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Rep. Paul Gosar Boycotting Pope's Speech to Congress

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- Pope Francis’ speech to Congress next week is the hottest ticket in town -- but not for one House Republican.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., will skip the pope's address to Congress over concerns that he will discuss climate change, he wrote in an op-ed for

“If the Pope plans to spend the majority of his time advocating for flawed climate change policies, then I will not attend,” wrote Gosar, who is Catholic.

A spokesperson confirmed Gosar’s decision in a statement to ABC News:

“Congressman Gosar made the difficult decision to boycott the Pope's address to Congress after media reports stated His Holiness would be spending much of his address supporting climate changes policies instead of using this opportunity to advocate for religious tolerance and the sanctity of life.  The Congressman believes that as an elected official, and as a practicing Catholic himself, he has both a moral obligation and leadership responsibility to call out leaders, regardless of their titles, who ignore the ongoing Christian persecution in the Middle East as well as the abortion epidemic in the United States.”

It’s not clear what Gosar plans to do with his allotted seat and guest ticket to the pope’s address in the House chamber, the aide said.

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