If you look at the remarks of Dr Diarmuid Martin you can see where the problem lies, and it is not just what he has said since after the vote but, maybe, always.
A friend bought an autobiography of a bishop recently and then complained how shallow, self justifying it was. How it seemed to lack any talk of Grace and seemed spiritually vacuous, as if it was written by a name dropping minor politician, rather than a Christian and a man of faith. I have yet to read it but I suspect it is typical of any apologia of any bishop today, with no attempt as Newman might have made, to reveal his method of thinking or his spiritual motivation, or the action of God in his life.
Catholics today might be divided into those influenced by the School of Bologna, who believe in rupture or discontinuity and those who believe in continuity. The documents of Vatican II as Pope Benedict suggested can be read either way, they are designed to be somewhat ambiguous, open to acceptance by even the most traditionally minded of Council Fathers but with a fair degree of play for those who would end up 'interpreting' them. There has been a great deal of talk about an actual Council and 'a Council of the media', in the same way as there is about an actual Francis and a Francis constructed by the media, I suspect that is all a little simplistic, certainly as far as the Council is concerned, one has only to look at whose hands were behind the various documents, what their intentions were. The writers invariably became the interpretors.
The hermeneutic of the Bologna School was always about rupture, its origins seem to have been in ameliorating the excesses of Mussolini's rule, of seeing the Church from the level of the poor, quite natural from Red Bologna. The problem echoes all of the movements of the early 20th century that were on the side of the poor, they created an elite to decide what the poor really wanted, and ended up by disenfranchising those whose cause they had come to power to support. We see that in Bolshevikism or Communism, Italian or Spanish Fascism, National Socialism or even in the Argentinian Pope's native Peronism. Sooner or later the poor or the 'masses' become frustrated by their new masters.
What the Church has lost, in Ireland as much as as elsewhere, are the 'toiling masses'. The Year Zero-ism that the Bologna School puts forward cuts the Church off from its roots, and not just its cultural roots but also its intellectual roots, As Monsignor Klaus Gamber says in 'Reform of the Roman liturgy' (my thanks to Viterbo).
'But what possible advantage can be gained for the pastoral care of the faithful by changing the feast days of the saints in the Church calendar, changing the way of counting Sundays during the liturgical year, or even changing the words of Consecration? What possible advantage can be gained by introducing a new Order of Readings and abolishing the old one, or by making minor and unimportant adjustments to the Traditional Rite, and then finally, by publishing a new Missal? Was all this really done because of pastoral concern about the souls of the faithful, or did it not rather represent a radical breach with the Traditional Rite, to prevent the further use of traditional liturgical texts and thus to make the celebration of the 'Tridentine Mass' impossible, because it no longer reflected the new spirit moving through the Church?"The act of changing the Church in fact eviscerated it, removing it even culturally from the place most of its members 'were at', as we used to say. What had stood firm for generations in its 'renewed form' was incapable of standing for a few decades after the 'New Pentecost' promised by Bl. John XXIII.
A Church that is rootless is not 'owned' by the people. A Church that is afraid to teach because it has cut itself from it previous Magisterium, and which instead sows uncertainty, has nothing to say in the daily living of its members, nor in the intellectual forum in general. In fact it is irrelevant. It has all the outward appearance that it once used for the furtherance of its mission but has lost its interior meaning. It is not so much an Emperor with no clothes, but the clothes without an Emperor, all that is left is the institution, which itself is meaningless. In Germany, as in Ireland, the real-estate portfolio seems to be what the Church is about rather than any actual teaching or revelation of Christ.
What I find so sad about Archbishop Martin's statements is that seem to be about institutional power, and influence, the very thing that disgusted the Irish during the abuse crisis. This is what even practising Catholics seem to find so objectionable about the Irish bishops, but in fact they are like many European bishops who have nothing to say and nothing to offer except a vacuous institution; the Church preaching not Jesus Christ but simply protecting its back.
I blame the Bolognese because they have emptied the Church of meaning, leaving it ineffectual, substituting for doctrine a warm feeling, for the worship of God, a celebration of community. This what the Irish Church has been offering for decades - pap!
In a way this video says everything about what is wrong with the Church in Ireland, it is narcissistic and feel-gooding, self-neutering, incapable of reproducing itself, neither evangelising nor being self-critical. It is shallow, self-referential, lacking the ability to speak to either the mind or the heart, only to sentiment. It neither depends on or leads to Jesus Christ, in fact it becomes a replacement for him.
I would suggest that the problem can be traced from the abolition of the \catechism in the early sixties and the introduction of vague "catechetics" which had little, if any, content of Faith or Grace. I well remember opposing the "new" catechtics at the time.
The sad reality it that the so-called catechetics handed on none of the content of the Faith.
A frightening thought is that most, though not all, of the present bishops in Ireland and Britain were reared with the new catechetics, and therefore have little if any knowledge of the Faith and therefore cannot transmit it in pastorals!
Edward Norman loves quoting from homosexual filmmaker Derek Jarman's response to the installation of George Carey at Canterbury: "This is where crap gets you".
After news of the vote filtered through, I attended Mass at the local Cathedral. Girls as young as eight or nine, wearing male clerical dress, were serving an effeminate (but effective) Monsignor. One of the two acolytes was an African girl of at least five feet in stature. The other was of south east Asian extraction and could only have been four feet tall. It's difficult to communicate how ridiculous they looked.
If we are not to judge to homosexuals, let's at least listen to them especially the likes of Derek Jarman.
Great and sharp analysis. Thanks!
Or - apostasy.
"Pap"? That is the best definition of the theology of Alberigo and Melloni which I have yet to come across!!!
Martin's response to the referendum result was both pathetic and symptomatic of the loss of supernatural faith in the Church. As efpastoremeritus2 points out, this is no doubt due, in large part, to the new catechetics which has had its effects from the universities and seminaries right down to First Holy Communion classes.
If ever a case for a "new evangelization" needed making, this last weekend has provided all the evidence we need.
I think it is the loss of a sense of the supernatural, full stop.
It affects liturgy, an understanding of the Church, everything, especially the understanding of what a priest is for.
The BS seems to have wanted to set man free from the supernatural.
The modern Church is a church of despair that is desperate to project hope. It secretly believes that the Gospel is a pipe dream, so it re-presents the Gospel as an expression of what is best in contemporary society.
Once again, the timeless Truth of Christ, which is the ONLY THING the Church has to teach us, is called into question. So what will the response be?
(1) A confusing explanation as to why what was previously taught as essential, is probably not essential,
(2) an admonishment that even if it were, our uncharitable presentation has turned men from the Gospel (as if Jesus converted 99% of the people he encountered because of a compassionate, merciful approach),
(3) a grasping for something in the Tradition that overlaps with our new dictate, so that we can claim the new ideal is really just a spiritual development (i.e., insistence that what it really means to be Christian is to be open-minded, and non-judgmental)
Here in Los Angeles where I've been visiting, the local priest in his homily said that the Irish "yes" vote on gay marriage underlined Pentecost's message that we are to understand those who are different from us, just as those visitors to Jerusalem understood Peter each in his own language. The priest went on to say that Oscar Wilde had to endure persecution for his homosexuality but that God is love and all love is good because it is from God. THAT was our Pentecost homily, in a parish where the pastor is from - surprise, surprise - Ireland. I have been heartsick that my children there do not attend Mass but - after hearing this - can only be thankful that they don't.
There's something more basic about the Hermeneutic of Rupture. If it's possible for Catholicism to be in permanently rupture with its past, then it's clear that Catholicism is not based on timeless truths. If it's not based on timeless truths, it cannot be based on God's Revelation, so Catholicism is just Man's search for God rather than God's search for man.
In that case, Catholicism is a sham and we can't even truth the Nicene Creed. There's absolutely no reason to be Catholic or even Protestant since Protestantism is just Catholicism-lite plus a few more man made Traditions.
Hermeneutic of Rupture collapses under its own weight, and has no authority to bind anyone, since it has no authority to even bind itself.
Is it my age or did life once seem to be simpler?
A Catholic school, an altar boy, catechism and Latin – teasing from the non-Catholic kids at the ‘forehead smudge’ on Ash Wednesday (felt a unity with the martyrs). Baptism, confession, confirmation, communion, marriage and – with any luck - a Requiem Mass.
A Flying career, and being able to understand a mass, in Latin, wherever I happened to be in the world. It all seemed perfectly ‘normal,’ it all made sense. Maybe I was naïve and missed the politics of the church … I just followed the well-trodden path.
But the path became less clear, small things were happening. Then my mother’s funeral and the debate that almost got heated, with the young priest who told me not to worry about the concerns I had, “Latin is too old fashioned!” I had tried to explain to him that when I attended my son’s wedding in Tokyo the mass was in Japanese and for the first time I felt like I was on the outside.
I'm not going to list the things that went wrong with the Church over the years, but here we in the world so clearly defined in Fr. Blake’s honest blog.
Finally I saw the video of … the ‘Pop’ Nuptial Mass.
And when I am asked … did you leave your religion? I reply, ‘No, it left me.’
"But the chief priests and elders had persuaded the multitude to ask for Barabbas and have Jesus put to death; and so, when the governor openly asked them, Which of the two would you have me release? they said, Barabbas." Matthew 27:20-21
The main point to be taken away from that Gospel passage here in Ireland would be that Barabbas won in a free and fair election and therefore it was a triumph for democracy.
Pray the rosary for we Irish and for yourselves. God will not be blasphemed.
This "Marriage Equality" Amendment will be part and parcel of our Constitution now, a Constitution which begins thus:
"In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom,
as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, We, the people of Éire,
Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ,..."
The horror of this is that Ireland as a Nation has risen up and shaken its fist in the very Face of God...the people have publicly defied God throughout the world.
My Diocesan Director of Education has taken issue with a letter I wrote to our diocesan newspaper (Northern Cross) complaining that children in our Catholic schools are not receiving a fully Catholic education. So efpastoremeritus2 is absolutely correct both in his comment and in his own blog following the Irish debacle vote. Their archbishop felt that the young people had carried the vote but that says little for their religious education in Catholic schools in Ireland. He also omitted to say that in excess of $20million hadflowed in from gay organisations in the USA backing the 'Yes' vote.
Further to this here in England there has been such a lack of respect for the Real Presence by both clergy & laity (mainly in parishes without EF Masses) when little acknowledgement never mind genuflection is shown to the tabernacle & thus to God Almighty
Father, you just sound like the usual bitter and disillusioned traditionalist Catholic.
Fr. Ray Blake,
I have been an avid reader of your blog for some time. I am an Irish catholic teacher (26) teaching in the so called "Catholic" schools in Ireland. I wrote this on Catholic Herald I see no reason not to share it here:
"It’s not as simple as saying that the Irish have rejected the Catholic Church. It goes much deeper: the truth is that the majority have abandoned traditional Christianity and will not let it guide their choices and their way of life."
Modern Ireland is a tragedy heading for catastrophe. We have replaced Catholicism and Christianity with consumerism, nihilism and hedonism. We have highest rate of suicide and mental health issues in Europe (400,000 suffer from some mental health problem) - and no one dares to point out connection between secularism and the nihilistic "no point in life but pleasure" and falling religious values. We have a huge drug problems and alcoholism among our young - temperance is dead. 1/3 kids are born outside wedlock and no one will criticize it (certainly not now after referendum). We have huge seperation issues, STD crisis in the making, and women regularly seen in Ireland as pleasure vehicles simply. Our elderly and disabled are treated shamefully. Our politicians believe more money and common sense will replace the faith and secular values will sustain personal responsibility. Even with the church at its height that never happened - Irish people never never never take responsibility for their mistakes.
Hopefully now with the catastrophe before their eyes the Church will finally wake up to their complete and utter failure. They have ensured the faiths destruction, not secular liberals. They have poisoned Christianity of all branches from Ireland. They have given people nothing but despair and it is the church which must pick up the pieces and rebuild before the Coming Storm. Mark my words the Evil One's followers in the secular liberal Irish elite now sense victory and emboldened. Abortion is the next great step.
I think your analysis is dead on, Fr. Blake. That said, we have to recognize, I think that two more factors that made the Church ripe to receive a big entree of Bolognese:
1) An unhealthy kind of ultramontanism had emerged by the 20th century, thanks not just to Vatican I, but a general program of centralization undertaken by 19th and 20th century popes to fend off centrifugal forces - and a a long run of very good, holy popes. No one could even conceive of what a bad or very imprudent pontificate could look like. It became enough merely to say: "The Pope wants this."
2) There was kind of a ecclesiastical stagnation that had set in for many western churches by the mid-20th century. In many places, there was a raft of bishops in place whose main mission seemed to be institution building and maintenance, rather than evangelizing. And I think that helps explain why resistance to this revolution by the clergy was so tepid. It seemed to promise a way to "keep up" with the fast changes in western society with some aggiornamento without disrupting the basics much, and it also had the effect of aggrandizing the power of bishops. The clothes, in short, were intact, even if there was no longer to be much within them.
But that could only happen with benches of bishops who were often predisposed to receive it.
A brilliant account of the state of the Church today. Here in Leeds we have a non Church cut off from the living Faith of its people. Priests talk empty platitudes. They prepare and read academic essays and call them a sermons. They serve the 'church' as an institution. They are members of a society of shared values like say a political party. All must conform to the modern party line. As for pastoral work of saving souls well that went out years ago. They have stopped serving Christ in all His fullness. They just take the bits that pleases them.
To hear a good Catholic sermon you have to go to the SSPX.
When I asked for a kneeler in order to receive Holy Communion at Sunday Mass I was refused over and over again by priests and the Bishop.
Instead the Bishop has agreed to provide one Latin Mass in his Cathedral on the third Sunday of the month at . . get this . . . at eight o'clock in the morning ! !
This demonstrates a total lack of understanding of the pastoral needs of ordinary people. He also demonstrates his aversion to Tradition and the Latin Mass.
I agree with John Simlett "And when I am asked … did you leave your religion? I reply, ‘No, it left me.’ "
A most interesting reflection Father. I can't help thinking that we have been here before. Your words "but in fact they are like many European bishops who have nothing to say and nothing to offer except a vacuous institution; the Church preaching not Jesus Christ but simply protecting its back." could have been said by either Luther or Henry VIII.
In saying that they were of course correct, it was their remedy that was wrong, instead of reform and a return to Christ, a breach - just as with our Bolognan friends.
I fear that before too long there will be persecution of the Church in Ireland. The primate may in time give thanks that he is in Armagh and protected from such persecution by the successors of Ian Paisley, who show no sign whatever of embracing secular humanism (the phrase Never Never Never springs to mind).
Funny old world.
Well now we know where we are. If ”Catholic” Ireland can vote for sodomy and against Marriage, then Ireland is no longer Catholic, and we must assume Europe is no longer Catholic.
And the lessons. Yes the Irish bishops, and a very large percentage of the clergy have failed their flock and should depart. But why did they do so?
Well now after some fifty years, it is clear that the Second Vatican Council, and particularly the post-Vat II period, has turned out to be a profound mistake, a false way, for the One True Catholic and Apostolic Church, possibly greater than the Arian and Protestant heresies. How bad , the next 30/40 years will tell.
The sudden break with sixteen centuries of intuitive Catholic Liturgy, the imposition from above of a contrived, banal, artificial liturgy, the so called “pastoral “ approach, the abandonment of Catholic R E and Apologetics in Catholic schools, the collapse of the sense of sin, the flirtation with a false ecumenism, the flooding in of the secularist mentality, all of these have left the Church in Europe and probably the USA, diminished, confused and still declining.
It is clear now that remaining will have to choose. They will accept the Ten Commandments, the Resurrection, and the Tradition and Teaching of the Church in full, or they will not.
This is said in sadness, but not in anger, which is not appropriate at such times. It is simply an objective observation of what has happened.
The Church will rise again, the Holy Spirit will see to that, but how and when is not for us at present to see.
I don't accept the analysis being presented here.
"Western" Catholics want to have their cake and eat it: they want all the kudos which comes from being the destroyers of Germany and Japan in world War II but not the consequences of the "victory" which have been catastrophic for us.
God's Holy Spirit has made it abundantly clear that this unacceptable. As a result we shake our fist at God the Father and quote "Godwin's Law" at Him.
We are a disgrace.
I too most certainly agree with "efpastoremeritus2" that the catechism was replaced by catechetics with only vague references to the contents of the Faith. The words of the catechism which I learned as a child at school, are still with me now over 70 years later. As I said in a previous posting, I remember being told what it meant to be "truly wise". It is the wisdom of the Holy Spirit teaching the essentials of our Faith and handed down to us from Apostolic times.
@Anil Wang - there is rupture. The 'Year Zero-ism' is an example of it.
The Church (which hands on that which she received/continuity) teaches that those who choose rupture are no longer in the Church. Luther was a 'rupturist'. The other day Francis, when promulgating the new ecumensim said: 'I feel like saying something that may sound controversial, or even heretical, perhaps'. What is one to make of this sort of talk? Or of the scandalous sermon Annie mentioned above, or of so many contemporary clergy who claim the name 'Catholic' but 'feel like saying something (or indeed doing) something...'? Pius VI said of the heretic Nesotirous: "He expressed himself in a plethora of words, mixing true things with others that were obscure; mixing at times one with the other in such a way that he was also able to confess those things which were denied while at the same time possessing a basis for denying those very sentences which he confessed."
It seems the pastoral experiment of VII has created an institution that in too greater degree contradicts or is contrary to the Catholic Church. It has become a 'replacement' entity. The rupture or replacement is what Fr Ripperger calls Ecclesiastical amnesia: "During the early 1960s, there existed a generation that was handed the entire ecclesiastical tradition, for the tradition was still being lived. However, because they labored under the aforesaid errors ('posivitsm' = no principles of judgment other than the current Pope/college), that generation chose not to pass on the ecclesiastical tradition to the subsequent generation as something living. Consequently, in one generation, the extrinsic tradition virtually died out. By the late 1960s and early 1970s, seminary and university formation in the Catholic Church excluded those things that pertained to the ecclesiastical tradition. Once the prior generation had chosen this course – not to remember and teach the things of the past – the tradition was never passed on and thus those whom they trained (the current generation) were consigned to suffer collective ignorance about their patrimony and heritage." http://www.latinmassmagazine.com/articles/articles_2001_SP_Ripperger.html
In 1973 the nun who was my class teacher told my fellow pupils and I to carry old cathechism books to a bonfire. I recall her saying something on the lines of good riddance to that.
Only now, all these years later do I realise the significance of what we did and only now is the damage that ensued really clear.
It's called 'intellectualism' Fr. Some of these prelates seem to think they know better than God Himself in His word and in His Church. They raise themselves up to think they are of superior mindset to the true teaching of Christ in His Church. Their narcissism is astounding. It's APOSTASY at the very highest level. And it seems to be of a greater magnitude than we once anticipated. I guess to put it simply: The wolves have taken over the hen house.
Rodrigo* - Great comment, you strike a new note in intellectual discussion, thanks a stack !
I so enjoy it when I get a chance to read a comment like this because, no matter how down in the dumps I might be, I relish laughing my silly head off at puerile and valueless remarks. The pomposity and contrived posturing are priceless – more of this, please ! We need a bit of humour now and again.
*You will be aware, of course, Rodrigo Borgia, (aka Alex VI) studied law at Bologna Uni ?
In Ireland there are 4 archbishops, 21 suffragan bishops, with one diocese currently sede vacante (Killaloe), and 3 auxiliary bishops. On the retired list are 3 archbishops, two of whom are cardinals, 12 bishops and 8 auxiliary bishops. That’s a lot of mouths to feed. Have any of them sung for their supper? Have any of them distinguished themselves in the defence of marriage during the lead up to the referendum? I hope His Excellency the Most Reverend Charles John Brown, titular archbishop of Aquileia, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, is asking himself the same question.
The Archbishop said he was voting no on religious grounds (what happened to Natural Law?) but he was not going to tell others how to vote. At least that is what is reported in the Irish Times. This effectively told Catholics that they could vote how they liked. Many people see the introduction of Gay Marriage as being a kindness to those with homosexual leanings so Catholics felt free to vote 'yes'.
The Archbishop surely has form as displayed over abortion and the Mater Dei Hospital in Dublin a year or two back.
When I taught for the Holy Ghost fathers in Mauritius in 1960 I remember one telling me that the first rate priests went on the foreign missions, the second rate went to England and the third rate stayed in Ireland.
Once again the blame lies fairly with the clerics.
I see no point in attacking the clerical class. The culture war was lost in Ireland some time ago and everybody knows it. The battleground has moved to the East and South. Europe and the Americas are finished. We are now looking to Russia, the Islamic World (!), Africa, India and China for the defence of the natural law.
I recall when IS emerged a year ago everybody on this blog was demanding intervention. Intervention instigation by the same political class who have ushered in homosexual marriage. This patent hypocrisy seems lost on the contributors and does not go unnoticed in the Islamic World.
@Sadie. I recall the first emergence was called ISIS (still used this outside of Europe), now it has 'progressed' to the third person affirmative. Shouldn't we be looking to our Holy Catholic Faith and her God to defend us in all matters of natural and supernatural law?
BTW - I can remember a few years ago when I used to live in Brighton seeing the annual bare-bucked bicycle rider's convention parading their unfortunate flesh around the streets of the sea city and thinking, 'blimey, maybe the burka-brigade would be preferable'. On second thought, I think not. Faith, after all, is what gets us to heaven, even if we fall morally a thousand times.
SV, you make a very interesting point. It would be no wonder at all if Our Lord would permit Islam to overtake Europe and the Americas as a divine chastisement. And one wonders how many "gay marriages" would take place if that ever happened.
Nature abhors a void. Ireland has tens of thousands of Muslims, and their numbers have been growing exponentially in recent years. Having thrown off the shackles of the Catholic Church, the Irish will eventually get new ones.
As a twenty year old I read the office on the feast day of St. Paul Miki. I couldn’t believe the name of the city not only synonymous with his martyrdom but with the Catholic Church’s mission to Japan dating back to the 16th century. It confused me for many decades. Why that city? Is there more than one Japanese city with that name? Then the Middle Eastern wars started followed by the financial crisis of 2008 which continues to this day and remains unresolved.
In my 50’s, I began to understand the unpalatable truth which (after a fashion) Johnny Rotten seems to have understood nearly 40 years ago at the end of the last Sex Pistols concert, Winterland Theater, San Francisco, California (14 January 1978):
“Ever get the feeling you've been cheated? Good night!”
As you say not just Ireland,this is pervasive throughout the Universal church contaminating millions of souls
BTW in the comment above when I say 'faith' I mean the Catholic faith, that, if we have it, causes us to confess all our moral failings and work to not repeat them. In no way was I refering the antinomian 'faith' advocated by Luther or which is being served up too frequently by Francis which conflates the 'works of the law' of the Old Covenant and the moral law - justice. 'The unjust' have no place in heaven - "Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, 10Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God. 11And such some of you were; but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Spirit of our God."
Don't blame the Bolognese - blame the Popes (if tney can be called Popes in any sense worth discussing: PINOs, perhaps ?). The Popes, and nobody else, not God, not the Consilium, not the Curia, not the episcopal hierarchies, but the Roman Popes and nobody else in the entire universe, past, present or future, are solely, totally, entirely, unambiguously and in every way and sense responsible for and guilty as all Hell of the trainwreck that is the "New Pentecost" inflicted on the Unique Spouse of Christ by these "incarnate devils" (St. Catherine"s words, no-one else's). Having "supreme, full, immediate and universal jurisdiction" over each and every one of the Faithful sucks, doesn't it ? But that is what one of the dogmatic definitions of Vatican I claims for the Pope. And since the Popes have that jurisdiction, they are in no position to squeal protestations of ignorance or innocence or uninvolvement when they are made to face the consequences of their catastrophic and lethal incompetence and knavishness. With universal jurisdiction goes universal responsibility - it is the reverse of Christlike to grab at the perks and advantages of claiming or exercising jurisdiction, and to run "frit" and disclaim responsibility when the exercise of jurisdiction blows up in one's face. A child of four is not allowed to be irresponsible - why should the Popes be allowed that ? They are no better than, and far worse than, those bankers in the City who were paid millions for their sterling (stirling ?) work in bringing their companies to their knees. Perish the thought that recent Popes should pay for the harm they have done the Church. Instead, let them be Sainted, and proposed as models of oustanding sanctity to the Faithful whom they have ruined. Paedophiles are less guilty, and far less honoured, than these.
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