By Philip Pullella
The Pontiff said that his long-awaited encyclical on the environment is almost finished and that he hopes that it can be published in June, in time to provide arguments for discussion before the UN meeting on climate, to be held in the French capital in November.
In a conversation with journalists on the plane that flew him from Sri Lanka to the Philippines, he was specifically asked if man is the main culprit of climate change.
"I don't know if it's all (man's fault), but for the majority, for the most part, man is the one who continually assaults nature," he said.
His words were the clearest to date on climate change, which has sparked a global debate and even divided conservative and liberal Catholics, especially in the United States.
"In a sense, we have ruled over nature, over Sister Earth, over Mother Earth," said Francisco, who has made many calls to protect the environment since his election in 2013.
"I think the man has gone too far," he said. "Thank God, today there are voices that are talking about this."
Last month, about 190 nations agreed on the foundations of a new global agreement by 2015 that will combat climate change, amid warnings that much tougher measures will be needed to limit rising temperatures around the world.
Under the agreement reached in Lima, governments will deliver national plans to control greenhouse gas emissions before an informal deadline set for March 31, 2015, to create the basis for a global pact scheduled for the Paris summit of End of the year.
The pope lashed out at the Peru conference for not having done enough against climate change.
"The meeting in Peru was not a big deal, I was disappointed. I think there was a lack of courage. They stopped at a certain point. Hopefully the delegates in Paris will be braver and move forward with this," he said.