THE CATHOLIC THREAD

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Re: THE CATHOLIC THREAD

Post by wosbald » Wed May 09, 2018 4:30 pm

+JMJ+

Catholics get chance to celebrate, think about Mary with new feast day
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A mosaic of Mary as Mother of the Church is seen above St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this April 13, 2011, file photo. Pope Francis has instituted a new Marian feast honoring Mary as mother of the Church. It will be celebrated every year on the Monday after Pentecost. (Credit: Paul Haring/CNS.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Catholic Church doesn’t often add new celebrations to its pretty full liturgical calendar, but this year’s new feast day, Mary, Mother of the Church on May 21, has Catholics gearing up to mark the day or at least think a little more about Mary.

The new feast day, which will be celebrated annually the day after Pentecost, was announced in a March 3 decree by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments. The decree said the pope approved the celebration because he thought it might “encourage the growth of the maternal sense of the Church in the pastors, religious and faithful, as well as a growth of genuine Marian piety.”

[…]

Gloria Falcao Dodd, director of academic programs for the International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton, Ohio, wrote a paper about this Marian title in 2006. Her research shows that a bishop in the 1100s called Mary, Mother of the Church, and Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical on the rosary said that Mary at Pentecost was “in very truth, the mother of the Church, the teacher and queen of the apostles.”

And in 1981, the title “Mother of the Church” was given another boost when St. John Paul II had a mosaic commissioned for the outside wall of his papal apartment called “Mater Ecclesiae” (“Mother of the Church”) in gratitude for his recovery after being shot in St. Peter’s Square. Then, and other times, the pope spoke of Mary as a mediator, or someone who intercedes for us, said Falcao Dodd.

That idea of Mary interceding for the Church, as a mother does for her children, is important for Catholics to consider, especially as this new feast falls so soon after Mother’s Day, said Falcao Dodd. She also said it is key to understand its placement right after Pentecost, noting that at the time of the original Pentecost, Mary “did what a mother would do - she prayed with and for her children in the upper room.” And at Jesus’ crucifixion, when he publicly announced to the disciple John, “behold your mother” about Mary. John, symbolizes all of us, the Church, Falcao Dodd said.

[…]




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Re: THE CATHOLIC THREAD

Post by j1n » Thu May 10, 2018 7:32 am

Any of you guys watch any of the Fr Mike Schmitz videos on youtube? I would actually consider a physical move to Minnesota just so I could attend his church. As an inquirer to the Catholic Church, his videos have been, hands-down, the most inspiring and joy-inducing part of my journey so far. I gotta think this man is a huge blessing to both the younger (and younger-minded) set, AND to folks who are coming out of the new wave of evangelicalism with it's high-powered, seeker-friendly, and engaging slant.
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Re: THE CATHOLIC THREAD

Post by Del » Sun May 13, 2018 7:40 pm

What a joyous, happy day! Sunday, May 13, 2018

This is Mother's Day, for every American.

This is Fatima Day (marking the first appearance of Mary at Fatima in 1917), for Christians all over the world who mark such things.

This is Ascension Thursday Sunday, in most American Catholic dioceses.
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Re: THE CATHOLIC THREAD

Post by wosbald » Tue May 15, 2018 5:12 pm

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Jerusalem archbishop calls for prayers for peace as violence increases[
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Palestinians run for cover from Israeli fire and tear gas at the Israel-Gaza border during a protest against the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem May 14. (Credit: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters via CNS.)

JERUSALEM — As the world witnesses “another outburst of hatred and violence, which is once again bleeding all over the Holy Land,” the head of Jerusalem’s Latin Patriarchate called for prayers for peace.

“We need to pray more for peace and our conversion and for all,” said Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, apostolic administrator of the patriarchate, or diocese.

The Associated Press reported that the same day the United States was inaugurating its embassy in Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot and killed 57 Palestinians and injured more than 2,700 during mass protests along the Gaza border May 14. In addition, a baby died from tear gas inhalation, the Gaza Health Ministry said, bringing the death toll to 58.

“The lives of so many young people have once again been shut down and hundreds of families are mourning their loved ones, dead or wounded,” said the statement from Pizzaballa. “As in a kind of vicious circle, we must condemn all forms of violence, any cynical use of human lives and disproportionate violence. Once again we are forced by circumstances to plead and cry out for justice and peace!”

He announced that May 19, the eve of Pentecost, the Church would hold a prayer vigil at the Church of St. Stephen at L’Ecole Biblique. He asked the entire diocese to dedicate a day of prayer and fasting for the peace of Jerusalem and that the liturgy on Pentecost be dedicated to prayer for peace.

“We must truly pray to the Spirit to change our hearts to better understand his will and to give us the strength to continue to work for justice and peace,” the archbishop said.

[…]




"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: THE CATHOLIC THREAD

Post by Thunktank » Wed May 16, 2018 10:46 am

j1n wrote:
Thu May 10, 2018 7:32 am
Any of you guys watch any of the Fr Mike Schmitz videos on youtube? I would actually consider a physical move to Minnesota just so I could attend his church. As an inquirer to the Catholic Church, his videos have been, hands-down, the most inspiring and joy-inducing part of my journey so far. I gotta think this man is a huge blessing to both the younger (and younger-minded) set, AND to folks who are coming out of the new wave of evangelicalism with it's high-powered, seeker-friendly, and engaging slant.
I’ve watched a few of his vids. He is gifted at preaching and teaching. An amazing number of priests are not. I wouldn’t move anywhere for good preaching from anyone, but I might make a point to visit. Locally to me, I have another good teacher, Bishop Robert Barron. 8)

Regardless, per capita, the Evangelicals have it all over the Catholics when it comes to charismatic teaching and preaching, the meat of the message itself notwithstanding. :)
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Re: THE CATHOLIC THREAD

Post by Thunktank » Wed May 16, 2018 3:42 pm

You know, I’m watching the German Bishop Intercommunion Commission with a bit of interest. I don’t know exactly why this is being considered and why the Pope seems to be handing over the keys to the local bishops there.

We’re talking about Lutherans here. To my knowledge, Lutherans don’t even have apostolic succession, valid Eucharists and none of them even have any room for a universal Papacy within their ecclesiastical view of the church and theology of the church. I don’t get it. :?

If a Lutheran believes in the Eucharist, why not simply become Catholic? It’s not like the Lutherans in Germany are threatening to kill apostate Lutherans who convert to Catholicism.

Intercommunion between some Orthodox and Melkite Catholics have and do happen in some instances, but this is quite different, albeit, perhaps still not proper. Regardless, the local Orthodox there and Melkite Catholics come from the same local church, arguably the Antiochian Church is officially Catholic by it’s canon laws and folks on both sides believe in the Eucharist the exact same way, are valid on both sides and the Orthodox can at least hold some sort of Papal primacy belief as a faithful Orthodox Christian. With agreement, intercommunion might further unity between them. But the Lutherans? Didn’t they reject too much Catholicism to inter commune?
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Re: THE CATHOLIC THREAD

Post by wosbald » Thu May 17, 2018 4:03 pm

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Vatican offices decry 'profoundly amoral culture' of global financial system
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Bank notes of different currencies are seen in this illustration photo (CNS photo/Kai Pfaffenbach, Reuters)

Vatican City — Two Vatican offices have taken the global financial system to task, decrying in a new document the way markets primarily serve the world's wealthiest minority and stress profit to an extent that creates "a profoundly amoral culture."

In a joint venture giving theological weight to Pope Francis' frequent criticism that "this economy kills," the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development also warn that global markets are returning to past heights of "myopic egoism" 10 years after the financial crisis of 2008.

"Markets, the powerful propeller of the economy, are not capable of governing themselves," the Vatican offices state in the document, titled Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones and released May 17.

[…]

The dicasteries also place Francis' teachings firmly in the wider tradition of Catholic social doctrine, citing extensively from dozens of prior papal documents addressing economic issues, such as Pius XI's Quadragesimo Anno, Paul VI's Populorum Progressio, John Paul II's Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, and Benedict XVI's Caritas in Veritate.

The central argument of the document is that the economic system should "aim above all to promote the global quality of life that, before the indiscriminate expansion of profits, leads the way toward the integral well-being of the entire person and of every person."

"No profit is in fact legitimate when it falls short of the objective of the integral promotion of the human person, the universal destination of goods, and the preferential option for the poor," it states.

While the document acknowledges that many financiers and stock traders are "animated by good and right intentions," it says global markets have become "a place where selfishness and the abuse of power have the potential to harm the community beyond match."

It says that although some modern wealth creation techniques are not "directly unacceptable from an ethical point of view," they can be "instances of proximate immorality, that is, occasions that readily generate the kind of abuse and deception that can damage less advantaged counterparts."

"Money in itself is a good instrument ... and is a means to order one's freedom and to expand one’s possibilities," it continues. "Nevertheless, the means can easily turn against the person."

"Likewise, the financial dimension of the business world, focusing business on the access of money through the gateway of the world of stock exchange, is as such something positive," it states. "Such a phenomenon, however, today risks accentuating bad financial practices concentrated primarily on speculative transactions of virtual wealth."

The document reserves some of its strongest language for the way those who run the financial system are trained in their craft, saying "the objective of mere profit easily creates a perverse and selective logic that often favors the advancement of business leaders who are capable, but greedy and unscrupulous."

Such training, it says, helps "create and diffuse a profoundly amoral culture — in which one often does not hesitate to commit a crime when the foreseen benefits exceed the expected penalty."

"Such behavior gravely pollutes the health of every economic-social system," it continues. "It endangers the functionality and seriously harms the effective realization of that common good, upon which is necessarily founded every form of social institution."

Among the financial practices that receive the sharpest criticism from the Vatican offices is use of offshore accounts in order to avoid taxation on wealth.

[…]



Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones [pdf]




"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: THE CATHOLIC THREAD

Post by wosbald » Fri May 18, 2018 9:22 am

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Vatican document on economics is a serious, intellectually hefty indictment [In-Depth/Opinion]

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London Stock Exchange, October 2007 (Wikimedia Commons/Kaihsu Tai), October 2007 (Wikimedia Commons/Kaihsu Tai)


In 1881, the Wharton School of Business opened at the University of Pennsylvania. It was the first collegiate business school in the United States, and the date of its founding marks a high point in the evolution of economics from a subject that was studied for centuries as part of moral theology to a distinct discipline of its own.

Or a low point -- in what now appears as a devolution. Untethered from the human subjects whose lives and decisions and values are what constitute economic activity, the modern study of economics has become an academic and policy Frankenstein's monster, coercing its subjects with its pretended laws, dehumanizing community and political life, leaving human lives by the wayside as collateral damage.

The new document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development on modern finance, Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones ("Considerations for an Ethical Discernment Regarding Some Aspects of the Present Economic-Financial System") does not mention Wharton, but it denounces in the most forthright terms yet seen from the Holy See the idea that economics is a science no different from biology, a science the laws of which are as natural as the winds, that human and religious values may seek to comment, but they can make no claim to shape, still less dictate, economic outcomes that are the mere playing out of iron laws. We have come to believe that economics, like gravity, just is: Demand drives supply just as the apple falls to the ground.

Not so, say the authors. "Therefore, the proper orientation of reason can never be absent from any area of human activity. It follows that there can be no area of human action that legitimately claims to be either outside of or impermeable to ethical principles based on liberty, truth, justice and solidarity," the document states. "This is true for those areas in which the political and economic laws apply: 'Today, with a view towards the common good, there is urgent need for politics and economics to enter into a frank dialogue in the service of life, especially human life.' " The quote within the text is from "Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home."

So far from economics being liberated from the inquisitorial eye of religion, the document insists that authentic liberation must always develop within ethical principles, not try and affix the ethics as an add-on. "In order to liberate every realm of human activity from the moral disorder that so often afflicts it, the Church recognizes among her primary duties the responsibility to call everyone, with humble certainty, to clear ethical principles," the document states.

And the ethics needed are not the hyper-individualist, market-worshiping ethics of libertarianism. Not only does the text specifically call for market regulation, but in speaking about the 2008 financial meltdown, and the potential to have learned some ethical lessons therefrom, the document states, "On the contrary, the response seems at times like a return to the heights of myopic egoism, limited by an inadequate framework that, excluding the common good, also excludes from its horizons the concern to create and spread wealth, and to eliminate the inequality so pronounced today."

[...]

As one expects from a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the text frequently mentions truth, and I am sure the apologists for libertarian economic ideas will insist that their views merely state a scientifiic truth. How to respond? An analogy will help. This past week, there has been controversy after a White House aide, Kelly Sadler, said in a meeting that they should not worry too much about the opposition of Sen. John McCain to the nomination of Gina Haspel to lead the CIA because "he's dying anyway." Technically, what Sadler said is true, but that is not exhaustive. It was also morally obscene. Mutatis mutandi[𝚜], that is the answer to whatever objections to this document are raised by the high priests of economic "science."

Since this document comes in part from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, there is no more hiding behind the false right-wing talking point that some issues, like abortion or same-sex marriage, involve irreformable doctrine while economic matters are the stuff of prudential judgment and we can all pretty much think what we wish. No. Economic matters involve very core doctrines of the faith as well.

[...]




"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: THE CATHOLIC THREAD

Post by wosbald » Tue May 22, 2018 7:50 am

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Thoughts on the Vatican's New Document on Economic and Financial Issues [Opinion]
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Last week, the Vatican released a new magisterial (= authoritative teaching) document about “economic and financial issues” (Oeconomicae et pecuniariae quaestiones, the opening words and thus title). Co-signed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the office for “Integral Human Development” (Vaticanese for social justice), it is a synthesis of the teachings of the bishop of Rome, Pope Francis, on this topic. It is “offered to all men and women of good will” (not just Catholics, 6). The bottom-line of the document, stated at the outset, is that economic markets must be “appropriate[ly] regulat[ed]” and based on “a clear ethical foundation” (1). Rejected is the false notion that economics are morally neutral (libertarianism, laissez-faire). Nothing is stated in the document that has not already been taught by Francis and/or his predecessors. Still, it is a timely reminder that will help Francis to promote his social magisterium.

[…]

The essentially social, even political, nature of the Catholic faith remains a scandal to many people. The far-left would confine all religions (especially Catholicism!) to the realm of the private, banning public expressions of religion and political statements by clergy. (I’m looking at you, France.) On the right, in America the dominant religious force has been and remains Evangelicalism (though statistics indicate steep decline, which will accelerate because of its hypocritical support of Donald Trump). Traditionally, Evangelicals consider the pope to be the anti-Christ and Catholicism a Satanic “cult” (see the recent dust-up about megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress). Therefore, Catholic influence in politics is likely to be seen with suspicion, though the pro-life movement has somewhat mitigated this. More importantly, Evangelicals have traditionally regarded Christianity as essentially apolitical and private: it is about “saving souls” for a spiritual, otherworldly afterlife. For this reason, it has promoted indifference toward political and social issues, resulting in complicity in grave evils such as slavery and racial segregation (“slaveholder religion”). Just this week, a pastor proposed a resolution to the Southern Baptist Convention (the largest Protestant denomination in the U.S.) condemning “social justice”! This distorted version of Christianity offers the unjust a free chance at salvation without requiring them to behave justly, provided they don’t engage in the proscribed forms of sexuality. Even when Evangelicals object to certain changes in politics, namely the acceptance of abortion and homosexuality, the concern is one of “personal morality,” not social justice. In recent decades, however, we have seen the rise of a religious right that seeks political influence (sometimes this is called “dominion theology”). This movement is reminiscent of the old Christendom that the Catholic Church has since rejected. While the religious right seeks to outlaw abortion and homosexuality, it continues to leverage the old rhetoric of “personal morality” to justify its anti-immigrant and warmongering public policies, since these are political matters said to be outside the realm of religion and morality.

This perverted version of Christianity has, I’m sorry to say, infected many American Catholics. You see it every time you hear a Catholic–liberal or conservative–say that “the pope should stay out of politics.” The pope recognizes how widespread is this error, and that is why this document has been released. Morality (better: love) is both private and public. The popes oppose everything they consider evil, not just abortion and homosexuality, but war, capital punishment, racism and xenophobia, and economic inequality. It must be stated here, forcefully, that this pope tries to reach out to LGBT people, to include them and help them not to feel marginalized in the Church. The Catholic understanding of sex, marriage, and procreation shouldn’t be used to justify discrimination against gays and lesbians (see CCC 2358).

In modern Catholicism, there is a tradition of conservative dissent from the social doctrines of the Roman pontiffs that goes back to William F. Buckley, Jr. (founder of the National Review), who rejected St. John XXIII’s social encyclical Mater et Magistra (1961). A more recent example is when George Weigel (also in the National Review) rejected portions of Benedict XVI’s social encyclical Caritas in Veritate (2009). Conservative dissent has differed from the liberal in that it has tried to stay quiet, since conservative Catholics define themselves by their loyalty to the popes over against secularism and “modernism.” In the public eye, they succeeded in presenting themselves as being on the same side as the popes, even when they disagreed. In contrast, liberal Catholics, beginning with Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968) condemning birth control, have been outspoken in their opposition. However, since Francis published his encyclical Laudato Si’ (2015) about the environment and his letter Amoris Laetitia (2016) calling for the re-integration of some divorced Catholics, conservative dissent has become louder than the liberal. We have seen countless conferences and petitions directed against him (just this month a “plea” from fifteen priests was released).

Over the days and weeks to come, expect to see publications like the National Review, National Catholic Register, Catholic “News” Agency, and LifeSite “News” publish pieces criticizing the new document. They will try to frame this as opposition to the “novelties” and “innovations” (perhaps even “heresies”) of Francis. The reality, though, is that his social teachings are in line with those of all the popes going back to the very first social encyclical, Leo XIII’s landmark Rerum Novarum in 1891.

[…]




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Re: THE CATHOLIC THREAD

Post by wosbald » Wed May 23, 2018 9:10 am

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The shock of developing doctrine: A response to Fr. Dwight Longenecker
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We cannot determine whether a professed development is truly such or not, without some further knowledge than an experience of the mere fact of this variation. Nor will our instinctive feelings serve as a criterion. It must have been an extreme shock to St. Peter to be told he must slay and eat beasts, unclean as well as clean, though such a command was implied already in that faith which he held and taught; a shock, which a single effort, or a short period, or the force of reason would not suffice to overcome. Nay, it may happen that a representation which varies from its original may be felt as more true and faithful than one which has more pretensions to be exact.

Bl. John Henry Newman, The Newman Reader,
“On the Development of Doctrine,” 1, 5, 7.

It appears that my last post, Fundamentalist Catholics and Ecclesial Catholics, struck a nerve.

In addition to the expected disagreements over my characterization of this moment in the Church as a fundamental disagreement between two views of Church authority, a number of bloggers and Facebook and Twitter users took exception to my use of the word “fundamentalist” to describe their view of doctrinal authority.

[…]

Admittedly, “fundamentalist” does take on a negative connotation when applied to extreme religious groups, but my intention was to use the word in the technical sense: to describe someone who relies on a “plain reading” of religious texts as their highest doctrinal authority. Fr. Dwight Longenecker was highly offended by my use of the word. He dedicated the first ⅓ of his blog post attempting to educate his readers about how he thinks the word should be used.

On the other hand, I object to Fr. Longenecker’s alternative classification, “Conservative Catholics.” This is not a liberal or conservative issue. In fact, both positions I posted could technically be classified as conservative because both prioritize orthodoxy and obedience to the teachings of the Magisterium. Alternatively, they both could be called liberal (in an American context), assuming both sides embrace the traditional principles of Catholic social teaching.

[…]

Fr. Longenecker actually did spend a little time on the substance of my argument, and then proceeded to demonstrate a nearly textbook example of the fundamentalist approach to doctrine that I described.

He refers to Bl. John Henry Newman’s Essay on the Development of Doctrine, summarizing it thus:
Put very simply, authentic development of doctrine must not only be in continuity with the past, but there must also be a natural growth which is consistent with the past and not contradictory. What seems to be an innovation must be a logical outgrowth of the original kernel of truth. Furthermore, the “new” truth must be seen to be already existent in seed form in the primitive teaching and the “new” truth must be a consolidation not a destruction of the “old” truth. Finally, Newman says there must be “chronic vigor” in the developing doctrine — in other words it presents itself as a vibrant and dynamic outgrowth of the old truth — not a lessening or diminution of that truth.
In no way have I or any other serious defender of Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia ever suggested that Chapter 8 of the exhortation, including footnote 351, is based on anything other than the teachings of the Church. We have put forward a number of essays explaining how it is a development in continuity with prior teaching, and perhaps we are due to write another.

And yet, Fr. Longenecker takes it as a matter of fact that any reasonably intelligent person should see it as an innovation that is incompatible with the perennial teachings of the Church:
They believe the footnote in chapter eight introduces an innovation which would be to allow Catholics who are in an objectively sinful situation to receive holy communion. If this is what the footnote means, then they wish to test this innovation against Newman’s criteria. To do so becomes immediately obvious to the most elementary theological thinker that such an innovation does not, in fact, comply with any of Newman’s seven standards.
Fr. Longenecker, without blinking, walks right into exactly what I described in my own essay:
The Fundamentalist does not see his understanding of doctrine as a private judgement, but as an objective, plain reading of the Tradition, which should be self-evident to anyone with the ability to think logically.
Newman himself spoke of the need to understand that doctrines might not develop in a way that we can anticipate or in a way that our preconceived notions are prepared to accept. As I quoted at the beginning of this essay, John Henry Newman speculated that Peter himself likely didn’t anticipate a major development of doctrine that he promulgated in the Acts of the Apostles. “It must have been an extreme shock to St. Peter to be told he must slay and eat beasts, unclean as well as clean, though such a command was implied already in that faith which he held and taught.”

[…]




"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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