Australian Catholics prepare for Pope's environment statement as draft leaks

June 16, 2015 6:57 AM

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Pope Francis is preparing to declare humans as primarily responsible for climate change, call for fossil fuels to be replaced by renewable energy and decry the culture of consumerism, a leaked draft of his much anticipated statement on the environment suggests.

The document - known as an encyclical, a papal teaching letter - will likely cause significant discussion among Australia's 5.4 million Catholics - from bishops to those in political office, such as Prime Minister Tony Abbott and opposition leader Bill Shorten.

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