- or - Free Pamphlet
Bishop Olmstead‘s short Questions & Answers
“Catholics in the Public Square”
Católicos y Vida Pública
A Phoenix bishop's plea to
voters and politicians:
Catholic News Agency ,
published the following article by
Kevin Jones about Bishop Olmsted’s new guide. CNA has given permission
to republish their article below.
Phoenix, Ariz., Sep 20, 2016 / (CNA/EWTN
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
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
“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.
“Catholics should always be respectful of the human dignity of
others, including people of different faiths, or no faith at all,”
Bishop Olmsted said. “Having said that, however, Catholics should not be
afraid to embrace their identity or to put their faith into practice in
public life. In fact, each of the faithful has a call to evangelization
and to share the good news of Christ with the rest of the world.”
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
“Bishop Olmsted wrote this booklet to better form Catholic lay
people about their faith and responsibilities to their communities,”
Robert DeFrancesco, communications director for the Diocese of Phoenix,
told CNA Sept. 19. “According to Bishop Olmsted, it is important for
Catholics to reflect on their role in public life, because we are called
to live our faith all of the time wherever we are and whatever we are
doing, not just at Mass on Sundays.”
Bishop Olmsted said that Catholics are specially called “to
contribute to the common good, to defend the dignity of every human
person, and to live as faithful citizens.”
“It only makes sense that if Catholics are supposed to live their
faith in all of their daily activities that they should also take their
faith into account while voting,” he added.
A Catholic’s preparations to vote must include proper formation of
conscience, followed by research of important issues and candidates that
will appear on the ballot.
Archbishop Gomez’s foreword to the booklet also reflected on
Catholics in the public arena.
“This book is a kind of ‘question and answer catechism’ on some of
the deepest issues of faith and public life,” he said. The archbishop
described the booklet as “a must-read for all of us who are trying to
engage the culture and to proclaim the Church’s beautiful vision for
human life and human society.”
“The Church needs clear and courageous teaching and witness to
confront the idols of a secularized, post-Christian America,” Archbishop
Bishop Olmsted suggested that some Catholics have been “frightened
into silence and even confused by charges that they are imposing their
morality on others.”
“Of course, if one’s faith does not impact on one’s whole life,
including one’s political and social responsibilities, then it is not
authentic faith; it is a sham, a counterfeit,” he countered.
“A democratic society needs the active participation of all its
citizens, people of faith included,” he added. “This is not an
imposition on other’s morality. It is acting with integrity… The active
engagement of Catholics in democratic processes is good for society and
it is responsible citizenship.”
Archbishop Gomez said that Catholic social teaching provides “a
vision of the world as it could be and as it should be. The world as God
created it to be.”
“The Catholic vision is spiritual not political. Catholics belong
first of all the ‘city of God.’ But we have a duty to build up the ‘city
of man,’ to correct injustices and seek a world that reflects God’s
desires for His children — what Jesus called the kingdom of God and the
Apostles called the new heaven and new earth,” the archbishop said.
The fourth edition booklet, published by St. Benedict Press, is
available in an eBook version at Amazon and at the webpagehttp://dphx.org/catholics-in-the-public-square/.
Its production was supported by a contribution from the national Knights
of Columbus. The booklet is being distributed to the parishes of the
End of article :
“Republished for free with permission from CNA.”
The issues of the 2016 presidential race are most important because this
incoming president will probably appoint 2 or 3 judges to the United
States Supreme Court. And this will effect the country not just
for 4 years, but for probably 20 years or more. Interestingly,
Hillary Clinton favors President Obama as Supreme Court
Bishop Omstead gives short clear answers to many questions including :
How should Catholics understand the separation between Church and
How do you respond to statements that Catholics should not impose
their religious views upon others?
What does it mean that Catholics should follow their conscience when
making a moral decision?
How does one fight best against secularization in our society and the
misrepresentation of faith in the public square?
What is the Church’s position on immigration?
How serious are the current threats to religious freedom in the
Do Catholic employers violate the religious freedom of their
non-Catholic employees when they do not provide abortifacients or
contraceptives in their health plans?
How can Catholics live in a manner that shows proper respect for
For more details and complete text of
Bishop Olmstead‘s article see
“Catholics in the Public Square”
Católicos y Vida Pública