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Fewer than half of US Catholics have heard of Laudato Si’, poll finds

Pope Francis is expected to highlight his views on climate change during his visit to the country in September (PA)

Fewer than half of American Catholics are aware of Pope Francis’s views on climate change, according to a new poll.

Research by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and Yale University found that only 40 per cent of US Catholics said they were aware of the Pope’s environment encyclical Laudato Si’. Only 23 per cent said they had heard about it at Mass.

Pope Francis is expected to highlight his concerns about climate change during his visit to America next month.

According to the survey only 43 per cent of Catholics and 39 per cent of all adults agree with the Pope that climate change is a moral issue and a tiny percentage agree that it has any connection to poverty or religion.

Dan Misleh, executive director of the Climate Change Covenant, said the results were “unfortunate”.

He said: “There’s a clear human impact. That’s going to be our challenge — to explain that this environmental question is really a human thriving question.”

The Pope will arrive in Washington DC on September 22 before travelling to New York two days later and then concluding his tour in Philadelphia.