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The Pope and Richard Williamson

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posted on Jan, 25 2009 @ 02:41 PM

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI, reaching out to the far-right of the Roman Catholic Church, revoked the excommunications of four schismatic bishops on Saturday, including one whose comments denying the Holocaust have provoked outrage.


Among the men reinstated Saturday was Richard Williamson, a British-born cleric who in an interview last week said he did not believe that six million Jews died in the Nazi gas chambers. He has also given interviews saying that the United States government staged the Sept. 11 attacks as a pretext to invade Afghanistan.


In a November interview broadcast on Swedish television last week and widely available on the Internet, the bishop said that he believed that “the historical evidence” was strongly against the conclusion that millions of Jews had been “deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler.”

Granted, there has been a push towards returning the church to it's more conservative roots, but isn't this pushing things a bit?

Everyone does have a right to their personal opinions, but wasn't there a certain amount of collusion between The Catholic Church in Rome during the Nazi regime? That's a whole other topic for another thread but seems pertinent.

The problem is how this will be seen by the Jewish communities around the world.

IMO... not a smart move at this time and I wonder what's behind this really contentious move.

posted on Jan, 25 2009 @ 09:01 PM
I would agree that this is troubling.

I don't think that wacky conspiracy theories should be a reason for excommunication, but this guy is just irksome.

I don't know. It's a thorny issue. The Church has justly 'muzzled' some clerics, but those were people like de Chardin who were speaking about (and teaching on) religious and theological issues.

At the very least, I would hope that he is ordered to wear his 'street clothes' when speaking with the media on anything outside of his religious purview.


PS There is a lengthy thread in Below Top Secret regarding the supposed connection between the Church and Germany in WWII if you are interested.


posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 04:21 PM

Originally posted by EricD
I don't think that wacky conspiracy theories should be a reason for excommunication, but this guy is just irksome.

It's not only that they're wacky conspiracy theories. It also involves quite a few other people, including the actions of Pope PiusXII during WWII.

PS There is a lengthy thread in Below Top Secret regarding the supposed connection between the Church and Germany in WWII if you are interested

Then it belongs in ATS Comspiracy in Religions, don't you agree? I'll look it up.

The Vatican decree referred to the need to overcome the “scandal of divisiveness” and seek reconciliation and “full communion” with Lefebvre’s order, the ultra-conservative Society or Fraternity of St Pius X. It lifted the excommunication not only of Bishop Williamson, rector of the Seminary of Our Lady Co-Redemptrix in La Reja, Argentina, but also of Bernard Fellay, the leader of the order, Alfonso de Gallareta, and Tissier de Mallerais.

Renzo Gattegna, head of the Union of Jewish Communities in Italy, said the rehabilitation of Bishop Williamson was “terrible not only for Jewish people but for the whole of humanity”. He said that Italian Jews would refuse to take part in joint prayers with Christians on Tuesday marking Holocaust Day, known in Italy as “The Day of Memory”.

Sorry for going afield a bit here, but Argentina?

Argentina was a popular destination for Nazis. Declassified files show how Buenos Aires helped establish a network to rescue Collaborators and Nazis from post war Europe. The Network issued false paperwork to help Nazis escape the Allies, via the port of Genoa and finally by ship to Argentina. Once in Argentina Juan Perón's government protected them and they settled in the southern regions of the country. In early October 1999 Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff tracked Ustasha Dinko Šakić, the former commandant of Jasenovac concentration camp (nicknamed the “Auschwitz of the Balkans”). Sakic had lived in Argentina for more than fifty years. He was extradited to Croatia and sentenced by a Zagreb court to twenty year's imprisonment for his crimes.

These fleeing Nazis included a very famous one (warning, some graphic images on the link).

Mengele gave an Italian residency document with a false name and permission to enter Argentina. He received his passport in 1949. So Josef Mengele fled to South America, but moved from country to country afraid of being caught. There were many warrants, rewards, and bounties offered, but he was lucky.

In South America Mengele divorced Irene Mengele. In 1958, he married his brother Karl's widow, Martha, and later she and her son moved to Argentina to join Mengele. Mengele's life had now established itself into the comfortable and secure routine of a family man in a 9-to-5 job with good prospects.

Back to the present. I'm smelling a slight bias in the following statement and it is one sure fan the flames between the Catholic Church and the Jewish people everywhere;

Bishop Williamson, who has said that the Vatican is controlled by Satan and that the Jews are bent on world domination, reiterated in a broadcast last week on Swedish television that the historical evidence was “hugely against six million having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler. I believe there were no gas chambers”.

[edit on 28-1-2009 by Lug]


posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 04:23 PM
More fanning of flames from the Times article;

Other Catholic-Jewish tensions include plans by the Pope to beatify Pius XII, the wartime pontiff accused by critics of failing to speak out in defence of Jews. The Vatican insists that Pius helped the Jews while avoiding public statements that would have made matters worse, and has demanded the removal of a plaque attacking him at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

So, who is telling the truth here? Did PiusXII actually try to save Jewish families while publicly doing nothing? Does Pope Benedict have enough proof of this to be able to convince Israel to remove that plaque?

This supposed policy change of Pope Benedict to the extreme right, as evidenced particularly in Williamson's return to the fold, will provide an interesting series of future debates, no doubt, if these initiatives concerning Williamson and Pope PiusXII go through.

For further reading, here are Bishop Williamsons letters at the St Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Winona, dated between 1991 and 2003

An excerps I pulled out of the above just to get the ladies involved

Girls, be mothers, and in order to be mothers, let not wild horses drag you into shorts or trousers. When activities are proposed to you requiring trousers, if it is something your great-grandmother did, then find a way of doing it, like her, in a skirt.

And another for parents, regarding Pink Floyd's 'The Wall'. '

If Pink Floyd also achieved fame and wealth, then Western adults, if they care at all for their youth, must pay attention to the message. Surely the message is, precisely, that the adults do not care! "Rock music is one long, unheard, scream for help", readers of this letter were told last June.


posted on Jan, 28 2009 @ 04:24 PM
Then, there is his contemporary up-to-date blog, which contains much grist for the conspiracy mill and is a worthwhile read:

Our food is no good, and people know it. The more natural diet of poor people is healthier than that of the well-to-do. When deer face a choice between natural corn and manipulated corn, they make straight for the natural corn! Hispanics and blacks still have some common sense, but the disintegration of the family amongst the white people is causing a loneliness, loneliness, loneliness, which is pushing them to eat their unnatural food for comfort.

Sorry to split this up into 3 posts, but my character maximum is limited.


posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 09:27 AM
The controversy is all about VaticanII and, in particular, the desire shown within it to stop blaming ALL Jews for the death of Christ.

The four rehabilitated bishops came from a sect founded in opposition to the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. The bishops are members of the St. Pius X Society, founded in 1970 by a French archbishop, Marcel Lefebvre, in opposition to Vatican II reforms.

They were excommunicated by Pope John Paul II in 1988 after Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated them in unsanctioned ceremonies.

Archbishop Lefebvre.

Lefebvre had rebelled against the Vatican and founded the society in 1969. He was bitterly opposed to the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that brought liberal reforms to the church.

One of the key documents issued by Vatican II was Nostra Aetate, which said the Church deplored all forms of anti-Semitism. The document revolutionized the Church's relations with Jews

Vatican II

ON OCTOBER 28, 1965


Since the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is thus so great, this sacred synod wants to foster and recommend that mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit, above all, of biblical and theological studies as well as of fraternal dialogues.

True, the Jewish authorities and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ;(13) still, what happened in His passion cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ.

That's why this movement towards lifting the excommunication of Lefebvre and his group of four Bishops is so important.

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican demanded Wednesday that a bishop who denied the Holocaust recant his positions before being fully admitted into the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican also said in a statement that Pope Benedict XVI didn't know about Bishop Richard Williamson's views when he agreed to lift his excommunication and that of three other ultraconservative bishops Jan. 21.

Edit to add BAN thread

[edit on 4-2-2009 by Lug]


posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 06:16 AM
Pope BenedictXVI has awoken to the controversy apparently.

The Pope has ordered an ultra-conservative bishop from Britain to recant his denial that Jews died in gas chambers during the Holocaust.

In a move designed to head off condemnation, Pope Benedict XVI ordered Bishop Richard Williamson to unequivocally and publicly renounce his claims that there were no gas chambers and that fewer than 300,000 Jews died in the Nazi death camps instead of the accepted figure of six million

A geniune 'oopsie' or damage control? Maybe we'll never know.


posted on Feb, 5 2009 @ 12:50 PM

The four bishops are from the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, founded in 1970 by a French archbishop, Marcel Lefebvre, to protest the liberalizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council, or Vatican II, including liturgical changes, a commitment to ecumenism and religious liberty.

The society's 600 priests and estimated 400,000 followers are on the far right of the world's one billion Catholics. They are particularly opposed to a Vatican II document that absolved contemporary Jews of responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus.

The four bishops were excommunicated by Pope John Paul II in 1988 after Archbishop Lefebvre consecrated them without a papal mandate. The schismatic society has no legal standing within the Catholic Church.

sandro Magister is a theologist and journalist for the magazine L'espresso. His blog is recognized as a valuable tool for insight to the inner workings of the Vatican and here is what he had to say;

The decree revoking the excommunication bears the signature of Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the congregation for bishops. Another cardinal, Darío Castrillón Hoyos, is the president of the pontifical commission "Ecclesia Dei," which, ever since its creation in 1988, has dealt with the followers of Lefebvre. Both of these cardinals have said that they were taken by surprise, after the fact, by the interview with Bishop Williamson, and that they were never aware that he was a Holocaust denier.

But wasn't it the primary responsibility of these two cardinals to carry out an in-depth examination of Williamson's personal profile, and of the three other bishops? The fact that they did not do so seems inexcusable. Such an examination wasn't even difficult. Williamson has never concealed his distaste for Judaism. He has publicly defended the authenticity of the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion." In 1989, in Canada, he risked being taken to court for praising the books written by Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel. After September 11, 2001, he supported conspiracy theories to explain the collapse of the Twin Towers. Just a click on Google would have turned up all of this background material.

So, the question seems to remain inconclusive in that the left hand had no idea what the right hand had been up to for decades. (excuse the pun)

I find that hard to believe.

The fact that the excommunication of Levebvre's splinter group had happened must not have been lost on these men.

In a portion of Sandro's statements, he is being kind;

The question comes naturally: was all of this really inevitable, once the pope had decided to lift the excommunication of the Lefebvrist bishops? Or was the disaster produced by the errors and omissions of the men who are supposed to implement the pope's decisions? The facts point to the second hypothesis

So we are left with a scene of Cardinals, red-faced and open handed, saying that they had bungled, embarrassing the pope and inadvertantly causing an international outcry of disbelief.

Let's hope they were so distracted by rubber-stamping that they had no idea what they were doing. The only other explanation, a developing schism within the Vatican itself, between those wishing to adhere to the leniency of VaticanII and those on the far right wishing to distance themselves from it in relation to the Jewish and Protestant Christian faiths.

Edited out redundancy

[edit on 5-2-2009 by Lug]


posted on Feb, 7 2009 @ 09:38 AM

The conservative organizations Pro Sancta Ecclesia, Pro Missa Tridentina and Una Voca Deutschland say that the backlash against the pope has spiralled out of proportion. They condemn what they see as a "manipulative media campaign."

"The opponents of the pope, including unfortunately even prominent bishops within the church, will stop at nothing to stop him steering his steady course," Pro Sancta Ecclesia wrote in an advertisement in the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine.

"All the more reason for Catholics who are true to their beliefs and to the church to rise up against these attempts, stand behind the pope, and support him with prayer and work, word and deed," the group said.

The lines are being drawn. Still, confusing to say the least, how do these 'Conservative organizations' reconcile themselves with the recent statement by the pope, stating that Williamson must deny his opinions on the Holocaust?

What is the Pope's stance on VaticanII? That's the real question. In particular, Nostra Aetate.

An organized attack on VaticanII seems to be taking shape and a schism is getting likelier by the day..


posted on Feb, 12 2009 @ 10:46 AM
The Society of St Pius X is mounting a campaign against VaticanII and creating a crisis

Who is behind it...

Marcel-François Lefebvre (29 November 1905 – 25 March 1991) was a French Roman Catholic archbishop. Following a career as an Apostolic Delegate for West Africa and Superior General of the Holy Ghost Fathers, he took the lead in opposing the changes within the Church associated with the Second Vatican Council.

The Battle Cry:

The Modernists are taking with them a collection of errors from the enemies of the Church. St. Pius X said that they were not afraid to use the chairs of the seminaries and the pulpits to teach that Jesus Christ was not really God, that the gospels were not really telling the truth, that Sacraments were not really giving grace, that all religions were true, that religion was not even necessary, because each man, even unbaptized could find God in himself, etc… Then, of course, Modernists taught openly the revolutionary motto of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.


III. Vatican II: the triumph of Modernism:

Pope Pius XII tried to resist, but his successor, John XXIII called for a General Council of all the bishops of the world to “open the window of the Church to the world”. Shortly after the opening of Vatican II Council, it appeared clearly that the majority of the bishops, including a number of cardinals, and even the pope sided with the modernists!

A return to pre-VaticanII values.

In the words of St PiusX himself:

Let us quote pope St. Pius X: “The partisans of error are to be sought not only among the Church’s open enemies; but in her very bosom. We allude to many that belong to Catholic laity, and to the ranks of the priesthood itself, thoroughly imbued with the poisonous doctrines taught by the enemies of the Church, who put themselves forward as reformers of the Church, not sparing even the Person of the Divine Redeemer whom they degrade to the condition of a simple and ordinary man.

There we have it. The pope has been called out over the issue of Holocaust denier Richard Williamson, in reaction to an international outcry. But this is only a flashpoint in comparison to the REAL battle... the rebellion of the Society of St Pius X against the works of VaticanII.

The times, they are definitely a'changing within the Catholic Church.

More updates to come, no doubt.

BB Code edit

[edit on 12-2-2009 by Lug]


posted on Feb, 12 2009 @ 12:11 PM
Pope Condemns Holocaust Denial:

Both the pope and Schneier expressed the hope that dialogue between Catholics and Jews could emerge from the crisis even stronger.

While the excommunications of the traditionalist bishops have been lifted, they and members of the SSPX will not be fully readmitted to the Church until they formally accept the teachings of the 1962-1965 Second Vatican Council.

In opposition stands the Society of Pius X :

As of today [this conference was given in 1995], the Society has 336 member priests established in 27 countries, 50 brothers, 53 oblates, 226 seminarians in 6 international seminaries, 130 priories, more than 600 Mass centers regularly-served, 9 retreat houses, 14 major schools, and at least 50 connected to priories or chapels. With innumerable publications and an apostolate that extends to all kinds of priestly activities, the Society of St. Pius X continues the very work for which it had been created, recognized and mandated by Rome. And faithful to this priestly mission with the grace of God we shall continue.

The complete history of the Society of St. Pius X (6 pages)

Further damage control within the society itself:

IN WHAT looks like a belated exercise in damage limitation, the ultra-traditionalist Society of St Pius X last weekend removed Holocaust-denying Bishop Richard Williamson from his position as head of its seminary in La Reja, near Buenos Aires, Argentina.

At the same time, the society also expelled another Holocaust-denying priest, Austrian-born Fr Floriano Abrahamowicz, based in the northern Italian town of Treviso.

For much of the past two weeks, Pope Benedict XVI has faced intense international criticism for his decision to lift the 1988 excommunication of four bishops of the Society of St Pius X, including Bishop Williamson, who has a well-established track record as a Holocaust-denier. Not only Jewish leaders but also German chancellor Angela Merkel have questioned the wisdom of the decision.

Added link

[edit on 12-2-2009 by Lug]


posted on Feb, 16 2009 @ 12:53 PM
The Catholic Register chimes in:

VATICAN CITY - Remarks made by a traditionalist bishop who denied that millions of Jews were murdered during the Second World War are unacceptable, “foolish” and in no way reflect the position of the Catholic Church, said the Vatican’s top ecumenist and major dialogue partner with the Jews.

“Such gibberish is unacceptable,” said German Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews in an interview with the Italian daily La Repubblica Jan. 26.

“To deny the Holocaust is unacceptable and is absolutely not the position of the Catholic Church,” he said, adding that the bishop’s remarks were “foolish.”

Some ATS threads related to the subject:


posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 09:32 AM
More updates:

The leader of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) has indicated that the group will not compromise its stance in order to achieve a reconciliation with the Holy See.


The traditionalist leader said that the SSPX would unflinchingly support the same arguments that drove Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to break with Rome in 1988. He insisted that the Vatican moved away from Catholic traditions after the Second Vatican Council. "Rome seems to have lost its way," he said, and no accord would be possible unless the Vatican changed its policies

Is the SSPX gaining an upper hand in this confrontation?

The Vatican is upping the pressure, public prosecutors are continuing to investigate and criticism keeps rolling in -- but the Society of Saint Pius X refuses to give in. Even worse, the Catholic Church is running out of levers to force it to comply.

Keeping my eyes on the events as they unfold, I'll update as they appear online.


posted on Feb, 17 2009 @ 10:04 AM
Today in the New York Times;

Pope Benedict XVI drew criticism when he appointed a priest known for provocative statements for a post in Austria

Amid Scandals, Questions of Where the Pope’s Focus Lies

ROME — Close on the heels of the pope’s rehabilitation of a group of schismatic bishops, including one who denied the Holocaust, a second scandal has compounded a debate within the church over whether Pope Benedict XVI’s focus on doctrine and his perceived insensitivity to political tone are alienating mainstream Catholics and undermining the church’s moral authority.

On Sunday, a priest known for such provocative statements as blaming the sins of New Orleanians for Hurricane Katrina asked the pope to rescind his appointment as an auxiliary bishop in Austria.

The affairs have engendered a storm of criticism of the church hierarchy and led to frantic efforts to mollify angry and confused parishioners around the globe, while the latest controversy has raised concerns that the actions could be part of a disturbing pattern.


posted on Feb, 19 2009 @ 09:18 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - A leader of Germany's Roman Catholic Church said on Sunday it was "almost ridiculous" that Bishop Richard Williamson has said he needs time to review evidence about whether the Holocaust took place.

Cardinal Karl Lehmann, a long-time former chair of Germany's Catholic bishops' conference, told Deutschlandfunk radio that Williamson, who belongs to the ultra-traditional Society of Saint Pius X, must quickly clarify his views on the Holocaust

Bishop Williamson is standing pat on the holocaust issue. After decades of questioning the facts as they had been presented, it certainly doesn't make sense that he 'needs more time'. It's a stalling tactic that fools no-one.

Either he stands by his convictions and loses his bid or decides to dump them by the wayside and get on with it.

Further on in the above link:

"That's actually almost ridiculous," Lehmann said, adding it was hard for many people to understand the "cat and mouse" game being played. "And that's why this has to somehow quickly be brought to a conclusion," the bishop of Mainz added.

In other related news:

Research by a team of journalists from Belgian Based ‘Joods Actueel’, a Jewish news publication, has revealed a slew of anti-Semitic content on websites of the St. Pius X society. Pius X is the catholic society whose excommunication has recently been recanted by the Pope. Much controversy has arisen about the rehabilitation of one of its members, bishop Richard Williamson, a known holocaust denier

Noting that The Society of St. Pius X is believed to have between 600,000 and a million followers, Frielich said: "Williamson's Holocaust denial has attracted much attention, but this anti-Semitic content is in many ways worse because he is a lone fool and not taken seriously by the masses, whereas here we are talking about an entire society spreading hatred around the world."

"In the 20-odd years that I have been teaching Jewish-Christian relations, I never thought I would witness a time when, in the name of Christian unity, a German-bred pope would bring back into the fold a Holocaust denier," Ed Kessler of the British Centre for the Study of Jewish Christian Relations in Cambridge told the London Times.

"It is a very, very sad day for Catholic-Jewish Relations."


posted on Feb, 21 2009 @ 12:29 PM
US House of Representatives sees a group unite against Bishop Richard Williamson;

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Fifty Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives pressed Pope Benedict XVI to fully repudiate the views of a Holocaust-denying bishop.

"Your Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, As Catholic Members of Congress, we are writing to express our deep concerns with your decision to reinstate Bishop Richard Williamson to communion with the Catholic Church at the same time that Bishop Williamson publicly denies that the Holocaust occurred or that such was the policy under Adolf Hitler," they wrote in a letter sent last month after Williamson's reinstatement was announced. "We do not question your reasons for revoking the excommunication of Bishop Williamson or your right to do so, but we fail to understand why the revocation was not accompanied by an emphatic public rejection of his denial of the Holocaust."

The above goes on to state;

"In its initial offer to reinstate Bishop Williamson to communion, the Church’s silence on his view that the Holocaust never existed was deeply troubling."

Maybe because of the pope's desire to return to those days prior to Vatican II? It appears that US Rep Nancy Pelosi (D) met with the pope last week. I wonder if the subject came up?

The Bishop gets the boot in Argentina:

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina has ordered the expulsion of an ultra-conservative British bishop who has denied the Holocaust, the interior ministry announced yesterday.

...and the beat goes on.


posted on Feb, 25 2009 @ 07:09 PM
The expulsion of the Bishop from Argentina

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — A Holocaust-denying bishop flew out of Argentina under a government expulsion order Tuesday after scuffling with a reporter at the airport.

A local television station showed Richard Williamson raising his fist toward a reporter, then shoving him into a pole with his shoulder as he hurried through Buenos Aires' Ezeiza international airport to catch a flight for London.

Sorry about the lame vid. Bishop Williamson still holds on to his conviction after all the pressure that has been pushed onto him.

So, I suppose it's back to London where I'm sure there will be much peace and quiet for him to take the time to reflect on his belief and the evidence that made him come to that conclusion. (not likely)

I give him grudging respect to have the fortitude to stick to his guns throughout this ordeal and would likely have popped that reporter myself had he been on my case like that.


posted on Feb, 27 2009 @ 09:17 AM

A British-born Roman Catholic bishop, who was asked to leave Argentina after making "deeply offensive" comments about the Holocaust, has contacted the controversial historian David Irving.

Bishop Richard Williamson contacted Mr Irving by email, asking how to present his views without causing an angry backlash.

Mr Irving said: "He is obviously a very intelligent man who did not realise the danger of talking to the press.


"He is not a Holocaust denier. Like me, he does not buy the whole package."

The bishop is obviously hoping to enlist a friendly advocate for his controversial stance on the holocaust. I'm not familiar with David Irving, but I'm sure many British ATSers would be.

Stay tuned to be enlightened on how history can be changed (or not).

David John Cawdell Irving (born March 24, 1938 in Essex, England) is a British neo-Nazi, Holocaust denier[1], and pamphleteer who was jailed in Austria for publishing literature which "is likely to incite hatred against an identifiable group" and for holocaust denial.

I know, wikipedia sucks as a source, but is this true or not? If it is, I think Williamson just stuck a size 12 foot in his mouth.

[edit on 27-2-2009 by Lug]

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