Vatican responds to Nat'l Geographic report on ivory in religious icons, will raise awareness

The Vatican has pledged to do what it can to raise awareness about the illegal trade in ivory following a campaign by National Geographic magazine to expose the use of ivory in religious icons.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, wrote an unusual and lengthy response to the magazine, correcting some errors in its reporting but agreeing that the Holy See was "absolutely convinced that the massacre of elephants is a very serious matter" and could do something about it.

Lombardi pledged to have Vatican Radio's Africa programs report more on the fight against the illegal trade in ivory.