One positive proposal in the platform was "paid family leave," Camosy said. The platform calls for "national paid family and medical leave" where employees could receive at least 12 weeks of paid leave for childbirth or for a "serious" health problem of their own or of a family member.
The issue of "family leave" is "something that I think is implied in Pope St. John Paul II's encyclical letter Laborem Exercens," Camosy said, "when he says that society's social structures need to be oriented to allow women to serve both their vocation as a mother and as a professional, or worker."
"And right now, they're not," he added, noting that the U.S. ranks behind other developed countries in offering paid maternity leave.
Last week at the Republican National Convention, Ivanka Trump, the daughter of GOP nominee Donald Trump, also brought up working mothers in a speech that discussed wage discrepancies for married women.
Camosy hopes that issue "is something that maybe pro-lifers and certain kinds of Republicans and almost every Democrat could agree on, as a way of not only honoring women per Laborem Exercens, but also creating conditions that would make abortion less likely to be chosen."
On LGBT issues, the Democratic platform reiterates its support for "gay marriage" but also says there is more work to be done in preventing discrimination.
Some critics voiced concern over language that could be viewed as pitting religious freedom against LGBT interests. The platform says, "We support a progressive vision of religious freedom that respects pluralism and rejects the misuse of religion to discriminate."
The religious freedom section itself primarily focuses on Trump's "vilification of Muslims," and condemns any "religious test" administered to immigrants or refugees seeking entry into the U.S. Trump has suggested the policy of a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country as a security measure.
"It violates the religious freedom that is the bedrock of our country and feeds into ISIS' nefarious narrative. It also alienates people and countries who are crucial to defeating terrorism; the vast majority of Muslims believe in a future of peace and tolerance," the platform stated.
Michael Wear stressed the need to transcend partisan divides on religious freedom, and not simply recognize some concerns – like a Muslim ban or churches not being able to serve undocumented immigrants – but ignore other concerns, like adoption agencies being forced to close down because they won't match children with same-sex couples.
"Religious freedom has become so polarized" and "so politicized," he told CNA. "People of faith" need to start telling their stories, and explaining their contributions to society before they are marginalized from the public square.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At Catholic News Agency, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news about the Church and the world, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church. When you subscribe to the CNA UPDATE, we'll send you a daily email with links to the news you need and, occasionally, breaking news.
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
"It's a sincere problem when people think that if Catholic hospitals are no longer able to operate, the free market would fill in the gaps," he said. "That's not true. That's not true in a state like Washington, where they provide over half of the hospital beds."
"And so there needs to be, I think, an authentic, free, but public way of sharing the pivotal role that we play in this country. And it's discordant to talk about helping immigrants, and then not appreciate Catholic Relief Services."
On immigration, the platform emphasizes a "path to citizenship for law-abiding families who are here," halting roundups, providing "due process" for migrants "fleeing violence in Central America," and ending family detention centers.
Jeanne Atkinson of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network was "thrilled" with the platform's immigration plank, hailing its referral to immigrants as "leaders" and its statement of "concrete policy positions."
The platform showed an "emphasis on family," she said, noting its call for ending family detention centers and insistence on keeping immigrant families together. "For the Catholic Church, that's who we are," she said.
Despite its promises of immigration reform, the Obama administration has drawn criticism from reform advocates for its deportations, particularly its raids on and deportations of migrant families.