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Pope on climate change: Our home is being ruined

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(CNN) -- Pope Francis has entered the climate change debate, warning in his own words -- our home is being ruined.

The pontiff greeted crowds in St. Peter's Square on his way to give his weekly message.

The encyclical -- or public letter -- on the issue of climate change will be officially released Thursday.

"Tomorrow as you are aware the encyclical will be published on the care of the common home which is creation. This, our home is being ruined and damaged and it's affecting all of us especially the poor, and so mine is an appeal to the responsibility on the basis of the task that god has entrusted to men in creation to cultivate and to guard the garden where God has placed men," Pope Francis said.

An encyclical is one of the highest teaching documents of the church.

By issuing such a letter on climate change, he's putting it high on the list with other moral issues.

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