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The Pope vs. the GOP

The Pope vs. the GOP

By Manu Raju for CNN

Congressional Republicans hope Pope Francis leaves his liberal-leaning views at the Vatican.

When he addresses a joint session of Congress Thursday during an event that will be broadcast around the world, a large number of House and Senate Republicans want the leader of the Catholic Church to keep a lid on his progressive attitudes on climate change, immigration, guns and capitalism.

In interviews with CNN, a wide array of GOP lawmakers argued that the Pope's message should stay away from the political fights consuming Washington, and many expressed strong disapproval of the fiery views he's espoused since taking over the papacy in 2013.

"I think it's totally inappropriate that the Pope is weighing in on all the real sensitive, far-left issues," said Oklahoma Republican James Inhofe, one of the most conservative senators. "I'm not a Catholic, but my Catholic friends in Oklahoma are not real pleased with it."

Rep. Paul Gosar, a Catholic Republican from Arizona, plans to boycott the event.

"I don't need to be lectured by the Pope about climate change," Gosar said in an interview off the House floor. "When he wants to take a political position, I will tell you: He is free and clear to be criticized like the rest of us."

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