Toronto, Canada, Aug 2, 2016 / 08:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholics need to stop voting for pro-abortion politicians, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson told an international gathering of the Knights of Columbus.

“Pope Francis has emphasized how important it is for Catholics to be engaged in the political process,” Anderson said Aug 2. “His words regarding the importance of Catholics being faithful citizens are especially important for us.” Anderson’s remarks to the Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus meeting in Toronto reiterated his comments to the 2008 Supreme Convention in Quebec.

“We need to end the political manipulation of Catholic voters by abortion advocates,” he said. “It is time to end the entanglement of Catholic people with abortion killing. It is time to stop creating excuses for voting for pro-abortion politicians.” “Abortion is the killing of the innocent on a massive scale,” he added.

Anderson said politics does not mean partisanship, but a stand for the common good and for moral and religious values that make free, democratic institutions possible. Foremost among these values, he said, is “the equal dignity of every human life and the right of every person to freely practice their religion.”

“We will never succeed in building a culture of life if we continue to vote for politicians who support a culture of death.”

He reflected on the political question of whether one should support a candidate attractive for many reasons but who supports abortion. “Some partisan advocates have sought to excuse support for pro-abortion candidates through a complex balancing act. They claim other issues are important enough to offset a candidate’s support for abortion,” he said. “But the right to abortion is not just another political issue,” Anderson said. “It is, in reality, a legal regime that has resulted in more than 40 million deaths.”

He noted that 40 million is a figure greater than the entire population of Canada. “What political issue could possibly outweigh this human devastation?” he asked. “The answer, of course, is that there is none.”

His 2008 remarks urged faithful Catholics to build a new politics not according to the status quo, but according to their dedication to “building up a new culture of life.” In his latest remarks, Anderson said he would add that Catholics need to “think in new ways” to build “a civilization of love.”

His speech discussed legalized euthanasia, threats to religious freedom, the persecution of Middle Eastern Christians and the 2015 racial murders at a black church in South Carolina and new racial violence in the U.S. this year.

Anderson added that about 8 in 10 Americans would significantly restrict abortion, while almost 6 in 10 Canadians would support substantial restrictions. A significant majority of Americans consider abortion morally wrong and do not want taxpayer funding of abortion, he said.