Conservative Rep. Steve King (R-IA) this week urged Pope Francis to steer away from the “politics” of climate change and income inequality during his Thursday address to Congress, and instead focus on issues King deems more appropriate for the Catholic church: abortion and marriage.
In an interview with Politico published on Tuesday, King lamented the Pope’s comments on the earth, noting that he does not believe “there’s a definitive science that has concluded that mankind has turned the earth’s thermostat up.”
“I think that it would be better for the Vatican to focus more on theology, and less on this thing that they’ve now had to have a name change from global warming to climate change,” King said.
The congressman also said he’s concerned with the pope’s thoughts on capitalism.
“We’ve heard some things from Pope Francis that are not fully supportive of free enterprise capitalism. That should be a problem from an American perspective,” he said.
If Pope Francis discussed these two topics in his address to Congress, King said the pontiff would be focusing on “less religion and theology and more politics.”
Instead, the congressman argued that the pope should discuss “life and marriage,” which King described as “solid, timeless principles of the Catholic Church and much of the rest of Christianity.”
“By the way, Islam would agree with us on life—they just agree on more wives—and the Jewish faith, of course, agrees with us. The traditionalists agree with us on life and on marriage,” King added.
King is not alone in his concern about Pope Francis’ upcoming speech before Congress. Many conservatives have spoken out against the pontiff’s views in the weeks leading up to the papal visit, and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) has even vowed to boycott the speech.