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updated: 5/20/2013 7:21 AM

BC ceremony notable for who will attend, who won't

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Associated Press

BOSTON -- This year's commencement at Boston College looks to be notable for who will be there, as well as who won't.

Two graduate business students who were injured in the Boston Marathon bombings have recovered enough to receive their diplomas in Monday's ceremonies.

Brittany Loring and Liza Cherney are both set to receive degrees from the Carroll School of Management. Loring needed three operations after her left leg was struck by shrapnel from the first of the twin blasts on April 15. Cherney was standing next to her close friend and classmate Loring and was also badly hurt.

Earlier Monday, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny will address students receiving undergraduate degrees from the Jesuit-run college. He'll also receive an honorary degree.

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley won't be there for Kenny's speech because of Kenny's support for legislation in his country that would permit abortion.

The leader of the Boston Archdiocese traditionally gives the benediction at Boston College's graduation, but the U.S. Catholic bishops have urged Catholic institutions not to honor government officials who promote it.

Kenny says the bill simply clarifies when a doctor can perform an abortion to save a woman's life. But Catholic bishops say it would greatly expand abortion, particularly by permitting it in certain cases when a woman threatens suicide.

O'Malley called abortion a "crime against humanity" and said he decided not to attend the ceremony because Boston College didn't withdraw its invitation, and Kenny didn't decline it.

Boston College spokesman Jack Dunn said the school respects O'Malley and regrets he won't attend graduation.

"However, we look forward to our commencement and to Prime Minister Kenny's remarks," he said.

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