Friday, August 31, 2007

Kenya's Anglican Church Consecrates 2 U.S. Bishops: Moving Closer to Ecclesial Anarchy

The Anglican Church in Kenya this week consecrated 2 U.S. Bishops to oversee Anglicans in the U.S. (the Episcopalian Church) who can no longer in good conscience be under the authority of their duly elected Episcopal Church bishop. The struggle, of course, is over the U.S. Church's consecrating openly gay bishops and blessing same-sex unions. The more traditional bishops of Kenya are stepping in to provide shepherds for American Anglicans who feel that the American Episcopal Church has betrayed the Gospel and the Sacred Tradition of the Church.

The article follows at this link:

In addition, I have some notes from an interview with Rt. Rev. Katherine Roscum, Bishop Suffragen of the Diocese of NY. This interview aired on National Public Radio some time in March or April 2007 (sorry, not very precise). Also, I do not have a full transcript (I would dig one up if I had the time--probably should, but...), so I am only posting excerpts and quotations from Roscum's comments. I do not wish to take her words out of context, but they should more or less speak for themselves. I meant to do a post on this back then, but became too busy with work... but I kept my notes with the intention of doing a piece on the ecclesiological [pertaining to the nature of the church] ramifications for these recent happenings.

When asked by the interviewer (Teri Gross, I think) if there was a threat of schism within the worldwide Anglican Church (consisting of 38 churches) over the question of open homosexuality among bishops and the blessing of same sez unions, Roscum responded:

"We are not one church we are a communion of independent autonomous churches." [words in italics represent her emphasis.]

I would think that most Eastern Orthodox Christians would agree with that brief formula of ecclesiology, although they would have a much different understanding of shared Sacred Tradition, ecumenical councils, and church hierarcy. I, as a Catholic, of course, cannot understand how such an ecclesiology works. Jesus Christ founded ONE Church and prayed for it to remain one (see John 17). How can local churches remain in communion with another if they lack a visible sign of their unity in the person of a primary bishop (such as the bishop of Rome)? What constitutes communion? Does it mean that we all believe the same doctrinal truths, that we preach the same Gospel? Does it mean a shared Sacred Tradition, the wisdom of the Gospel alive in each age passed down from the bishops? Does it mean that we are united in possessing the same sacraments and forms of worship? If one church teaches that homosexuality is a valid form of sacramental/marital love, and another church does not... I would say that ruptures a communion.
When asked what does ensure communion within the worldwide Anglican Church, Roscum answered:
"Common prayer, affection, and relationship: this is what holds us together as descendants of the mother church of England."
OK, got it, common prayer. They have some uniformity in their liturgy I presume. They share the Book of Common Prayer. But the concepts of "affections" and "relationships" sound nebulous, vacuous and sentimental. The Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches might share some "affections" for one another (respect, admiration, a desire to work together to promote the Gospel, perhaps?) and "relationships" (in the Ukraine, for example, the Ukrainian Orthodox church and the Urkrainian Catholic Church must have some kind of relationship by the mere fact that they co-exist in the same territories/culture/communities. However, these things do not, by themselves, make for true communion. What we need for communion in addition to shared form of worhip would be a shared body of teaching and a shared hierarchy of authority. We need a common teaching and a common shepherd... otherwise the flock naturally wanders away from each other.
Roscum said that the locus of decision-making, in the Anglican faith, is at the local level (including the laity) and is not with the other bishops or the world-wide communion of regional churches. According to Roscum, the Episcopal Christian in the U.S. says 'we are the tree (that is, we are connected to the Anglican Communion). So, if you [traditional dissidents] are so few then you split off.'
Laurie Goodstein, the NY Times Religion Correspondent, was cited as describing this battle as one between the acceptance of "diverse points of view vs. the need for orthodoxy." Roscum then characterized the later "conservatives" as the "dissidents".
Notice that the ones who are crying for the acceptance of "diverse points of view" are the same ones who are, in the final analysis, claiming the position of orthodoxy. Yes, they will accept diverse points of view... unless, one of those points of view is that homosexual acts do not constitute proper use of the gift of human sexuality.
This, of course, has happened throughout the long history of the Catholic Church. Heretics were those who presented "diverse points of view" on, for example, the true nature of Christ (Arians denied the divine nature, Docetists denied that Jesus truly took on human flesh), on the need for grace (Pellagians denied the need for grace), and even the Protestant revolt itself (denying the need for a Church hierarchy and authority). Fearless saints such as St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, and St. Frances de Sales all strove to remain in the continual stream of orthodoxy. I thank them for their sacrifices.
Roscum continued to relate then recent events. At a worldwide gathering of the governing bishops of the various region churches in Africa, 7 of the 38 primates did not receive communion. Their decision was based on the attendance of the primate of the U.S. Church Bishop Katherine Jefferts (who had recently come out supporting the continued consecration of openly gay bishops and the blessing of same-sex unions). Jefferts said that many of the other 31 primates probably disagreed in some cases, but still were committed to communion.
My thought is that, if this were the case, they were trying to fool themselves into believing that true communion exists. In the Catholic Church's history, when there has been major rifts in Church governance or theology... it became obvious rather quickly, and it would be addressed by regional or ecumenical councils. Such a rift would be seen as serious, important, and requiring immediate attention.... and concrete resolutions were made to solve the matter under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When a wound or breach appeared in the Communion of regional churches--the Catholic bishops did not celebrate communion together and pretend that everything was ok, they sought to diagnose, treat, and heal the wound. Sometimes that process was painful... but it was seen as necessary.
Roscum completes her interview by describing more of the "democratic" governing structure of the local Anglican churches. There are 4 instruments of communion, including, among other things, the Archbishop of Canterbury (who--unlike the Pope, does not seem to have any true right to authority over another bishop or primate... but perhaps only a kind of leadership of moral authority), and the Lamberth Conference (dating back to 1884; and it was at this Conference in the 1930s, for example, that the Anglican Church became the first Christian body to permit the use of birth control within marriage for certain reasons). Decisions are made "from the ground up." There is a house of bishops and a house of deputies, that latter consisting of both laity and clergy. There is an Anglican Consultative Council made up of laity, clergy, bishops, men, and women. Roscum suggests that if women were properly represented inthe councils "we would not be speaking about division." This is a common claim of radical feminists who, in the Catholic Church, for example, push for the ordination of women: women are some how of a higher nature than men--women must be somehow free from the tendancy to sin (concupiscence) because with women in authority dissension, division, corruption, ignorance, oppression, etc. would never exist. Women, like men, are human, and thus still prone to sin. And, in my opinion, the Holy Spirit works better through a Church hierarchy than through a multitude of democracies.
So, it will be interesting to see who this all pans out. Now you will have some Episcopalians in the states of Massachusettes and Texas who will be under a bishop who was consecrated by bishops all the way out in Kenya, and who are in communion with such churches. In the same neighborhood you will have Episcopalians who are under the authority of an Anglican bishop who has been elected and consecrated by the Episcopal Church in the U.S. for some time. Imagine that you are a bishop of a territory and a brother/sister bishop from some other country comes in and consecrates a new bishop to send into your ecclesial "turf". What you have is overlapping and conflicting "communions." And that is no One Church no matter how much you wish it were. And I do not foresee the situation resolving itself except in the formation, in time, of 2 separate and distinct Anglican churches.
Perhaps some of the Traditional Anglicans will see the need for a true communion, and reconsider the Bishop of Rome and his worldwide family.
Lastly, some might say that this is yet another example of Christians being too hung up on the question of sex (as Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu recently claimed). Well, as you can see, God's meaning of the gift and proper use of human sexuality is no trivial matter. It is at the very heart of our Christian understanding of the nature of man and woman, the nature of love, the sacrament of marriage, the family, etc. Read Pope John Paul II's theology of the body and you will understand the profound and central importance of this subject. The Church lives or dies by the state of the Christian family. The Christian family lives or dies by the state of Christian marriage. And Christian marriage lives or dies by a proper understanding of marital love and the nuptual act. And besides all of this... this issue of division within the Anglican church points to the need to have a proper understanding of ecclesiology--a proper understanding of what the Church is and how she functions.
Articles on recent happenings:
It sure seems that the Episcopal Church in the U.S. is not too concerned with maintaining communion with the other Anglican churches when it continues to throw prudence to the wind and keep the fires of controversy burning.
Lesbian Is Finalist for Chicago Episcopal Bishop

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

More Updates on Planned Parenthood's Invasion of Aurora, IL

Planned Parenthood is trying to set up shop (would be the largest abortion clinic in the U.S.) in the large Chicago suburb of Aurora, IL. A large number of people attended the city council meeting last night to stand up for life.
A friend of mine is currently a youth minister in Dekalb, IL but has spent the last few years serving as a youth minister at Holy Angels parish in Aurora. The following is her first hand account of the city council meeting that occurred last night:
So, ironically last night I didn't even speak. I showed up with another youth minister friend of mine. ... We got into the City Council room it was packed to the point that people were out in the hallway.
In the 26 years that my mother has been blessed with my existence, I have never ever been to a City Council meeting. So at first I thought wow, this is a lot of people, I wonder if this many people always show up? The first hour was all boring business stuff that you wonder why anyone really even has to care or vote about those things, but whatever. Then one of the alderman made a call to finish the meeting @ 9PM no matter what and that the first hour should only be Aurora residents. Another alderman, thankfully one from the Holy Angels district spoke up and said that they were there for the people and because of the people and it was unconstitutional to not allow people from other cities speak. Well they had a vote and we won by 1 alderman vote.
I stayed until midnight, but the meeting did not finish until 1:30AM. For the entire time that I was there, only 2 Pro Planned Parenthood representatives presented. Of course they were from NOW, one of the 3 most hated organizations on my list along with NARAL and PP. They were old biddies who were totally not in touch with reality. They claimed that we were all outsiders and extremists. Kinda funny, cause all night I only heard 3 people who were not from Aurora speak. After the one lady's stupid comments, every Pro-Lifer got up and said well, based on the fact that I have lived here in Aurora for 20, 50, or whatever amount of years I don't consider myself an outsider and as someone who has true concern for the protection of my family I don't consider myself a fanatic. The speakers were lawyers, teachers, moms, nurses, doctors. They represented multiple ethnicities, ages, and religions. However, they all stood together for the cause of Life. There were retired military veterans that got up and talked about their promise to protect every American citizen and they believed that to be born and unborn.
The one doctor I remember the most was a woman of African American descent and she was an OBGYN and she talked about all the women she continually treats from the after affects of abortions. She gave a powerful testament with graphic details of how she has found leftover baby body parts in women, and how women come in and will never be able to have children again. All kinds of sad stuff. But man she was Charismatic and a tough cookie who knew her stuff.
There were pastors and priests from every denomination there talking about how many women they had counseled. There were teenagers and young people who were awesome in their speeches. Honestly, I have to say it was truly the closest I have had to a spiritual experience without being in a real church. It was awesome.
And everyone of the speakers got up and pointed out the district they were from and the alderman and reminded them come election time they would remember how they voted on this issue. There were speakers who even challenged the council with asking them what kind of legacy would they be leaving if this is allowed.
Plus, another irony, the city's phrase all over the banners is, "Character counts". So everyone brought that phrase up and reminded the council about the lack of character Planned Parenthood had in coming into the community.
My name had still not been announced, which by midnight I decided I really just have to go home, because I do have work in the morning. Hence, I never spoke but really all the topics had been covered and it was just important to be a body who was present to prove that it wasn't just something a small group of people felt affected by. Regardless, all went well and it was a really cool experience.
I know that the mayor has agreed to an investigation, but hopefully he will do the independent investigation as we asked for, make the findings public, suspend PP from opening until the investigation is finished, and if they got into the community illegally revoke their license to be there. That is what the hope is, but for now all we can do is keep praying and hoping. I will keep you posted as I know more details. Thanks as always for all your prayers and support of me and for the cause of Life!

Here is some news coverage:

Pro-life Blogger:

Rockford Observer (Catholic diocesan paper)-

LifeSite News

Other recent articles pertaining to abortion:
Vatican newspaper calls abortion "assasination":
Vatican Talks of Eugenics Culture After Abortion of Wrong Twin:

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Update on Planned Parenthood's Invasion of Aurora, IL

This email comes from a friend, so I thought that I would post it:
Dear all,

In case you haven't heard, Planned Parenthood tried to sneak into Aurora, IL by building a huge clinic (the largest in the nation?) under another name. They are scheduled to open on Sept. 18th. The pro-life community found out about this a couple of weeks ago and is trying to do everything they can to keep it from opening. (See message below.) They had a very large rally there this past weekend, with over 1000 pro-lifers present, and plan another one this coming Saturday. I know many of you won't be able to make it, but if you can forward this to any family and friends who might live in or near the Chicago area and encourage them to go, that would be great. It seems like a small thing to ask, but if we all work together we can make a big impact. Thanks!

Ellen & Colleen, Dubuque County Right to Life

>-------------- Forwarded Message: --------------
>From: "Eric Scheidler" <>
>To: "Jerry and Mary Ann O'Reilly" <>
>Subject: Aurora's Teens Need Your Help, Jerry!
>Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 17:28:11 +0000
>Dear Jerry,
>I'm sure you're expecting a mesage about the City Council meeting
>last night, but I only have time for a few words here because I
>need to ask for your help making this Saturday's "Youth for Truth"
>Rally a success. Please read on!
>Last night's Council meeting was amazing! One hundred pro-lifers,
>most of them Aurora residents, stood up and told the Council their
>stories about why Planned Parenthood is bad for Aurora, and called
>for a true investigation of fraud by PP.
>I'll say more later at the Families Against Planned Parenthood blog >a little later, but for now I just want to say how proud I am of everyone who stood up and spoke or came to support the effort,
>which lasted until 1:30 in the morning!
>Here's the blog address:
>Now I've got to ask for you help -- again.
>This Saturday, a group of pro-life youth, led by Danny Schleitwiler >of Aurora Central Catholic H.S. and home-schooler Mary Kate Guest,are putting on a "Youth for Truth" Rally at the Planned Parenthood
>site from 1-3 p.m.
>They're counting on >>500<< young people coming out to stand with
>them against Planned Parenthood. They really need your help to pull >this off, so I am counting on you to help them, as I know you will.
>I'll say more in a minute about why it's so important that young
>men and women stand up to Planned Parenthood, but first I want to
>tell you exactly how you can help them do it:
>1. Please encourage IN PERSON OR BY PHONE anyone you know from
>high school through college age to come out Saturday -- sons
>and daughters, nieces and nephews, grandchildren, brothers and
>sisters, neighbors, etc. Make it your personal goal to get
>THREE young people out there.
>2. Please FORWARD THIS MESSAGE to all your contacts, especially
>people you know who have children who are in Planned
>Parenthood's target audience.
>3. If you have a WEBSITE or BLOG, please put up an item about
>the Youth for Truth Rally.
>4. Make sure mention the FREE T-SHIRT that everyone who
>participates in the Youth for Truth Rally will receive, thanks
>to generous donors.
>Here are the details:
>EVENT: "Youth for Truth" Rally
>WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 1st, 1-3 p.m.
>WHERE: Oakhurst Drive and New York Street, Aurora
>The "Youth for Truth" Rally will include:
>* Music, praise and worship
>* Teen speakers on fighting for life
>* A talk by Yvonne Florczak-Seeman on her abortion
>experience at Planned Parenthood
>* Free "Youth for Truth" T-shirts
>We really need to bring out a good crowd Saturday. These high
>school and college kids are the ones Planned Parenthood's targeting >with their lies and propaganda.
>Planned Parenthood is telling them that they are incapable of
>self-control, that every sexual desire must be indulged, that their >parents are to ignored or even mocked, that the Church is irrelevant.
>Every value that these fine young people hold dear -- chastity,
>honesty, integrity, respect for their parents, faith in Jesus
>Christ -- is under attack from Planned Parenthood. And what's most
>outrageous, Planned Parenthood claims to be "serving" young people!
>The "Youth for Truth" will be out there Saturday proclaiming that
>the young people of Aurora are capable of virtue, capable of
>responding to the demands of love -- and they don't appreciate
>Planned Parenthood telling them they're not.
>Jerry, I hope you're as excited as I am about the "Youth
>for Truth" Rally, and that you'll do everything you can to bring
>out a big crowd. And don't forget the free T-shirt for every high
>school or college student who participates.
>Let's support our youth!
>Eric Scheidler
>Communications Director
>Pro-Life Action League
>Tel: 773-251-8792
>Pro-Life Action League,
>6160 N Cicero Ave, Ste 600,
>Chicago, IL 60646, USA

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Illinois Governor OKs Destructive Embryonic Stem-Cell Research

Illinois is doing there part to help shape the golden calf of Modern American Science Worship. Medical might makes right! Science without the need for those complicated ethical issues. Celebrate the culture of death!:


Illinois Governor OKs Destructive Embryonic Stem-Cell Research
Illinois tax dollars now will fund life-destroying embryonic stem-cell research as well as human-cloning research, thanks to a bill signed by Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Tuesday.
The bill's sponsors said they would seek to secure millions in funding over the next few months, the Chicago Tribune reports. The governor has used his executive authority to provide $15 million in grants during the last two years without legislative approval. The measure makes those grants a part of state law.

"Taxpayers should pay close attention to this bill since it allows their money to be used for unsafe and clinically unpromising experiments," said Dawn Vargo, associate bioethics analyst for Focus on the Family Action. "This bill uses word games to mislead the public into thinking that it will ban human cloning, when in fact it allows it."

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Planned Parenthood Coming to Aurora, IL

This comes to me from a friend. One of the main "architects of the culture of death"--Planned Parenthood is setting up shop in my old area--Aurora, Illinois. A western Chicagoland suburb of nearly 180,000 people... a town with a large amount of crime and poverty... will soon have another source of violence...

Pray against it.

You probably are aware, but if not, Planned Parenthood is building its largest abortion clinic in the country in Aurora, IL! It's set to open Sept. 18th. It makes me sooo sick to my stomach. Here's some links about it.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Waterloo, IA Catholic School Coach Resigns Because Married Outside of the Church

I know that divorce and remarriage outside of the Church is a sensitive topic, but the Church's stance on the indissolubility of a valid sacramental marriage is a basic and fundamental teaching.
The following is an article about a Catholic school coach in Waterloo who was forced to resign for his failure to live in accord with the Catholic principles that the Catholic school is founded on. Kudos to the school for standing up for what is right... and for not backing down to the Sports-idolators who will sacrifice any aspect of the truth in order to keep a coach they like. Of course, the coverage on this event has brought out your typical anti-Catholic vitriol in the local blogosphere. That is always a good sign... it means that the Gospel truth is being upheld.

From the DesMoines Register

Catholic board accepts schoolteacher's resignation
The decision reversed an earlier vote retaining Tom Girsch after his divorce.


August 7, 2007

Waterloo, Ia. - By a unanimous vote, the Waterloo Cedar Valley Catholic Schools Board on Monday accepted the resignation of Tom Girsch, 59, a longtime Catholic schoolteacher and coach at Columbus High School.

The vote concerning Girsch's employment was the second in less than a month and came at the request of Archbishop Jerome Hanus and the Dubuque Archdiocese superintendent of schools.

In July, the board voted 6 to 8 to reject Girsch's resignation.

"On July 12, we voted with our heart," said Tim Kneeland of Waterloo, a member of the board. "We're concerned about the viability of our local school if it did not remain part of the Catholic Church.

"Girsch, who divorced in 1997, was asked to resign when school officials found out he had remarried in August 2006. In an attempt to save his job, Girsch sought an annulment of his first marriage through the church. When the annulment was denied, he submitted his resignation, which was rejected. However, the board had not offered him a teaching contract for the coming school year.

Girsch failed earlier in the day to block the second vote when Black Hawk District Judge George Stigler said he was not inclined to interfere with the right of the church to conduct its business, "even if an individual does suffer injury.

""We are extremely disappointed," said Mark Zaiger, Girsch's attorney.

Archdiocese officials argued that Cedar Valley had acted contrary to archdiocese policy and Catholic Church law. "It is unacceptable and requires correction," said Jeff Henderson, archdiocese superintendent of schools. "The catholicity of the school system hangs in the balance."

The crowd of about 30 Girsch supporters waited about an hour for the board to conclude its deliberations and vote. Some expressed their displeasure with the outcome and said it was likely to affect an upcoming capital campaign to build a new junior high school.

"You will not find a better person, teacher, or role model than Tom Girsch in any school in the state of Iowa," said Mark Conway of Cedar Falls, whose children attended Columbus High School.
My thoughts:
" 'On July 12, we voted with our heart,' said Tim Kneeland of Waterloo, a member of the board. 'We're concerned about the viability of our local school if it did not remain part of the Catholic Church.'

Yes indeed, they voted with their hearts but not with their heads... that is, they voted from sentimentality and loyalty and WITHOUT an INFORMED CONSCIENCE. Sometimes standing up for the truth requires hard and painful decisions... but they must be made. It is also sad that this Kneeland gentleman seems to express that they only sided with the Archbishop and clergy because they were 'concerned about the viability of [the] local school if it did not remain part of the Catholic Church.' The Archbishop and priests were concerned about the vitality of the Catholic high school if it abandoned its Catholic principles and teachings! Besides, how many years did this coach have his teacher handbook that clearly stated the need to live in accord with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Where is his integrity? It is not the Church that ruined his life (as one commentor to the article wrote). The Church merely enforced the contract that this man signed of his own free will.

"Some expressed their displeasure with the outcome and said it was likely to affect an upcoming capital campaign to build a new junior high school.

'You will not find a better person, teacher, or role model than Tom Girsch in any school in the state of Iowa,' said Mark Conway of Cedar Falls, whose children attended Columbus High School."

Some of the Catholic-in-name-only laity know where their power lies: in the pocket book. If we do not like the truth that the Church seeks to live by, we will just withhold our money from future Catholic school building projects. To that I say--fine. I would rather not build a new Catholic school then let existing catholic schools loose their ability to defend the truth of the teachings of Christ. I would rather have fewer catholic schools that are fully catholic than schools that are catholic-in-name-only. I would not want to pass judgment on Tom Girsch, however, I would not classify a man who violates Church teaching on the sacrament of holy matrimony as a role model for my Catholic children. If I had children, I would want them to have role models that lived lives that were consistent with the moral teachings of the Church that they served (remember--a Catholic school is supposed to serve the MISSION of the CATHOLIC CHURCH... and not the sports fanaticism of private school parents). I would want them to have role models that humbly obeyed the teachings of Jesus and the Church. I would not want role models that sought to justify disobedience and fought the Church with frivolous lawsuits.

"The instruction and education in a Catholic school must be grounded in the principles of Catholic doctrine; teachers are to be outstanding in correct doctrine and integrity of life." Code of Canon Law, canon 803.2

From the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

"346. What are the effects of the sacrament of Matrimony? [CCC 1638-1642]

The sacrament of Matrimony establishes a perpetual and exclusive bond between the spouses. God himself seals the consent of the spouses. Therefore, a marriage which is ratified and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. Furthermore, this sacrament bestows upon the spouses the grace necessary to attain holiness in their married life and to accept responsibly the gift of children and provide for their education.

348. When does the Church allow the physical separation of spouses? [CCC 1629,

The Church permits the physical separation of spouses when for serious reasons their living together becomes practically impossible, even though there may be hope for their reconciliation. As long as one’s spouse lives, however, one is not free to contract a new union, except if the marriage be null and be declared so by ecclesiastical authority.

349. What is the attitude of the Church toward those people who are divorced and then remarried? [CCC 1650-1651, 1665 ]

The Church, since she is faithful to her Lord, cannot recognize the union of people who are civilly divorced and remarried. “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:11-12). The Church manifests an attentive solicitude toward such people and encourages them to a life of faith, prayer, works of charity and the Christian education of their children. However, they cannot receive sacramental absolution, take Holy Communion, or exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities as long as their situation, which objectively contravenes God's law, persists."

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