements to contain global warming. It also warned against the dangers of climate change.

The new document says people “could favor positive changes” and remove “from their investments companies that do not satisfy certain parameters.” It listed these as respect for human rights, bans on child labor and protection of the environment.

The document is called ‘Journeying Towards Care For Our Common Home.’ One part urges Catholics to refuse to use or invest in “companies that are harmful to human or social ecology, such as abortion and arms, and to the environment, such as fossil fuels.”

Another part calls for the “monitoring” of mining industries to prevent air, soil and water pollution.

Last month, more than 40 religious groups from around the world promised to sell investments in fossil fuel companies. More than 50 percent of those organizations were Catholic.

The Vatican bank has said it does not invest in fossil fuels. Many Catholic dioceses and educational groups around the world have said the same.

The document urges Catholics to defend the rights of local populations to have a say in whether their lands can be used for oil or mining. It also defends the right of Catholics to take strong positions against companies that cause environmental disasters or exploit natural resources such as forests.

I’m Susan Shand.

The Reuters News Agency reported this story. Susan Shand adapted it for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

encyclical – n. a letter from the Pope sent to all bishops in the Roman Catholic church

global – adj. worldwide

positive – adj. a successful outcome

parameters – n. the line of definition

ecology - n. the study of the relations between one organism to another

abortion – n. the termination of a pregnancy

monitoring – n. watching over

dioceses – n. an area watched over by a bishop in the Christian faith

exploit – v. to make use of

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