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Catholic Nun Who Led DNC Prayer Said She Doesn’t Think Banning Abortion ‘Is A Good Policy’

(Photo by DNCC via Getty Images)  (Photo credit PAUL FAITH/AFP via Getty Images)

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter
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  • Sister Simone Campbell and Jesuit priest Father James Martin led opening prayers at the Democratic National Convention Thursday. 
  • Campbell is part of a group of nuns previously criticized by the Vatican for silence “on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion.”
  • “That is not our issue,” she said in response to a question about whether her organization opposes legal protections for abortion. “That is not it. It is above my pay grade.”

A Catholic nun who led a prayer at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night has previously said that she does not think banning abortion is “a good policy.”

Sister Simone Campbell led one of the opening prayers Thursday night at the DNC, asking the “divine spirit” to “stir our hearts and minds that we might fight for a vision that is worthy of you and your call to honor the dignity of all of your creation.”

Campbell leads the Catholic social justice group NETWORK with programs like Nuns on the Bus and is part of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), a group of nuns formerly criticized by the Vatican for silence “on the right to life from conception to natural death, a question that is part of the lively public debate about abortion,” according to NBC News.

“[I]ssues of crucial importance to the life of the church and society, such as the church’s Biblical view of family life and human sexuality, are not part of the LCWR agenda in a way that promotes church teaching,” a Vatican report said of the group, according to NBC News.

Campbell has said that she does not think it’s “a good policy to outlaw abortion” in a 2016 interview with Democracy Now, Catholic News Agency reported.

“That is not our issue,” she told CNA on Aug. 19, responding to a question about whether her organization opposes legal protections for abortion. “That is not it. It is above my pay grade.”

Official Catholic teaching states that abortion “is a crime against human life,” “constitutes a grave offense” and that a person who obtains an abortion is automatically excommunicated from the Catholic Church. (RELATED: Media Calls Biden A ‘Devout Catholic.’ Where Does He Actually Stand With The Catholic Church?)

“It’s not the issue that we work on. I’m a lawyer. I would have to study it more intensely than I have,” Campbell told CNA.

“Our agenda is the economic justice issues,” Campbell told CNA. “As the issues of economic justice mean, as Pope Francis talks about so often, the capacity for families to be able to support themselves, to be able to have a roof on their head.”

“A radical thought is that they ought to be able to earn enough from one job to both have time for leisure for a family together as well the capacity to save for the future,” she added.

Campbell has not responded to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Jesuit priest Father James Martin also led one of the opening prayers for the last night of the convention, a prayer that included a reference to the “unborn child in the womb” as one of those “most in need.”

The Democratic National Committee states that every woman should have access to “safe and legal abortion.”

Martin made a string of comments regarding the church’s view of homosexuality that Catholic commentators previously criticized to the DCNF.

“Where the Bible mentions [same-sex sexual] behavior at all, it clearly condemns it. I freely grant that. The issue is precisely whether the biblical judgment is correct. The Bible sanctioned slavery as well and nowhere attacked it as unjust. Are we prepared to argue today that slavery is biblically justified?” Martin tweeted. (RELATED: Jesuit Priest’s Comment On Homosexuality Unveils The ‘Most Insidious Problems Facing All Christians Today,’ Theologian Says)

The Catholic Church teaches that though every person should be treated with “respect, compassion, and sensitivity,” homosexual acts “are intrinsically disordered” and considered sins.

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