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."