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Pope backs environment cleanups during pandemic

Scientists around the world are studying the effects of lockdowns and industrial shutdowns on air and sea pollution as well as wildlife.
Credit: AP
Faithful reach out to Pope Francis during an audience with participants of a pilgrimage of the Italian-Albanian diocese of Lungro, in the Pope Paul VI hall, at the Vatican, Saturday, May 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Pope Francis is encouraging grass-roots movements to protect the environment after coronavirus lockdowns have “revealed once more the beauty of so many places free from traffic and noise.”

Francis, speaking to a few hundred people gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, encouraged initiatives to care for the planet that began as a result of the pandemic, such as one on Sunday to clean up the banks of the Tiber River in Rome.

Francis has made environmental protection a hallmark of his papacy and just this past week, the Vatican released a guide on implementing his 2015 encyclical “Praised Be,” which blamed wealthy countries and corporate interests for destroying the Earth in search of profit.

Scientists around the world are studying the effects of lockdowns and industrial shutdowns on air and sea pollution as well as wildlife.

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