Cardinal Egan to give official benediction at RNC on Thursday

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The Republican National Convention in New York this week has two things that the Democratic convention a few months ago did not have: daily mass and a cardinal’s benediction.

Roman Catholics participating at the RNC at Madison Square Garden have the possibility of celebrating daily mass all week at the Church of Our Saviour, one mile from the convention site.

Though masses are not official convention activities, they are listed on a schedule distributed by the volunteer Catholic Working Group, which is helping President George Bush garner the Catholic vote for his presidential race.

Edward Cardinal Egan, archbishop of New York, is scheduled to give the benediction Thursday, after Bush accepts the nomination for presidential candidate.

Contrary to tradition, the Democratic Convention did not have a bishop or cardinal give the benediction. Rather, Senator John Kerry’s pastor, a Paulist priest, gave the benediction.

Though a Methodist, President Bush’s stance on right-to-life life issues is more in line with Catholic teaching than Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry.

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