World

Pope rallies bishops to press climate call before crucial Paris negotiations

Pope Francis spreads incense during a canonization ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. Pope Francis canonized the Catholic Church's first married couple in modern times on Sunday, declaring the parents of the beloved St. Therese of Lisieux saints in their own right. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis spreads incense during a canonization ceremony in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. Pope Francis canonized the Catholic Church's first married couple in modern times on Sunday, declaring the parents of the beloved St. Therese of Lisieux saints in their own right. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

The Vatican is seeking to reinforce Pope Francis' environmental message by encouraging bishops from around the world to sign an appeal to world leaders meeting in Paris next month for crucial climate change talks.

Cardinals, patriarchs and bishops, including representatives of regional bishops' conferences from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Oceania, are expected to sign the appeal Monday.

Francis outlined his eco-message in a major teaching document in June, denouncing what he called the "structurally perverse" fossil fuel-based world economy that he says exploits the poor and destroys the Earth.

The encyclical was cheered by environmentalists and ignored or criticized by big business interests. In the U.S., it was met with particular unease and so far no U.S. bishop is scheduled to participate in the conference to launch the appeal.