Paul Gosar is not pleased with Pope Francis—and he’s ready to skip next week’s historic speech as a result.
In an op-ed on the conservative site Townhall.com, the Arizona Republican appears very much concerned that Francis will urge action to fight climate change when he becomes the first pope to speak directly to a joint session of Congress. The pontiff is an outspoken advocate of action to combat man-made climate change, a stand that does not sit well with Gosar, a skeptic of the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary driver of dangerous global warming.
“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,” Gosar writes, declaring: “If the Pope plans to spend the majority of his time advocating for flawed climate-change policies, then I will not attend.”
Gosar's office confirmed that the congressman plans to boycott the speech out of concern that the pope will be talking extensively about climate change. Pope Francis's speech will take place before a joint-session of the House and Senate on September 24th.
The House Republican argues that if Francis wants to advocate for the environment, he should do so in his own free time and not on while on the clock for the Catholic Church.