Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted

Birthday: 21 January 1947

Bachelor’s in Philosophy – St. Thomas Seminary College, Denver, CO
Master’s in Theology – Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy
Doctorate in Canon Law – Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, Italy

Ordination: 2 July 1973
Episcopate: 20 April 1999

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted on the Issues

Viganò testimony

Supports investigating Archbishop Viganò’s claims
  • In a statement released August 28, Bishop Olmsted said he has “always known and respected” Archbishop Viganò as a “man of truthfulness, faith and integrity.” “Whoever has covered up these shameful acts must be brought to the light of day.” He also said “I ask that Archbishop Viganò’s testimony be taken seriously by all, and that every claim that he makes be investigated thoroughly.” (LifeSiteNews)

Amoris Laetitia

Does not allow Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics
  • In a seven-part essay published between April and November in 2016, Bishop Olmsted praised Amoris Laetitia but said that while priests should accompany the laity, accompaniment does not mean persons who are divorced and remarried can receive Holy Communion. Olmsted defended his stance by citing St. John Paul II and a section of Amoris Laetitia that calls on the divorced and remarried to “seek the grace of conversion.” (Diocese of Phoenix)

Pro-life leadership

Actively engages in pro-life leadership
  • On Good Friday 2016, Bishop Olmsted led approximately 350 lay Catholics, priests, and deacons in the Rosary outside a Planned Parenthood facility in Glendale. Bishop Olmsted told those in attendance that “Here Good Friday happens every day…We’re here to pray for conversion for ourselves and others and for the protection of life from the womb until natural death.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • Bishop Olmsted said Satan is “especially active” at abortion clinics during a sermon at a mass commemorating the spring 2016 40 Days for Life vigil. (LifeSiteNews)
  • Bishop Olmsted lead more than 150 pro-life Catholics in the rosary outside an abortion clinic on Good Friday 2015. Olmsted told protestors “This is Calvary…where the innocent is unjustly killed.” (LifeSiteNews)
  • At a 2013 gathering in Mexico City with 70 Cardinals, bishops and Catholic leaders, Olmsted said “The life and dignity of the unborn and other vulnerable persons are gravely threatened today.” Olmsted said Catholics should consider themselves blessed to stand up for the most vulnerable. (The Catholic Sun)


Upholds Church teaching on homosexuality
  • Bishop Olmsted said it is a misnomer to speak of “homosexual marriage” because “there is no such thing.” Olmsted said the re-definition of marriage is really a “falsification of it.” Olmsted gave his remarks during an interview with Thomas Aquinas College in California in 2016. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2008, Bishop Olmsted made a YouTube video urging voters to support a state referendum to amend the Arizona constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. (Diocese of Phoenix)

Abortion politics

Not enough evidence collected on this issue
  • In a 2006 booklet, Olmsted said that Catholic politicians who support abortion policies “cannot receive Holy Communion without previously making a good confession” and a firm purpose of amendment. (LifeSiteNews)
  • In 2004, Bishop Olmsted wrote a letter to the Arizona Republic newspaper calling on Catholics in public life who are unambiguously pro-abortion to refrain from receiving Holy Communion. (Catholic News Agency)


Not enough evidence collected on this issue
  • In 2005, Bishop Olmsted wrote a five-part essay for his diocese’s newspaper strongly defending Natural Family Planning, Theology of the Body, and Humanae Vitae, which Olmsted said was “prophetic” and “upheld the truth.” (Diocese of Phoenix)

“LGBT” ideology

Not enough evidence collected on this issue


Not enough evidence collected on this issue
  • In 2004, Bishop Olmsted ordered LifeTeen, a Catholic apostolate for young adults that originated in the Phoenix diocese, to stop liturgical abuses and follow the GIRM instructions on the liturgy. Some of the changes in liturgy include no longer allowing teens to go into the sanctuary for the Eucharistic prayer and disallowing music that is distracting or inappropriate. Olmsted made the requirements after meeting with Cardinal Arinze, the prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. (Catholic Culture)

Marriage and Family Life

Upholds Church teaching on marriage and family life
  • Bishop Olmsted launched “Manual for Men,” a book urging men to be strong fathers and warriors for the Church, at his diocese’s all-male “Into the Breach” conference in February 2018. (The Catholic Sun)
  • During a 2016 interview with Thomas Aquinas College in California, Bishop Olmsted said Catholics will “be challenged” regarding Church teachings on “femininity, masculinity and marriage” but that it is “very important” Catholics defend these teachings and present them “in as persuasive a way as possible.” (Thomas Aquinas College)
  • In 2015, Bishop Olmsted issued a 23-page exhortation urging men in his diocese to become strong Catholics, loving husbands and fathers, and engage in the battle for the faith against the devil. (Diocese of Phoenix)
  • At a 2013 gathering in Mexico City with 70 Cardinals, bishops and Catholic leaders, Olmsted said pop culture promotes false images of masculinity and feminity, which reaches its “most grotesque form in pornography.” Olmsted called on those in attendance to build a culture of chastity and sexual integrity. (LifeSiteNews)
  • Soon after being named bishop of Phoenix, Olmsted required all deacons to take a Theology of the Body course. He also taught priests about Natural Family Planning during in-service days. A new diocesan resource center on Theology of the Body was established as well. (USCCB)


Not enough evidence collected on this issue