Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

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Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

HmkEnoch
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Maximus,

You asked:

**Also, I'd like your opinion of this article on pluralistic canonical views within the Church (eg Sts Stephen and Cyprian). http://www.thyateira.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=924&Itemid=165

It has some elements of liberal scholarship but I think the gist of it is true and somewhat similar to what you've tried to communicate. We can even start another thread on it, I would've emailed it to you it but I no longer have your email.**


The Canons of the Ecumenical Councils and the Local Council approved by them have paramount importance above all others. As you may know, that have been local councils since which have approved canons, but, none can be in contradiction to the above.  Thus, in Russia, for example, Local Church Councils in the 1650s ruled that a priest could celebrate Liturgy upon an antimension that had no relics as long as the antimension was placed upon a Consecrated Holy Table with Relics and was celebrated in the Bishop's Cathedral.  

However, can you be a little be more exact in what you are asking?  Do you mean multiple interpretation of the Canons? Or that we can just get rid of Canons in the universal corpus we don't like?

In Christ,

Fr. Enoch
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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

Maximus
Fr. Enoch,

No, of course the canons cannot be selected by preference. Hierarchs swear to uphold the canons at their ordination. therefore, they are THE standard by which a hierarchs rules. I liked the article because it demonstrates the manifold methods of applying the canons (economy and strictness) and emphasizes that the salvation of souls even supersede the canons (for instance, we allow the heterodox to observe our services and some are saved thereby). The referenced perspectives of Sts Justin Popovich, Nikodemos and the Kollyvades were also notable.

Some True Orthodox believe that being canonical means that all the heterodox must be baptized and that the West (and Slavs) was wrong in the way the applied the canons. In my opinion, this thinking has dogged the True Orthodox struggle and plays a huge factor in the rejection of the GOC-K union.
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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

HmkEnoch
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Maximus,

"Some True Orthodox believe that being canonical means that all the heterodox must be baptized and that the West (and Slavs) was wrong in the way the applied the canons."

This is, honestly, more a function of the distinctly Greek ecclesiastical environment and its views on this matter (you will find disciples of Fr. Ephraim in Arizona, commemorators on Mt. Athos, and many others in the World Orthodox who hold an identical view in emphasizing that all be baptized indiscriminately, and if they were chrismated without reception by baptism, they should be baptised, etc).  

In the case of Russian True Orthodox, though, the view of all being received by baptism has generally become (or is becoming) normative recently, it was not the case initially (see, for example, Abp. Lazar (Zhurbenko) and his statements on what he did in the 1990s).  

"In my opinion, this thinking has dogged the True Orthodox struggle and plays a huge factor in the rejection of the GOC-K union."

Perhaps in the case of Bulgaria it has generated problems; after all, the argument of many there for rejecting any association with Bp. Photii was not just them being suspect of some theological teachings (i.e., supposedly he is still 'Cyprianite', but, how don't understand this since he Chrismates people who come from the Bulgarian Patriarchate), but, they are upset that he is not to be baptized, chrismated, given monastic habit, and ordained through all the orders.  This is because, as I understand, there were previous people, some years ago, that left Bp. Photii's jurisdiction and joined the GOC-K mission in Bulgaria, and they were baptized (even though they may have been baptized by Bp. Photii, or chrismated by him).  





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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

HmkEnoch
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In reply to this post by Maximus
A great deal of problems in Church history can be attributed to when people began to generally dispense with the Canon 2 of the Second Ecumenical Council which prevents bishops from being translated out of the see they were consecrated for.  Yes there were always exception, but these were known b/c it was so unusual. Once you get into the post-Ottoman period (and a little before that), you see this just as a rampant abuse; if you lived through the period, you could honestly and legitimately question who was the real Patriarch of Constantinople at any given point (sometimes being as many as 5 ex-patriarchs in the city, waiting to retake the Throne).  

You had a similar problem in Russia in the post-petrine period with Bishops being constantly moved around.

The original intention and general practice of the Church for almost 1500 years in preventing these translations, was to prevent what happened, ambition.  If you were consecrated to a see and told, "Look, you are never going to be archbishop of the near by city; you are not going to be metropolitan ever, and you certainly are never going to be made patriarch.  If you wanted that, you should have thought of that before you accepted consecration!" there would have been far less problems in Church history (starting with Meletius Metaxaxkis who was translated to so many different sees after originally consecrated, got himself elected Abp. of Athens, then made Pat. of Constantinople, then Alexandria, then got a see in Palestine, was planning on more before he died; if he has been no more than the bishop of Kition, as he was originally consecrated, he probably would have caused far 'less' damage than he did.
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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

Maximus
In reply to this post by HmkEnoch
The article reveals that even among the Greeks, there were a plurality of applications. Patriarch Dositheus: "For heretics who renounce their heresy and join the Catholic Church are received by the Church; although they received their valid Baptism with weakness of faith. Wherefore, when they afterwards become possessed of the perfect faith, they are not again baptized. (The Confession of Dositheus, Decree 15)

The Russian Trues are following ROCOR since 1971 and not the official decision of the Russian Church on the books since 1666-1667.
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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

HmkEnoch
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Maximus,

The Greek ecclesiastical environment I was referring to was that which prevailed after the mid 18th century, i.e., after the decision of the Church of Constantinople, which was accepted by Jersualem, Antioch, and Alexandria, to baptized all converts no matter the origin. As you know, due in no small part to the preaching of the Monk Auxentius as well as a desire to send a message to most people that they must not regard the Papists as being a true Church (the events of the 17th century and early 18th, the apostasy of almost the entire Antiochian Patriarchate in 1720 to become the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, people going to Papist Greek Catholic priests for confession, etc).  This was the dominant view in the Greek speaking work after that period.

Patriarch Dositheus and the Synod of Bishops in the statement seem to be endorsing the idea that heretics should not baptised if they have received 'valid baptism'.   Valid could mean correct form, but, the problem with that interpretation seems to be that it ends by saying 'they are not again baptized', which implies there was a true, or valid, baptism.  The previous line in the sentence which you don't quote seems to be against those who implied deficiency in faith equates a mutilation of the Mystery's power.  And then it goes on to recognize certain types of heretics' baptism ('valid baptism' which, I suppose means performed in a manner the Church would accept, and not just any kind).  

However, the Synod of Jerusalem while apparently accepting the validity (in all manners?) of certain heretical groups, does not seem to endorse the view since the end of Decree 17 affirms:

"Further, that this Mystery of the Sacred Eucharist can be performed by none other, except only by an Orthodox Priest, who has received his priesthood from an Orthodox and Canonical Bishop, in accordance with the teaching of the Eastern Church. This is compendiously the doctrine, and true confession, and most ancient tradition of the Catholic Church concerning this Mystery; which must not be departed from in any way by such as would be Orthodox and who reject the novelties and profane vanities of heretics. But necessarily the tradition of the institution must be kept whole and unimpaired. For those that transgress, the Catholic Church of Christ rejects and anathematises."

This doesn't seem to have been the view officially endorsed by the Russian Church in 1904 in its official reply to the Phanar (the Russian Church was under heavy 'Augustinian' domination in thought, and embraced the concept that the Latins, Nestorians, Copts, and Armenians had 'valid apostolic succession' which the Russian Church 'respected', though, the Russian Church completely confessed only the Orthodox Church was the True Church).  The Augustinian view was eventually replaced by the 'Basilian', or really, appropriate Orthodox view, after 1920 (or it seems to have been, due to Met. Anthony and others influence, though one can find strange opinions in Russian hierarchs of the 50s and 60s such as Abp. Leonty of Chile's view on the validity of Papist Sacraments prior to the changes of Vatican II).

Notice, however, that no one broke communion with Russia over the above.  As. Metropolitan St. Philaret noted when people brought up to him that Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow had affirmed that Latins had valid sacraments, "Well, he neither prayer with them, nor communed or concelebrated with them; go and do thou likewise."

The Russian Trues are following ROCOR since 1971 and not the official decision of the Russian Church on the books since 1666-1667.

The ROCOR decision was that baptism for converts should be normative, unless the diocesan Bishop felt exemptions could be granted.  The different Russian "Trues" generally followed this policy except for people coming from the Moscow Patriarchate.  However, you can find cases in which Chrismation has been used in dealing with Roman Catholics and others.  The question about the 'manner of baptism' and reception of such of converts from the MP became more problematice in the past 7 years  (as was revealed in the ending of the discussions between RTOC and GOC-K, when RTOC refused to go back and 'rebaptized' and 'reordain' people they had received by Chrismation who had been previously baptized by pouring in the MP; how could the RTOC do such, since it would almost be tantamount to claiming Abp. Lazar didn't know what he was doing!).  

Even in the above name controversy, you can see that even the Russian True Orthodox had somewhat of a different perception on these matters than their Greek brethren.

As far as I remember, in the Canons of the Councils, Local Councils, etc themselves (as opposed to different commentary you read), provision is only made for the Baptism of groups like the Gnostics, Eunomians, Pepuzini, Tetradites, etc.  Novatians, Nestorians, Monophysites, Severians, Monothelites, are received through either Chrismation (for the Nestorians after the Second Council), or Confession of Faith for the rest.  But, this was because the later groups, were identical the essential aspects of Baptism (and even Chrismation) to the Orthodox, often even used the exact same formula, or some variant of it (after all, all these groups came from the Church, and erred on certain areas that different affect idea of how Baptism was performed, or even Chrismation).  

The 'plurality' of interpretation can be founded upon different circumstances, different interpretations within a broad framework, even. However, none of these interpretations contradicted the fundamental assertion that Orthodoxy was the True Church, and that you cannot hold communion with heretics and schismatics.  The reason the 'Basilian' view (no Grace of Sacraments outside the Church) has become THE view is because, it is simply the most consistent with the notion of the exclusivity of the Church as the Ark of Divine Grace.

In Christ,

Fr. Enoch




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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

Maximus
There is but one Church and it's the Orthodox Church. Some ecumenists view a plurality of application to be evidence of belief in a plural ecclesiologies. Not so.

Here is what St. Philaret of Moscow advised for the reception of Anglicans:

If a layman were to be received, would it be necessary to give him baptism and confirmation, conditionally or unconditionally?

Reply

A member of the Anglican Church, who has definitely received a baptism in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, even though it be by effusion (pouring), can, in accordance with the rule accepted in the Church of Russia (which the Church of Constantinople considers to be a form of condescension), be received into the Orthodox Church without a new baptism, but the sacrament of chrismation must be administered to him, because confirmation, in the teaching of the Anglican Church, is not a sacrament. (Guidance from Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow Regarding English Converts to Orthodoxy. Embassy, Emigrants, and Englishmen p. 607)

I fully accept this application but I know the "Cypriano-Basilian" view to be the most consistent one. This is the view of the ancient Western Church prior to St.,Augustine. I believe it to be an Apostolic Tradition handed down through Rome as Pope St. Stephen said. Again, some True Orthodox need to realize these historical precedents.
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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

HmkEnoch
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I don't mean to get too far in a tangent, but, it is much more complicated than, "Before St. Augustine this was the view" and "After St. Augustine this was the view" in the West (this doesn't take account of numerous figures who taught on the subject such as St. Optatus, St. Vincent, Pope St. Anastasius, St. Theodore of Canterbury, St. Egbert of York, and even then it is not the same as the 'scholastic' view which connects things with an whole scheme of validity and invalidity, licit and illict, irregular and regular, as concerning ordination [one only need look at the simony debate; or shameful arguments used in the late 9th and 10th century concerning Formosus and others]).

I would venture to say that those who have studied the question are well-aware of a lot of this.  For example, I sincerely doubt anyone would demand that, if he were alive today, the reposed Fr. Seraphim (Rose) should be re-baptised and re-ordained simply because he was baptised by pouring in the Methodist church and then simply confessed and Chrismated by St. John Maximovitch.  Or that Met. Vitaly's ordinations are all 'suspect' or 'invalid' because he was ordained by Met. Seraphim (Lade) was originally baptized by pouring in the Lutheran church and chrismated when he was 18 and then later made a bishop in the Soviet Living Church (only to be simply received in the early 1930s by ROCOR by means of Confession of Faith).

The impetus in studying the Canons is to determine what is acceptable praxis and not.  The 'controversy', such as it is, is usually precipitated by encountering problems that are not absolutely and in all fashions addressed by the Canons in a fully direct manner.  The only Canon that comes to mind which addresses the question in a direct manner, seems to be Canon 7 of the Second Ecumenical Council, which decrees that Eunomians, who baptise with a single immersion, and Montanists and Sabellians, are to be baptized and their baptisms are not acceptable.  

Whenever a question arises that is not specifically addressed in the texts of the Canons directly, we should easily turn to the Fathers and others saints and synods to see what they did.  Even interpretations you find in some books can sometimes be 'appear' to be contradictory (for example, what do we make of St. Gregory's Letter to St Leander? on Baptism? doesn't this appear to say St. Gregory is contradiction Canon 7, or at least some interpretations of Canon7? or is it more likely that the Canon was accepted, but, they understood that there were additional reasons for the rejection of the Eunomian form?)

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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

Maximus
Fr. Enoch

I would hope that you know that I know that it's more complicated than a simplistic before/after Augustine view. If anything, I tend towards over-complication.

I honestly believe that some would indeed attempt to rebaptize and reordain Hieromonk Seraphim and Met. Vitaly (especially since there was a Anglican bishop in the altar during his ordination).

As far as St. Gregory the Dialogist accepting single-immersion baptisms in Spain, ordering single-handed consecrations in Britain and allowing menstruating women to commune, I think he knew about the Canons but he was working for the salvation of people in specific contexts.
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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

Maximus
In reply to this post by HmkEnoch
I'm not sure that it was St. John that accepted Fr. Seraphim into the Church. I'll look into that again.
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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

HmkEnoch
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In reply to this post by Maximus
"I honestly believe that some would indeed attempt to rebaptize and reordain Hieromonk Seraphim and Met. Vitaly (especially since there was a Anglican bishop in the altar during his ordination). "

Can you give a picture of this?

"As far as St. Gregory the Dialogist accepting single-immersion baptisms in Spain, ordering single-handed consecrations in Britain and allowing menstruating women to commune, I think he knew about the Canons but he was working for the salvation of people in specific contexts."

I think the argument was that the Eunomians not only did not baptize by triple-immersion, but that they didn't even use the invocation of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (simply saying, "Such and such.. is baptized into the death of Christ..." as their 'formula').  The Arian church was attacking the Orthodox Church in Spain during the late 500s by saying that the triple immersion proved the Arian doctrine of three different ousia, so, some Orthodox began to baptize by single-immersion to prove that the Essence was One, and though Persons three; however, St. Martin of Braga found this to be a rather ridiculous argument (would we then change a number of things in ecclesiatical practice simply because heretics said it proved their point?). But, obviously, other Orthodox bishops did not seem to think St. Gregory a canonmakh because of this.

The Single-hand consecrations are there because a Patriarchate, or Local Church, can authorize it.  

The subject of women and communion is something he admitted was a condescension to the new English Church so that people would be strengthened against all they were against.
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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

Maximus
This post was updated on .
Can I give a picture of it?

Fr. Enoch,

This is like that last debate we had when you asked me to provide primary source materials for the all the footnotes in the authors I quoted. I'm sure you've heard about these events before. Fr. John Shaw aka Bp. Jerome of ROCOR-MP states: "Be that as it may, Metropolitan Anthony Khrapovitsky was photographed in 1925 in vestments together with vested Anglican clergy; Metropolitan Anastassy spoke and gave a blessing to the congregation in St. Paul’s Cathedral in London [Church of England]; there was a vested Anglican bishop in the altar at the consecration of the future Metropolitan Vitaly; and Archbishop Averky allowed the Coptic Church to hold services in the lower level of the cathedral in Jordanville. Were all of those Synodal hierarchs, along with those in communion with them, deposed and excommunicated?" Bp. Jerome wrote this an apologetical work to another ROCOR priest which could have opened him up to ridicule if these statements were patently false.

The closest I have to a pic is this: http://lamerkhav.livejournal.com/387025.html

The pic with Met. Philaret walking in procession with a RC bishop I first read about in an SIR booklet on ecumenism. They were defending Met. Philaret from charges of hypocrisy from a GOA priest who had the pics of the procession in his possession. SIR acknowledged that it was legit, but that he got caught in a bad situation. I'd have to dig to find the booklet for the title and page number but I think I could do so if you'd like me to. The events with Mets. Anthony, Anastassy and Abp. Averky are well known.




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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

HmkEnoch
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Maximus,

This is like that last debate we had when you asked me to provide primary source materials for the all the footnotes in the authors I quoted.

The problem is that some of this is so fantastical that I need proof!



and Archbishop Averky allowed the Coptic Church to hold services in the lower level of the cathedral in Jordanville.

I assume you know the history of what then happened between the Met. St. Philaret and Abp. Averky on this!

Ok. The photos you linked to. I can see an Anglican bishop standing on the solea, OUTSIDE the Altar!

The mention of Abp. Leonty serving a Panikhida is ridiculous! He was attending a funeral for a national leader! Where is the evidence that he was serving a Panikhida; that's like saying if you go to the funeral of some former Protestant president that you are then 'serving' with the Protestant clergy!

I have no context for the mention of St. Philaret.  Who owned the icon?  Was there some fear it would be seized by the Papists and so a concession was made to let the Papists have it for a day before it was given back to the Orthodox?  It is no more ecumenism than blaming the Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1830 because the Turks force him to let non-Orthodox use Orthodox temples or he has to let Armenian and Coptic Patriarchs into part of the edicule.



In Christ,

Fr. Enoch


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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

Maximus
Fr. Enoch,

I think I may have posted my statements below in the wrong thread. I don't take pleasure in any of this info, btw. As far as the pics, that's why I said "the closest that I have to a picture..." I got the info from online debates where I saw it mentioned a few times, then I saw a ROCOR source (Bp. Jerome of Manhattan) and finally, the EP/SIR source.

Here is yet more corroboration of the Anglican bishop in the altar at Met. Vitaly's ordination. This is taken from "Orthodoxy and the Ecumenical Movement" by Archimandrite Cyprian Agiokyprianites, pp. 80-84. Archimandrite Cyprian states that Fr. George Tsetsis pulled out two photos, one from the 50s and one from the 60s and asked the question:

"In what way does today's President of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Vitaly, differ from the 'Orthodox ecumenists,' when on the day of his Consecration, for reason of political expediency, he had an Anglican bishop by his side, and inside the Holy Altar, praying with him in full hierarchical vestments; or his predecessor, Metropolitan Philaret, when on one occasion he carried the wonder-working Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God in procession on the streets of Marseilles, walking along a 'Papist' bishop, en route to serving a Paraklesis in a Roman Catholic Church?"

Archimandrite Cyprian then accuses Fr. Tsetsis of unbrotherly exploitation (not falsehood) since the Russian exiles were hard-pressed and persecuted. He also says that the Anglican in the altar during the ordination was out of political expediency, according to Fr. Tsetsis' own admission and that no is sure if Met. Philaret participated in a litany since the icon is in it's covering and none of the Russian clergy are wearing vestments. Archimandrite Cyprian then states that all the countless photographs of ecumenists "hobnobbing with the heterodox" would also be cast into oblivion if they reject ecumenism as ROCOR did since "1965 and thereafter".

I didn't make the post with the pics, I just linked to it, and I never brought up the +Leonty issue. However, there are many True Orthodox that mistakenly find any Orthodox in a pic with some heterodox as incriminating in and of itself. As far as Met. Philaret and the RCC bishop with the Kursk-Root icon in the procession, refer to my comments above. I know nothing of the +Leonty thing, but I believe that Met. Philaret and Vitaly got caught in bad situations. I know their characters enough to know what they're about.


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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

Maximus
In reply to this post by HmkEnoch
Btw, in lieu of ROCOR's varied history, my personal opinion is that all the Russian fragments that demand for GOC-K to provide this or that, is unprofitable, hypocritical table-pounding. Just my opinion.
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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

HmkEnoch
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I think maybe their argument is that post-anathema things should be evaluated different.
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Re: Acceptable Source of Canonical Legislation

HmkEnoch
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In reply to this post by Maximus
I think what made ROCOR different was that there was a real concern and impetus on the part of the Hierarchy to be Orthodoxy and to fix any problems that came up.  They were honestly embarrassed that such things happened, and scandalized, or saddened by their own behaviour in retrospect, or, as you say, were upset at situation they got put into.  This led to an attempt to increasingly try to 'fix' and 'cleanse' their situation.  On the other hand, the problem in the larger Patriarchates, such as the Constantinople, Antioch, etc, was one in which there was little traditionalist Orthodox consciousness that had any effective power to revoke problems. Sure, Athos could complain, but, sadly, that didn't have much effect on the Phanar.  

When the hierarchy stops this process of trying 'internally fix' problems, indeed, when they loose the traditionalist mentality, as an whole and over the years, which has happened in the Phanar and Antioch, that's a sign of apostasy.  While people can make legitimate comparisons to events that happened, for example, Met. Anthony's behaviour with Anglicans, etc, and compare them to statements or actiosn by the Phanar int he late 1920s, you see, nevertheless, that the ROCOR, as an whole, moved more and more away from those things, while the Phanar just continue or go worse.  By 1983, ROCOR had reached a broad and general consensus to anathematize ecumenism (despite, as we know, there being multiple interpretations of the anathema, right or wrong). The Phanar, on the other hand, had gone into the other direction.
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