Longtime climate change skeptic Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said Thursday that Pope Francis should refrain from sharing his thoughts on the subject.
According to The Guardian, Inhofe made the comments while speaking at a climate change conference hosted by the Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank.
“Everyone is going to ride the pope now. Isn’t that wonderful,” said Inhofe, who chairs the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. “The pope ought to stay with his job, and we’ll stay with ours.”
In January, Pope Francis told reporters he believes climate change is “mostly” caused by human activity.
"I don't know if it is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face,” the pope said.
The senator, who authored a book called The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, has long criticized scientists' findings on climate change. In February, Inhofe brought a snowball to the Senate floor to support his argument that climate change is not real.
Inhofe isn’t the only politician to argue the pope should stay quiet on the issue. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who is Catholic, made a similar statement on a radio show earlier this month.
“The church has gotten it wrong a few times on science, and I think that we probably are better off leaving science to the scientists and focusing on what we're really good at, which is theology and morality,” Santorum said. "When we get involved with political and controversial scientific theories, I think the church is not as forceful and credible."