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Fr. James Martin, Sr. Simone Campbell to pray at Democratic National Convention

Martin said that his prayer will “respect the dignity of all life,” including “the unborn, the young Black person, the LGBTQ teen, the migrant.”

A screenshot of Fr. James Martin, S.J., giving a March 2018 a presentation titled "Spiritual Insights for LGBT Catholics". (YouTube)

CNA Staff, Aug 17, 2020 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- Two prominent Catholics will offer prayers at the Democratic National Convention later this week.

Fr. James Martin, S.J., and Sister Simone Campbell, SSS will both offer prayers during the Democratic National Convention, it was announced on Sunday. Martin, along with a rabbi and an imam, will offer virtually a benediction on Aug. 20, the last night of the convention. Campbell will offer an invocation earlier on Thursday.

Martin, an editor-at-large for America Magazine, told the National Catholic Reporter that he was “honored” to be asked to pray at the DNC.

“Normally I shy away from anything overtly political, but it’s hard to turn down a request to pray,” Martin told the Reporter. He added that he had requested approval from his order’s superiors before accepting the invitation.

Martin said that his prayer will “respect the dignity of all life,” including “the unborn, the young Black person, the LGBTQ teen, the migrant.” He said that he hopes that his prayer “will help people find a way to build a more welcoming nation.”

In a tweet, Martin said that he would offer “the same prayer” at the upcoming Republican convention if asked to do so.

Catholic priests have often featured at conventions and other political events. In 2012, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York prayed at both the Republican and Democrat National Conventions, and in 2017, he led a prayer at President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Campbell, the executive director of the NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, had previously spoken at the 2012 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions.

During a 2016 interview with Democracy Now, Campbell discussed her participation in the Democratic convention and her views on, among other issues, legalized abortion.

Asked specifically about a speech at the 2016 convention by NARAL Pro-Choice America president Ilyse Hogue, in which she narrated her own experience of abortion to cheers from the crowd, Campbell called the moment “touching and compelling.”

“From my perspective, I don’t think it’s a good policy to outlaw abortion,” Campbell told Democracy Now, saying instead that pro-life campaigners should “focus on economic development for women and economic opportunity. That’s what really makes the change.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that “the right to life of every innocent human individual is a constitutive element of a civil society and its legislation.”

Campbell is also a leading figure within the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, an organization of some American religious orders, which was investigated from 2009-2012 by the Vatican over some questions of doctrinal orthodoxy and other issues, including the group’s political advocacy. At the conclusion of that investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith called for “major reforms” to the LCWR, including the need to resolve doctrinal issues in areas including abortion, euthanasia, women’s ordination and homosexuality.

During a 2011 meeting with then-Pope Benedict XVI, then-Vice President Joe Biden told the pontiff that he was being “entirely too hard on the American nuns” and that he needed to “lighten up.” Biden is the presumptive nominee for 2020.

Martin, who is well-known for his book “Building a Bridge” and advocacy on issues related to homosexualiy, has also spoken frequently regarding his support for the Church’s teaching on abortion.

Were Martin’s prayer to include explicit mention of “the unborn,” as he suggested it might, it would contrast the Democratic Party’s platform, set to be adopted this week at the convention. The draft platform, which was released in July, notes “Democrats believe that every woman should be able to access high-quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion,” and promises to “restore federal funding for Planned Parenthood.”

“Democrats oppose and will fight to overturn federal and state laws that create barriers to women’s reproductive health and rights,” the draft platform says, and includes a call to repeal a prohibition on federal funding for abortion.

For the first time, the 2020 draft platform calls for the Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade to be codified in federal law, reflecting an earlier pledge by Biden to make this a key policy of his presidency.

During the Democratic primary campaign, candidates were frequently asked if the party should admit pro-life members and candidates for office. Several candidates, including featured speakers at the convention this week, insisted that support for abortion should be regarded as a necessary value for any Democratic Party candidate.

Writing for America Magazine last year, Martin said that “Many women whom I love, respect and admire support abortion rights and see these rights as a constitutive part of their authority over their own bodies.”

“But,” Martin wrote in a post explaining his opposition to abortion, “acknowledging that women’s bodies are their own does not diminish my own reverence for the living body in a woman’s womb.”

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  1. Great. Two pseudo-Catholics.

    ““From my perspective, I don’t think it’s a good policy to outlaw abortion,” Campbell told Democracy Now,”

    Then she is complicit with every abortion that takes place.

    “saying instead that pro-life campaigners should “focus on economic development for women and economic opportunity. That’s what really makes the change.””

    Baloney. Many, many, many, many abortions are not because of any economic opportunity but because the babies are inconvenient and embarrassing.

    What an evil womaan.

  2. Dear democrats and democratic supporters, who think there are other issues that matter as much or more than abortion…… Abortion remains the single largest killer on the planet. We kill an estimated 56 million unborn children a year in this world. This is largely an ideological problem not an economic one. We in the developed world, who largely drive political ideologies and policies, have sold ourselves and others on the idea that the way to provide economic development and stability is to educate and empower women….which would be good in many respects….except that we insist that empowerment of women largely means “reproductive rights” which is code for birth control and abortion. We export the ideology of abortion through global NGO’s and various development initiatives. We train activists, send money and implement campaigns that tie development with requirements for “reproductive rights”. The US has been a major player in this both through government funds and through private charitable organizations.
    The irony of these claims…. that if economic conditions were better in the developed world (the US in this case) there would be fewer abortions….meanwhile in developing nations these same ideologues say that abortion is the way to get better economic conditions. A system that builds itself and sustains itself on the slaughter of children. Sick.

  3. What ever happened to those “major reforms” called for to the LCWR in the areas of abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality? If the Church can’t even eliminate these evils from religious orders, how can we expect to eliminate them from society? Is the Church too busy cracking down on Traditional Catholics who want to receive the Holy Eucharist kneeling and on the tongue?

    • Yes. The USCCB collects money to resettle immigrants coming here.
      Those same immigrants will then access Ms. Harris’ free health care which of course will include contraception and abortion. Then Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris will force the Little Sisters to pay for that. It’s all a game of Easy Play, Easy Pay. Until the piper asks for justice. Good luck with your lottery tickets, Joe, Nancy, Fr. and Sr. Meanwhile, it’s up to us to clean up the scum or prevent its spread, so let’s pray harder than hell.

  4. – ‘ an unborn has an adult soul ‘ – able to know and love God , to be willing to do His will , which would be loving and adoring The Father and all in Him and how the demons howl at every killing of the unborn .
    Our Lord too hinted at same when he praises teh lilies of the field as also glorifying God , in doing His will for them .
    The Holy Father , possibly very familiar with the talks of Dr.Gloria Polo , how she used to ignore the homilies and such ,how demons keep persons hardened in hearts and cruel .
    Our Holy Father has talked about how gossip is like murder , thus he is very sensitive about the dignity and truth that is due in every relationship , has already mentioned how his good will has been misused , to promote own agendas , by certain persons , who too might be sort of blinded as to the cruelty of condoning of evils as though there is no hope for them to discern and do God’s will, in the cohesion of body and soul .
    Gossip as cruel ..denying own God given identity to ‘gossip ‘ , that one’s body and soul are at discord with each other , hate each other ..and same ? as a result of similar contempt for life and the demonic larvae that have been invited in , to the ‘party’ ..
    Hope there would be many who would share the truth with our brothers and sisters , whose souls , as mentioned in the above near death vision , has become darkened ..
    ? Videos of the talks by Dr.Polo , at both conventions !

  5. Australia and New Zealand – reports on how the pandemic is being used to create gulag like situations of the state taking control over families and lives with the excuse of need for aggressive quarantines , even with the low incidence of cases .
    A land that could come up with falsehoods to imprison a Cardinal – have the powers now turned against the ‘least ‘, to use false excuses for abusive control ..
    the party that advocate cruelties and abuse of power , esp. against one’s own children and families ,against own body and soul , to thus make persons to be agents who invite in the cruel kingdoms of hell , if given the reins in these times , one can imagine what cruelties they may be led to unleash too , by orders of the ‘masters ‘ , who hate lives and families , truth and dignity !
    Those who try to keep families from having to rise up to the dignity and responsibility to love and care for the little ones , are also likely blinded to the truth that the means to help families to have the good of chastity and all its blessings in relationships is also by keeping at bay , the carnal masters of lust and its ways of inducing hatreds and cruelties all around .

    ‘In God we trust ‘ – those who aim to lead the nation , telling the nation by their views , in what kind of gods are they trusting and wanting the nation too to follow !
    Chaste Heart of St.Joseph , pray for us all , to love The Father , with all our heart !

  6. A prominent Catholic is one who follows the Will of God. These two don’t fit that criteria and i would hardly call them Catholics.

  7. Where is the USCCB, Catholic bishops, and their religious superiors to rebuke and discipline Martin and Campbell? In the absence of this, how is it possible to give any credibility to them?

  8. Well, that’s the Democratic party. They all should be ashamed of themselves for not offering help to the marginalized members of society, i.e. the LGBTQ. These poor souls need our help and not our approval of their sinful lifestyle. Fr James Martin, can you hear me?

    • Sin, said Aquinas many times, leads to intellectual blindness, in reason and in will. If Martin hears you, he probably doesn’t see your point.

      “…it’s hard to turn down a request to pray,…” Martin said. So Martin will offer a public prayer, forgetting or not knowing that the only public prayer of proven efficacy is the Mass. Martin also apparently doesn’t know Jesus at Matthew 6:6 – But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

  9. Fr. Martin I think I have a handle on.
    Sr. Campbell not so much. Oh, I see she’s part of the LCWR and the Nuns on the Bus. OK. I think I get the picture.
    This is the Democrats’ “Catholic” outreach?

  10. Poster-child Fr. Martin can’t tell the difference between a “building a bridge” of the broad road we are warned against, nor between public prayer and self-flattering exhibitionism.

    “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it” (Mt 7:13-14).

  11. More smoke and mirrors that the Demoncrats use to show the world how “holy” they are by inviting what they deem as credible religions. We can only pray ourselves that the Catholic reps will call for repentance for their hardened hearts and follow the true Lord, Mediator and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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