EPA administrator talks climate change with Vatican officials ahead of environment encyclical

The Obama administration is seeking to hitch its climate change message onto that of the ever-popular Pope Francis, whose upcoming environmental encyclical has drawn more speculation than any papal document in recent memory.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency met Friday with senior Vatican officials who helped draft the document, which is expected to be released in June or July.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters that her aim was to show how aligned President Obama and Francis are on climate change, emphasize actions the U.S. is taking already, and that climate change isn't just an environmental issue, but a public health threat and chance for economic opportunity.

She added: "It's certainly not my place to dictate to the pope what he should be doing in an encyclical."