Why This Catholic Congressman Won’t Attend the Pope’s Speech to Congress

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Pope Francis will make history this week, when he becomes the first Roman Pontiff ever to address Congress. As important as the moment will be, one Catholic Congressman has said he will not attend, because of the likely subject matter.

Congressman Paul Gosar, R-AZ, said that he’s tired of hearing liberal policies being promoted on equal par with long-established Christian dogma, on issues like abortion, religious freedom, and the definition of marriage.

The congressman wrote in an op-ed for Townhall.com that he hoped the pope would use the opportunity to “challenge governments to properly address the persecution and execution of Christians and religious minorities; to address the heinous and senseless murders committed by ISIS and other terrorist organizations. An opportunity to address the enslavement, belittlement, rape and desecration of Christian women and children; to address the condoned, subsidized, intentionally planned genocide of unborn children by Planned Parenthood and society; and finally, an opportunity for His Holiness to refocus our priorities on right from wrong.”

Instead Rep. Gosar – who is a member of the Roman Catholic Church – said it looks as though Pope Francis will discuss global warming:

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. 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. If the Pope spoke out with moral authority against violent Islam, I would be there cheering him on. If the Pope urged the Western nations to rescue persecuted Christians in the Middle East, I would back him wholeheartedly. But when the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one.

The Arizona Republican goes on to say he cannot believe that “at this pivotal moment in world history, His Holiness, Pope Francis, is intending to spend the majority of his time on one of the world’s greatest stages focusing on climate change.”

While he is “a proud Catholic,” Gosar has “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.”

The Congressman told The Hill he expects at least one other Catholic legislator to skip the speech, as well.

He’s not the only Catholic unhappy with the pope’s focus on global warming. Presidential candidate Rick Santorum has said the pope would stand on firmer ground if he were to stick to well-defined moral, or even clearer political issues.

“The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science,” former Sen. Santorum quipped.