EPA/MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI

Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), a third-term conservative from a very safe seat, announced 12 days ago that he would refuse to attend the first-ever congressional address from a pope. In a column that was shared more than 17,000 times on Facebook, Gosar explained that he worried Pope Francis would "focus the brunt of his speech on climate change -- a climate that has been changing since first created in Genesis." This was unacceptable. "When the Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one."

Few Republicans followed Gosar out of the chamber. Actually, none of them did. Gosar was the lone member of Congress who boycotted the speech, a decision that clanged after the pope only glancingly mentioned "environmental deterioration caused by human activity." The congressman became a soft target for late night comics. Before the pope spoke, Gosar released a statement about how the speech was a "missed opportunity by one of the world’s greatest leaders at a pivotal moment to help save lives NOW," then said nothing else of the matter.

Nothing until today, when Gosar blasted out an end-of-quarter fundraising e-mail, asking conservatives to stand with him against the "leftist" pope and his media enablers.

"Unlike his predecessors, who focused on issues of religious extremism, abortion, and traditional values, Pope Francis has instead given up his chance to make a significant impact on these policies," says Gosar in the email. "Can you imagine if I had boycotted a Pope who had been an outspoken critic of gay marriage? Or one that had condemned Planned Parenthood? Or one that called out Congress for failing to battle Islamic extremism? You and I both know that I would have been hailed by the liberals and left-wing media and adoring profiles would have been written."

The e-mail went out not long after Inside the Vatican reported that the pope had secretly met with Kim Davis, the Rowan County, Ky. clerk who refused to issue gay marriage licenses and was penalized by a five-day jail stay.

Gosar's office did not immediately respond to a question about it. Later on Wednesday, after a vote, Gosar told the Washington Post that he was happy for the Pope's visit with Davis, but wished he'd done more when the eyes of the world were on Congress.

"I wish he would have talked about those issues in Hell's gate, right here," said Gosar, referring to Congress. "You look at the fetal baby part trade here with Planned Parenthood; you look at religious freedom. He couldn't address that here? Sometimes events create a person, and sometimes somebody creates those events. This was one where the timetable, the place, really could have emphasized these issues. There was a missed opportunity."

The entirety of the fundraising pitch is below.

Fellow Conservative,

I'm the Conservative Congressman who boycotted Pope Francis' address to Congress because I believe when a Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one. I need conservatives like you in my corner as I come under unprecedented attacks for taking this principled stand:

- Liberal late night host Stephen Colbert ran an entire segment criticizing me.

- Ultra-liberal website Salon.com called my principled stand "absurd."

- Another non-Catholic liberal website had the nerve to lecture me (a lifelong Catholic) on "what I got wrong" about the Catholic Church.

- And countless other liberals going to great lengths to attack me.

I need your help to raise $25,000 more by the end of September. YOU can help me defend myself against the left. You may have noticed that the liberal media has embraced this Pope unlike none other in our time... reinforcing an almost rockstar-like status never before seen for the leader of the Catholic Church. This from the left, who generally ridicule religion. So it begs the question as to why they have never before embraced a Pope in this fashion.

Unlike his predecessors, who focused on issues of religious extremism, abortion, and traditional values, Pope Francis has instead given up his chance to make a significant impact on these policies.

Religious tolerance and the right to life are not only Catholic teachings, but also fundamental American principles immortalized in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution!

Why ignore those conservative principles and focus on left-wing pseudo-science of "global warming" instead? Pope Francis could have made a strong stand in support of life and family values.

Unfortunately, he chose to pander to the liberal left.

When a Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one.

Let me be clear:

I am a Congressman... proud to serve the conservative values of the 4th Congressional District of Arizona.

I am Catholic... proud of my faith in a loving Savior that gave his life for my own.

And, I am an American... proud of my country and all that it represents.

Most would assume that this would mean I would welcome the opportunity for the Pope to address Congress, as he did last Thursday.

However, instead, I chose not to attend the speech of Pope Francis. And then "all hell broke loose."

Will you support me by giving $15 to my campaign today? Will you help me fend off the liberal sharks who are out for my blood?

Can you imagine if I had boycotted a Pope who had been an outspoken critic of gay marriage? Or one that had condemned Planned Parenthood? Or one that called out Congress for failing to battle Islamic extremism?

You and I both know that I would have been hailed by the liberals and left-wing media and adoring profiles would have been written.

I know they are now looking to use my principled stand against me. You can count on the Obama political and fundraising machine to come out against me in full force.

I'm writing to you today because I believe you will agree 100% with my statement that "When a Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one."

I'm hoping I can count on you to help me battle back against the attacks and arrows that are being slung my way. The bottom line is that I am now squarely in the crosshairs of the Obama political machine and I need all the support I can muster between now and September 30th, which is a crucial reporting deadline for the FEC.

If I can show that I raised $25,000 more by the end of September... I will show the liberals, the left-wing media and the Obama political machine that I am a force to be reckoned with and will continue to take principled stands.

However, should I fail to do so... the liberal sharks will smell blood in the water and try to use my principled boycott against me. Please do not allow that to happen. Join my team today!

For America!

Paul Gosar
United States Congressman (AZ-4)

P.S. I feel strongly that "when a Pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one." And that is exactly why I boycotted his address to Congress. And now, I am under attack by the liberals, the left-wing media and the Obama political machine. Please help me counter their attacks. Show your support by joining my team today and helping my campaign reach our goal of $25,000 more by the crucial September 30th FEC reporting deadline.