The announcement of Dolan’s participation in the Republican convention, to be held next week mostly online, came after it was announced that Fr. James Martin, SJ, and Sr. Simone Campbell, SSS, would offer prayers at the Democratic National Convention this week.
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.
The priest 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. Martin, who is well-known for his book “Building a Bridge” and advocacy on issues related to homosexuality, 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.”
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 said that “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.”
For his part, Dolan said he hopes “that, during this tumultuous time in our nation’s history, people of all religious faiths or none at all might join together in seeking peace and reconciliation in our hearts, in our cities, and in our country.“