The following comes from a September 20 Catholic News Agency article by Kevin Jones:

Catholics should be consistent in public life and need to make protecting innocent life a serious political priority, Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted of Phoenix has said in the latest edition of his booklet on the duties of Catholic voters and politicians.

The booklet “Catholics in the Public Square,” now in its fourth edition, makes a distinction between support for intrinsically evil issues and support for different methods of achieving policy.

“For example, Catholics may never legitimately promote or vote for any law that attacks innocent human life,” Bishop Olmsted said, latter adding “being right on all the other issues can never justify a wrong choice on this most serious matter.”

The guide reiterated the need to examine one’s conscience and the need for Catholic politicians to oppose laws that allow or promote abortions.

“If a politician is actively supporting and furthering the culture of death, he is not only causing scandal; he is sinning. Similarly, when a politician performs actions (like voting) that allow for abortions and even promote abortions, or that mandate the distribution of contraceptives by pharmacists and others, that politician is materially cooperating in grave sin,” the bishop’s booklet continued.

These politicians must make a sincere confession before receiving Holy Communion, he said. Because the harm they have done was public, they should also publicly make amends.

The booklet, released Sept. 17, features a new foreword by Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles and updated material from Pope Francis. The new material includes excerpts from the Pope’s recent encyclical “Laudato Si” and his speeches during his trip to the United States.

Archbishop Gomez’s foreword to the booklet also reflected on Catholics in the public arena. “The Church needs clear and courageous teaching and witness to confront the idols of a secularized, post-Christian America,” Archbishop Gomez said.

The fourth edition booklet, published by St. Benedict Press, is available in an eBook version at Amazon and at the webpage