What role, if any, should religion play in politics? By what authority and methods does the Catholic Church apply its teachings to public policy discourse? How do Bishops and lay leaders work together in Catholic conferences, and how do they work with political leaders? What impact do they have? The political advocacy of the American Catholic Bishops at the state level is one of the Church's best-kept secrets. In this groundbreaking work, David Yamane reveals the rich history, accomplishments, and challenges of bishops and their lay colleagues in local politics. Through sociological analysis, up-to-date examples, and personal interviews, Yamane explains how the local Catholic advocacy organizations in thirty-three states and Washington, D.C., negotiate the tension between the prophetic demands of faith and the political realities of secular political institutions. The Catholic Church in State Politics invites readers to understand better the role of religion in the public square.