Vatican defends ivory policy

2013-01-23 21:45
Uganda customs and revenue authority check elephant tusks seized at the Entebbe international airport. (Peter Busomoke, AFP)

Uganda customs and revenue authority check elephant tusks seized at the Entebbe international airport. (Peter Busomoke, AFP)

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Vatican City - The Vatican defended itself on Wednesday against accusations it encourages illegal ivory trafficking, telling elephant lovers it would do what it could to help combat "a serious and unjustifiable phenomenon" but warning campaigners not to expect too much.

Lombardi, 70, said he had "never heard or even read a word that would encourage the use of ivory for devotional objects" since he began working at the Vatican and had "never seen a gift in ivory given by the Pope."

Lombardi said the pope intervenes frequently on environmental awareness and assured campaigners that the Vatican would do more to engage Catholics on the issue of illegal ivory trafficking, including launching a series of information programmes on Radio Vatican on the subject.

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  national geographic  |  pope benedict vxi  |  vatican city  |  poaching  |  ivory
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