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Pope: Earth turning into 'immense pile of filth"

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Posted at 9:04 AM, Jun 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-18 10:30:22-04

The Earth is "turning into an immense pile of filth."

Those were the words of Pope Francis in a manifesto designed to highlight issues with global warming, domestic politics and how people generally are living life.

"This home of ours is being ruined," he said. "This damages everyone, especially the poor."

In his 180-page letter addressed to everyone released Thursday, Pope Francis said progress in combating poverty is dampened by climate change, which is intensifying because of human activity. It is the first teaching document from the Pope devoted to the environment.

Full encyclical letter from Pope Francis

Earlier this week, NASA released the results of a study focused on the depletion of groundwater supply. The numbers show 37 major underground aquifers throughout the world are under severe stress.

In May, the government passed the Clean Water Rule, expanding pollution protection to more streams and wetlands in the United States.

Climate change has caused partisan divide in Congress and continues to be a big theme. With the Pope speaking in favor of fighting global warming, Republicans are challenged with whether to agree with him.