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Pope Francis is hanging around with anti-fracking activists!

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It seems that hardly a day goes by without Pope Francis saying or doing something that spawns headlines and represents cause for concern among guardians of orthodoxy.

THIS STORY is just the latest example:

Pope Francis has already become a favorite of progressives with his fairly open-minded statements on homosexuality and birth control. But that adoration may go into overdrive, now that the Pope has adopted a new role as an environmental crusader, too. On Monday, the Pope was photographed with environmental activists holding T-shirts with anti-fracking slogans.

The photographs were taken after a meeting in the Vatican on Monday in which the Pope spoke with a group of Argentine environmental activists to discuss  fracking and water contamination. He reportedly told the group he is preparing an encyclical — a letter addressing a part of Catholic doctrine — about nature, humans, and environmental pollution.

In the pictures, one of the men standing with the Pope is movie director and Argentine politician Fernando ‘Pino’ Solanas, known for his activism against “environmental crimes” and his film “Dirty Gold” about mega-mining. In particular, Solanas is a vocal opponent of an August agreement between the Argentine government and Chevron to develop shale oil and gas, which he calls “the largest environmental disaster in the Amazon.” Drilling for these resources often requires hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” which is criticized by opponents for relying on toxic fluid and posing water contamination risks.

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