A Catholic priest mentioned the sanctity of life and prayed for hearts to be opened to unborn children at the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night, a message that aligns with Catholic beliefs but is rarely, if ever, espoused by members of the Democratic Party establishment.
Father James Martin, a Jesuit, prayed for a variety of people, asking God to "open our hearts to those most in need."
"Loving God, open our hearts to those most in need," Martin began. "The unemployed parent worried about feeding his or her children. The woman who is underpaid, harassed or abused. The black man or woman who fear for their lives. The immigrant at the border, longing for safety. The homeless person looking for a meal. The LGBT teen who is bullied."
"The unborn child in the womb," Martin continued. "The inmate on death row. Help us to be a nation where every life is sacred, all people are loved, and all are welcome. Amen."
Father @JamesMartinSJ promised me he'd mention the Catholic teaching about the sacredness of innocent unborn life d… https://t.co/sOMZKgIr37— JERRY DUNLEAVY (@JERRY DUNLEAVY)1597980955.0
A Catholic priest advocating for the sanctity of unborn life isn't, or at least shouldn't, be surprising. However, the Democratic Party's stance on abortion has gotten increasingly liberal in recent years, to the point where a politician who advocates for any limitation on abortion rights faces criticism from the left.
Abortion rights have been rebranded in the Democratic Party platform under the label "reproductive health, rights, and justice."
"Democrats are committed to protecting and advancing reproductive health, rights, and justice," the party's 2020 platform reads. "We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion."
The platform goes on to advocate for restoring full federal funding for Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider, and repealing the Hyde Amendment, which currently prohibits the use of federal funding for abortion in most cases.
Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who publicly professes to be a Catholic, said in June 2019 that he supported the ban on federal funding for abortion. The revelation kicked off a firestorm of criticism from other Democrats and pro-abortion advocates, so one day later, he totally flipped his stance to support repeal of the Hyde Amendment.
In October 2019, Biden was denied communion at Saint Anthony Catholic Church over his abortion advocacy. The priest, Father Robert Morey, said "any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching," CNN reported.
Biden has said he personally opposes abortion, but doesn't believe he has the right to tell women what to do on the matter.