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Cardinal to boycott Giuliani speech


Church officials in Maryland have confirmed that Cardinal William Keeler of Baltimore will not attend a Jesuit university commencement because keynote speaker Rudolph Giuliani, a Catholic, supports abortion rights.

Associated Press reports that Giuliani, the Republican former New York City mayor mentioned as a possible candidate for president in 2008, is expected to award some 1600 degrees and certificates at Friday's commencement at Loyola College of Maryland.

He also is to receive an honorary degree.

Friday's graduating class entered the school one week before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said Loyola spokesman Mark Kelly.

``The attacks had a huge effect on this class, many of whom are from New York,'' Kelly said late Wednesday. ``The college selected Mayor Giuliani because of his courage and leadership after the attacks.''

Kelly added Loyola does not agree with every position held by every speaker.

Keeler's spokesman did not elaborate on the decision, but confirmed it was because of Giuliani's abortion stance.

Meanwhile President George W. Bush will today speak at the annual National Catholic Prayer Breakfast at the Washington Hilton.

"We are honoured and delighted that the president of the United States is joining with our Catholic community as we bring action to our faith and commit ourselves to prayer for our nation and the world," said Joseph Cella, president of the prayer breakfast.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver will also address the expected 2000 participants, and the main celebrant will be Archbishop Jose Gomez of San Antonio.

SOURCE
Md. Cardinal to Boycott Giuliani Speech (The Guardian/Associated Press 19/5/05)
President Bush to speak at second national Catholic Prayer Breakfast (Catholic News Agency 16/5/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Baltimore
Loyola College in Maryland | Commencement
National Catholic Prayer Breakfast

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20 May 2005