For the first time, Pope Francis is equating love for the unborn with love for the immigrant, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Writing in his latest guidance to Catholics, Francis says 'to answer God's call to holiness, Christians must care for the poor, the sick and the immigrant just as they care for preventing abortion.'
Father Leo Perez of San Antonio's Oblate School of Theology, says this latest guidance will not go over well among conservatives, Catholic and otherwise.
"He wants us as Christians to look at all the moral issues, because each one of them has validity," Father Leo said. "He doesn't want us to rank them, and support this one and not that one."
It was Catholic opposition to abortion which crystallized into the centerpiece of the 'Moral Majority' anti abortion battle which began following the 1973 Roe vs. Wade decision legalizing abortion. Today, opposition to abortion is at the heart of most mainstream and movement conservative and Republican policy.
But Father Leo says while the latest teachings from Pope Francis may be ignored by conservatives, it will make a difference in the argument, because it will resonate with mainstream Catholics.
"Frances does have a way of making the common person feel included," he said. "He looks at every moral area from their perspective."
Conservative Catholics are already angry with Pope Francis for his 'forgiving' attitude toward divorce and remarriage, and this latest writing may split conservatives even more away from mainstream Catholicism.