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Vatican keeps up eco-pressure, invites mayors to see pope

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is keeping up the pressure on world governments to listen to Pope Francis’ dual mantras of fighting climate change and human slavery by inviting mayors from around the world to a Vatican meeting next week on his two pet projects.

For the mayors, it’s a photo op of a lifetime: Francis is technically on vacation but he’s expected to address the July 21 conference, which has already attracted 60 or so mayors from places like Accra, Ghana, and Zagreb, Croatia.

For the Vatican, it’s another box checked on its unprecedented campaign to keep the momentum alive from Francis’ environment encyclical ahead of U.N. negotiations on new sustainable development goals in September and U.N. climate change talks in Paris at the end of the year.

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