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Catholic Congressman Explains Boycott of Pope's Address

Gosar has some ideas about what the pope should talk about. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., a self-described "proud Catholic," is skipping the pope's address to Congress next week, begging off because he hears Francis is going to discuss issues he doesn't agree with.  

In an op-ed on Townhall.com titled, "Why I am Boycotting the Pope Francis' Address to Congress," Gosar says if the pontiff were going to discuss a long list of Gosar's priorities, including religious freedom, terrorism and abortion, "I would be the first in line." But, the congressman says because media reports indicate Francis will be discussing what he calls the "fool's errand of climate change" at length, that's not going to fly. "When the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one," Gosar writes, adding, "I have both a moral obligation and leadership responsibility to call out leaders, regardless of their titles, who ignore Christian persecution and fail to embrace opportunities to advocate for religious freedom and the sanctity of human life."  

No other lawmakers have delivered such a forceful statement against the pope's views on climate change.

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