Lord, To Whom Shall We Go?
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan

As we mark the solemn 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, I would like to address my column this week to our teens and young adults, who I believe will ultimately prevail in restoring a sense of respect for all human life, including the innocent baby in her mother’s womb. Please feel free to share this column with a young adult in your life, or ask them to look for it at www.cny.org.

For much of the 40 years since the Supreme Court’s tragic Roe v. Wade decision ushering in an era of abortion on demand, we in the pro-life community have had little to cheer about. In the battle for hearts and minds, it has at times seemed as though we were losing ground, and fast. We could preach about the sacredness of all human life, about the harm that abortion does to women who are so often coerced by others into doing the unthinkable, and the lifetime of pain and regret so many of them, and the fathers of the aborted baby, face as a result. For a long time we were overwhelmed by even louder voices proclaiming “choice” to be the ultimate right. For too many of my generation, that argument was effective and catchy, and there is no changing their minds.

This civil rights issue of our time—the right to life of the innocent baby in the womb—won’t be won by the older generation; it will be won by the young. It is to you that I address this message on this solemn anniversary.

Popular culture calls you the “Millennial Generation” because you came of age at the dawn of the Millennium. But I think of you as the “Ultrasound Generation.”
You are different than any generation that came before you in that your very first baby pictures were taken not with you in your mother’s arms, but you alive in her womb.

Your generation is defined by technology. You have come to expect almost annual revolutionary technological breakthroughs that change the way we live and work. You have seen staggering medical advances that have given doctors wonderful new tools in fighting disease and injury. And you have grown up with ultrasound technology that has opened a window into the womb, allowing us to glimpse preborn babies from the earliest weeks of gestation.

You have seen your little brothers and sisters before they were born in these grainy videos and photographs pinned to the fridge. Your mom or your dad has shown you those first images of yourself. Some of you have even seen your own children for the first time with newer, clearer 3- and 4-dimensional ultrasound technology. You have gasped with wonder at the sight of little arms flailing and legs kicking, heads bobbing and hearts beating, mouths sucking thumbs.

You have seen, and you believe.

Let’s face it, you figured out a long time ago that your parents’ generation isn’t always right. So many have tried to convince you (as they have allowed themselves to be convinced) that an unborn baby is nothing more than a “clump of cells.” College professors, politicians, Hollywood glitterati, and media talking heads have hammered you with the message that the decision to abort has no more moral significance than having a wisdom tooth extracted. To be an enlightened adult, you will be told, you must support the “right to choose.” (They won’t tell you what, or who is being chosen.)

You are rightly skeptical. They may believe what they say, but in this matter they are wrong. Think of your first baby picture, the one on the flimsy paper with the dark background and the unmistakable image of you. You know better.

You have seen, and you believe.

I know it is not easy to go against the prevailing culture. But your generation has not been afraid to be countercultural. Besides, I have good news for you—you are not alone. The pro-abortion movement’s dark secret is that it has been losing the hearts and minds of young people for a number of years. And now the secret is out.

Just last month, the head of the nation’s largest abortion advocacy organization, stepped down, citing the need for someone younger to try to engage youth. Interestingly, she seemed to acknowledge that her side is losing you, the “Ultrasound Generation.”

“The intensity on that side will not go away,” she told the media. “They come to this issue as young people who want to overturn Roe v. Wade, and they’re going to do everything in their power. That view might change as they grow older and reality hits and personal experience happens, but right now the personal intensity is pretty high on that side.”

You know what? She’s right! I have seen that intensity myself in the young New Yorkers who pray at abortion clinics, lobby in Albany and climb onto buses in the pre-dawn darkness to join their fellow pro-lifers at the March for Life in Washington, D.C., as we’ll do this Friday. When I look out into the sea of faces out on the Mall in the shadow of the Washington Monument, I see you. You know who I see when I look at the rallies on the pro-abortion side? I see people my age and older.

That pro-abortion leader and others like her are counting on you having some sort of grand epiphany once you get older and, as she said, “reality hits.” But what they aren’t counting on is that when you saw yourself, your kid brother or sister, your own child, in that ultrasound photo, reality did hit. And it hit hard.

You have seen, and you believe.

But here’s the tough part: It is not enough that you believe. It is not enough that you are sympathetic to the cause. Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to know that so many of you in the “Ultrasound Generation” are pro-life. But this can’t be a secret anymore. You need to proclaim it. It can’t come from me or from people my age; our time is rapidly passing. Now is your time.

My time has seen 55 million abortions in the United States since 1973. That is almost exactly the population of New York State and California combined. A number that big can seem abstract, but you know intuitively that these 55 million people were your peers, your siblings. One of them could easily have been you.

In New York City, four out of every 10 pregnancies end in abortion, double the national average, mostly poor Black and Latino women. In some parts of New York City, the number is 6 in 10. Yet some of our elected officials in Albany are pushing a bill, believe it or not, to expand abortion access even further. It’s as though, in their minds, our state motto, “Excelsior” (“Ever Upward”) applies to the abortion rate!

Sometimes, it falls to one generation to clean up another generation’s mess. And I’m afraid we have left you quite a mess. I am asking you, the “Ultrasound Generation,” to set the course right, to change hearts and minds, to change the law so that your children’s generation is given the legal protection that your generation so tragically was not. Ultimately, I am counting on you to change our culture.

My faith in you is high. For I have seen, and I believe—in you.

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March For Life - Topeka 2013

Here is a slideshow of the March for Life in Topeka, KS from January 22, 2013.  Father Adam and a group from the St. Pius X Newman Center went to join in prayer, reflection and to march for the pro-life movement.  Fr. Adam made the video, check it out!!

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Pro-Life Rising, Forty Years after Roe v. Wade
January 23, 2013
George Weigel

Forty years ago, on Jan. 22, 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade, one of the two worst decisions in its history. The court’s first mega-error, the 1857 decision in Dred Scott v. Sandford, declared an entire class of human beings beyond the protection of the laws; Roe v. Wade declared another class of human beings, the unborn, beyond legal protection. Dred Scott helped precipitate the Civil War; Roe v. Wade led to a vast expansion of the pro-life movement, the largest movement of social reform in America since the civil rights movement and the natural successor to that effort to repair the lingering damage done by Dred Scott.

The battle to build an America in which every child is protected in law and welcomed in life continues. Forty years after Roe, the pro-life movement can cite at least ten reasons why it may, in time, carry the day.

(1) Abortion has never been accepted as part of mainstream medical practice. Abortion is regarded as tawdry and abortionists are stigmatized by much of the medical establishment.

(2) The science of human reproduction and gestation has confirmed the pro-life position and rendered the “science” of Roe risible.

(3) The sonogram, which permits us to see the results of human conception, has been a cultural game-changer.

(4) The people of the United States have decisively rejected the Supreme Court’s 1992 diktat in Casey v. Planned Parenthood, wherein the court instructed the people to end the abortion debate. With leadership from, among many others, the Catholic bishops of the United States, the people decided that they would not be silenced, and the pro-life movement has grown ever since.

(5) The pro-choice world has always been rigid; it now displays an increasing desperation. Pro-life organizations have worked incrementally to regulate abortion clinics and protect women from butchers like Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell; to mandate informed consent in abortion-decisions and parental consent in the case of minors seeking abortions; and to legislate waiting periods so that women in crisis pregnancies can consider their situation with as much calm as circumstances allow. The pro-choice world has resisted every one of these efforts to create situations of informed choice; it also resisted both a ban on the abortion of late-term fetuses partially born and legal requirements to try to save the lives of children who survive late-term abortions. Indeed, in certain political circles, abortion seems to be regarded as a kind of secular sacrament. This brutality has not gone unnoticed. Neither has the hysteria with which Planned Parenthood attacked the foundation Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

(6) The pro-life movement is getting younger while the pro-“choice” opposition is graying. What really alarms the pro-Roe forces in American politics about the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., is not just the impressive numbers: it’s that the marchers get younger, every year. And that youthful vitality is not limited to one cold January day in the nation’s capital; there are new pro-life organizations among younger physicians and attorneys. All of which suggests that the pro-life movement is American civil society at its robust and self-revitalizing best.

(7) Pro-lifers have had increasing success at the state legislative level in recent years and can anticipate more success in this phase of the battle in the immediate future.

(8) The sheer implausibility of the legal argument in Roe v. Wade has become clearer over time. Few serious legal scholars defend the legal reasoning in Roe, and even honest liberal scholars agree with one of Roe’s dissenters, Justice Byron White, who labeled the decision an exercise in “raw judicial power.”

(9) The humane service rendered to hundreds of thousands of women in thousands of crisis pregnancy centers across the country has demonstrated, time and again, that the pro-life movement is the party of compassion in this debate.

(10) A 2012 Gallup poll found that 50 percent of the American people self-define as “pro-life.”

So there is reason for a measure of satisfaction, if not exultation, on Roe’s fortieth anniversary.

George Weigel is Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. His previous “On the Square” articles can be found here.

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Fr. Barron comments on Why Dr. King Still Matters


 

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Martin Luther King Jr’s Niece: My Uncle Would be Pro-Life
by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com

As the nation today marks the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his niece Alevda King says her uncle would be pro-life and battle against abortion if he were alive today. As the daughter of Rev. A. D. King, a leader in the Civil Right’s movement, King sees the pro-life cause as a continuation of the Civil Rights movement in which her uncle was a prominent leader.

Alveda King called her uncle “a man of great compassion, and a man of non-violence.”

“He once said, ‘The Negro cannot win as long as he is willing to sacrifice the lives of his children for comfort and safety,’” she added.

King said her uncle would understand that to include the destruction of unborn children.

“I know in my heart that if Uncle Martin were alive today, he would join with me in the greatest civil rights struggle of this generation – the recognition of the unborn child’s    basic right to life,” she told LifeNews.com previously.

“My uncle Martin would agree that we cannot end poverty, hunger, or suffering by killing those who might suffer,” she explained. “We cannot claim to guarantee equal rights if we deny the rights of the helpless. And we cannot feign ignorance of the fact that those who are torn apart, crushed, or left to die on an abortionist’s table are just as human as we are.”

“My uncle said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Alveda continued.

“Abortion is genocide,” King says. “It’s killing populations. It’s killing generations and certainly the population that is most impacted by abortion in America is the black community. So I feel that as a civil rights leader I have responsibility to proclaim that black Americans are being exterminated by the genocidal acts of abortion.”

 

Alveda King is now a proud mother of six and grandmother of six, but she once took the lives of her own children in abortion. Now, as a Christian pro-life leader, she works with Priests for Life and Silent No More to stop abortion.

“I had two abortions and a miscarriage related to damage from those abortions,” King has said. “I realized that I was violating the civil rights of a person. When I had my abortions, we were told that it was a blob of tissue and not a person.”

“The great irony is that abortion has done what the Klan only dreamed of… Roughly one quarter of the black population is now missing,” she adds.

King, the full-time director of African-American Outreach for Priests for Life, will take part in events today in honor of her late father, the Rev. Dr. Alfred Daniels King, and her late uncle. She was at book signing Sunday from 3 to 6 p.m. at the King Center Freedom Hall Auditorium and, in the Freedom Hall, screened the film “Brother of the Dreamer,” about her father, one of the main strategists behind many civil rights campaigns. King and her mother, Naomi Barber King, attended.

Naomi Barber King, mother of Alveda, is also a crusader in the battle to save African-American babies from abortion. King’s commitment to life began when she changed her mind about aborting her daughter.

“My father-in-law, Martin Luther King Sr., told me he had a vision of my child and he wanted to meet the baby girl in his vision,” Mrs. King said.

At the age of 37, Mrs. King was left a widow with five children following the untimely death of her husband, who was a prominent civil rights leader in his own right.

“God gave me the strength to do all I had to after that,” said the soft-spoken Atlanta resident.

“My mother is a woman of courage, commitment, compassion and indomitable strength,” Alveda King responds. “I am so proud to be her daughter.”

Today, the Kings joined family members at a service at Ebenezer Baptist Church that began with a wreath-laying.

Alveda King has been working full-time for the pro-life cause for nearly a decade. When she met Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, the two found themselves in agreement that “the fight for all human life, from conception until natural death, is the most pressing civil rights and human rights issue of our time.”

 

Totus Tuus – Totally Yours: Summer Job Opening

Totus Tuus in the diocese of Wichita is seeking young adults, enthusiastic about their Catholic faith, who are willing to be “Totally God’s” during the summer of 2013.  By saying “YES!” to this call, you will serve as a teacher on a team of four that travels about the diocese of Wichita teaching children in grades 1st thru 12th about their Catholic Faith in an exciting and hands-on approach.  For more information and/or to download the Totus Tuus Teacher application, please visit catholicdioceseofwichita.org/totus-tuus/totus-tuus-home.  Applications must be postmarked by February 1, 2013.  If you have any questions, please contact Raschelle Jirak, Totus Tuus Program Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 316-440-1732.

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Christ's Baptism Foreshadows Our Own:

At first glance, the Baptism of the Lord might seem an odd feast. Since the Catholic Church teaches that the Sacrament of Baptism is necessary for the remission of sins, particularly Original Sin, why was Christ baptized? After all, He was born without Original Sin, and He lived His entire life without sinning. Therefore, He had no need of the sacrament, as we do.

In submitting Himself humbly to the baptism of St. John the Baptist, however, Christ provided the example for the rest of us. If even He should be baptized, though He had no need of it, how much more should the rest of us be thankful for this sacrament, which frees us from the darkness of sin and incorporates us into the Church, the life of Christ on earth! His Baptism, therefore, was necessary--not for Him, but for us.

Many of the Fathers of the Church, as well as the medieval Scholastics, saw Christ's Baptism as the institution of the sacrament. His Flesh blessed the water, and the descent of the Holy Spirit (in the form of a dove) and the voice of God the Father announcing that this was His Son, in Whom He was well pleased, marked the beginning of Christ's public ministry.

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Angelus: A prayer for all the families of the world



(Vatican Radio) This Sunday, as tens of thousands thronged St Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI marked the Feast of the Holy Family with a special prayer for “all the families of the world”: That parents “seriously concern” themselves with their children’s education, that they realise that every child is “an incomparable gift from God”, and that they are neither “friends nor masters” of their children’s lives but “guardians” of this gift. Emer McCarthy reports: RealAudioMP3

Below a Vatican Radio translation of the Holy Father’s Angelus address this feast of the Holy Family.


"Dear brothers and sisters!

Today is the feast of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In the liturgy the passage from Luke’s Gospel presents the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph who, faithful to tradition, go to Jerusalem for the Passover with the twelve-year-old Jesus. The first time Jesus had entered the Temple of the Lord was forty days after his birth, when his parents had offered "a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons" (Luke 2:24) on his behalf, which is the sacrifice of poor. "Luke, whose Gospel is filled with a whole theology of the poor and poverty, makes it clear ... that Jesus' family was counted among the poor of Israel; he helps us to understand that it was there among them where the fulfillment of God’s promise matured" ( The Infancy Narratives, 96). Today Jesus is in the Temple again, but this time he has a different role, which involves him in the first person. He undertakes the pilgrimage to Jerusalem as prescribed by the Law (Ex 23.17, 34.23 ff) together with Mary and Joseph, although he was not yet in his thirteenth year: a sign of the deep religiosity of the Holy Family. But when his parents return to Nazareth, something unexpected happens: he, without saying anything, remains in the City. For three days, Mary and Joseph search for him and find him in the Temple, speaking with the teachers of the Law (Lk 2: 46 ,47), and when they ask him for an explanation, Jesus tells them they have no cause to wonder, because that is his place, that is his home, with the Father, who is God (The Infancy Narratives 143). "He – Origen writes - professes to be in the temple of his Father, the Father who has revealed Himself to us and of which he says he is the Son" (Homilies on the Gospel of Luke, 18, 5).

Mary and Joseph’s concern for Jesus is the same as every parent who educates a child, introduces them to life and to understanding reality. Today, therefore, we should say a special prayer to the Lord for all the families of the world. Imitating the Holy Family of Nazareth, may parents seriously concern themselves about the growth and education of their children, so that they may mature as responsible and honest citizens, without ever forgetting that faith is a precious gift to be nourished in their children through personal example. At the same time we pray that every child is welcomed as a gift from God, is sustained by the love of the father and mother in order to advance as the Lord Jesus "in wisdom and age and favour before God and man " (Lk 2: 52). The love, loyalty and dedication of Mary and Joseph are an example for all Christian couples who are neither the friends nor masters of their children’s lives, but the guardians of this incomparable gift from God.

The silence of Joseph, the just man (cf. Mt 1:19), and the example of Mary who kept all things in her heart (cf. Lk 2:51), causes us to enter into the mystery full of faith and humanity of the Holy family. I wish for all Christian families to live in the presence of God with the same love and the same joy as the family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph.

I welcome all the English-speaking visitors present for this Angelus prayer. Today the Church throughout the world celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family. May Jesus, Mary and Joseph bring greater love, unity and harmony to all Christian families, that they in their turn may be a firm example to the communities in which they live. May God bless you and your dear families!

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"The Hobbit": A Commentary by Fr. Barron (SPOILERS)

Once again, if you have not watched the movie, this video contains some spoilers, so keep that in mind.

 

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A Blessed Christmas to All!

Brothers and Sisters,

A most blessed Christmas to all of you!  I pray that this day, and indeed this Christmas season may bring to you and your loved ones many blessings, and great love!  In these next few days, as we worship our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, may we reflect upon the great love with which the Father has bestowed upon us.  And may we seek, each in our own way, to reflect this love to a world in need of it, and to rejoice in this Christmas season, for we ourselves are greatly loved by God!  Remember the words from St. John's Gospel (3:16): "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son." And from St. John's first Letter (1 John 4:9-10): "In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to the expiation for our sins."

Praise God for His great love and for His Son!

 

Mary: Christ's Greatest Masterpiece
by Scott Hahn


St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology presents: Join Scott Hahn in celebrating the joy of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception with this short video about God's greatest masterpiece, Mary.

 

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Sr. Mary Magdalene's Vocation Story
Sr. Mary Magdalene, a native of Overland Park, KS, attended PSU until 2008. In 2009 she became a Dominican nun in the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary.  Sr. Mary Magdalene made First Profession as a Nun of the Order of Preachers at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary, Summit, NJ on December 8, 2011, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Below is a video of her story.

Advent with Fr. Pontifex - Week 2


The Advent season is time for us to slow down, pray and to seek to vigilant for the coming of Jesus Christ. Our cues from secular culture can easily move us in the opposite direction, becoming more frantic and materialistic. We may become feel the need to work hard to give gifts to our loved ones and that is a good thing as long as we realize that the greatest gifts that we can give them are to found in our communion with the Lord.

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Advent with Fr. Pontifex - Week 1

Advent marks the beginning of a new liturgical year. We focus upon the reality of the coming of Jesus Christ: past, present, and future in a new and fresh way. With so much focus on the end of the world, how do we navigate our way through all the talk as people of faith.

 

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Advent Gangnam Style!

Why is this Advent season so important? It is a time to stop - to prepare - to wait. Take a look at this video on the real meaning of Advent.


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"Skyfall": A Commentary by Fr. Barron

(SPOILERS)

If you have not watched the movie, you may want to wait to watch this until after if you don't want to know what happens.

 

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Pope proclaims seven new saints, including St. Kateri Tekakwitha

VATICAN CITY (CNS) - Proclaiming seven new saints - including St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Marianne Cope from North America - Pope Benedict XVI said they are examples to the world of total dedication to Christ and tireless service to others.

In a revised canonization rite Oct. 21, the pope prayed for guidance that the church would not "err in a matter of such importance" as he used his authority to state that the seven are with God in heaven and can intercede for people on earth.

An estimated 80,000 pilgrims from the United States, Canada, the Philippines, Italy, Spain, Germany and Madagascar filled St. Peter's Square for the canonization of the holy women and men who ministered among their people.

The pilgrims applauded the proclamation of the new saints, who included: Kateri, an American Indian who was born in the United States and died in Canada in 1680; Mother Marianne, a Sister of St. Francis who traveled from Syracuse, N.Y., to Hawaii to care for people with Hansen's disease and died in Molokai in 1918; and Pedro Calungsod, a teenaged Philippine catechist who was martyred in Guam in 1672.

The other new saints are: French Jesuit Father Jacques Berthieu, martyred in Madagascar in 1896; Italian Father Giovanni Battista Piamarta, founder of religious orders, who died in 1913; Sister Carmen Salles Barangueras, founder of a Spanish religious order, who died in 1911; and Anna Schaffer, a lay German woman, who died in 1925.


Pope Benedict called St. Kateri the "protectress of Canada and the first Native American saint," and he entrusted to her "the renewal of the faith in the First Nations and in all of North America."

The daughter of a Mohawk father and Algonquin Christian mother, St. Kateri was "faithful to the traditions of her people," but also faithful to the Christianity she embraced at age 20. "May her example help us to live where we are, loving Jesus without denying who we are," the pope said.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, who is of American Indian descent, told Catholic News Service, "I think many young people today are embarrassed about embracing the Catholic faith because they live in a secular culture that's hostile toward religious experience."

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Cardinal Dolan Writes To The President

Dear President Obama,
In my capacity as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I write to express my congratulations on your re-election as President of the United States.  The people of our country have again entrusted you with a great responsibility.  The Catholic Bishops of the United States offer our prayers that God will give you strength and wisdom to meet the difficult challenges that face America.
In particular, we pray that you will exercise your office to pursue the common good, especially in care of the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn, the poor, and the immigrant.  We will continue to stand in defense of life, marriage, and our first, most cherished liberty, religious freedom.  We pray, too, that you will help restore a sense of civility to the public order, so our public conversations may be imbued with respect and charity toward everyone.
May God bless you and Vice President Biden as you prepare for your second term in service to our country and its citizens.

Sincerely yours,

Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York
President
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
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Catholic Bible vs. Protestant Bible

Learn why Catholics and Protestants have different versions of the Bible. This is the video that was shown at the last Newman Club Meeting.

Communion of the Saints

 

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St. Pius X Catholic Student Center


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