Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) announced on Thursday that he will boycott Pope Francis’ address to Congress since the pontiff may discuss climate change during the speech.
Gosar, a Catholic, said he would prefer that the pope address the “persecution of Christians” and religious freedom, rather than focus on the environment.
“Many believed, like I did, that this was an opportunity for the Pope to be one of the world’s great religious advocates and address the current intolerance of religious freedom,” Gosar wrote in an op-ed in TownHall. “Media reports indicate His Holiness instead intends to focus the brunt of his speech on climate change — a climate that has been changing since first created in Genesis.”
The congressman suggested that the pope’s speech would be too liberal for his taste.
“More troubling is the fact that this climate change talk has adopted all of the socialist talking points, wrapped false science and ideology into ‘climate justice’ and is being presented to guilt people into leftist policies. If the Pope stuck to standard Christian theology, I would be the first in line,” Gosar said. “But when the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one.”
“If the Pope wants to devote his life to fighting climate change then he can do so in his personal time. But to promote questionable science as Catholic dogma is ridiculous,” Gosar continued.
Gosar indicated that he would change his mind about the boycott if the pope signals that he will not discuss climate change in his address to Congress.
“It is my hope that Pope Francis realizes his time is better spent focusing on matters like religious tolerance and the sanctity of all life. As the leader of the Catholic Church, and as a powerful voice for peace throughout the world, His Holiness has a real opportunity to change the climate of slaughter in the Middle East… not the fool’s errand of climate change,” he wrote.