"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 States.
"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."