McCarrick said the task force met with Democratic and Republican politicians and consulted with Vatican officials and bishops in other nations on the "frustrating reality" of Catholics who seem to reject Catholic principles.
"Our concern is not politics, nor just particular policies, but their faith and even their salvation. These dialogues are not about winning votes, but saving souls," he said.
On the issue of communion, he said there was "no substitute for the local bishop's pastoral judgment and his vital relationships with Catholic public officials in his own diocese."
The task force has written a booklet of "Readings on Catholics and Political Life" that has been distributed to every Catholic politician in the U.S. Congress. Education and information sessions on Catholic teaching are also being arranged on Capitol Hill.
Pope Benedict XVI told a delegation of politicians in Rome for a meeting of the European People's Party that the Catholic Church's main public policy thrust is the protection of human life from atrocities like abortion, euthanasia and human cloning. He said he hoped pro-life principles would become the bedrock of law throughout Europe.
"As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person," he said.
"[S]he is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable," the pope added, referring to the church's pro-life stance.
The pontiff called on the elected officials to defend human life "in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death."
Pro-life principles "are not truths of faith, even though they receive further light and confirmation from faith," the pontiff added. "[T]hey are inscribed in human nature itself and therefore they are common to all humanity."