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Pope Tawadros and Female Priests

qawe

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https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=886576791409035&id=645153102218073

We're EXCITED TO SHARE our Orthodox Women's Ministry Conference in September 11-13 in LONDON is OPEN for registration!!!! Spread the Word AND SHARE!!!! Great Theologians Metr. Kallistos Ware of Oxford and Dr. Kyriaki Fitzgerald of Holy Cross will be speaking!
Under the auspices and blessings of His Holiness Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II, the Orthodox Women’s Ministry (OWM) is excited to launch its first international Orthodox conference.
^Why is Pope Tawadros supporting a conference where an advocate of female priestly ordination is speaking about Women in the Church?!
 

TheTrisagion

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Which of those has promoted women ordination to the priesthood? I know Dr. Kyriaki Fitzgerald has pushed for a female diaconate, but not priests as far as I know.  ???
 

qawe

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TheTrisagion said:
Which of those has promoted women ordination to the priesthood? I know Dr. Kyriaki Fitzgerald has pushed for a female diaconate, but not priests as far as I know.  ???
Metropolitan Kallistos.
 

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qawe said:
TheTrisagion said:
Which of those has promoted women ordination to the priesthood? I know Dr. Kyriaki Fitzgerald has pushed for a female diaconate, but not priests as far as I know.  ???
Metropolitan Kallistos.
He has not promoted it. He has said he is "deeply agnostic" on the issue.

Putting words in someone's mouth is not right.
 

qawe

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biro said:
qawe said:
TheTrisagion said:
Which of those has promoted women ordination to the priesthood? I know Dr. Kyriaki Fitzgerald has pushed for a female diaconate, but not priests as far as I know.  ???
Metropolitan Kallistos.
He has not promoted it. He has said he is "deeply agnostic" on the issue.

Putting words in someone's mouth is not right.
We all know what that means.  In any case, why is Pope Tawadros endorsing a speaker who is "deeply agnostic" on the issue?  If it was a Coptic bishop, he'd be promptly deposed.
 

TheTrisagion

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I just found this and listened to it. While I don't agree with his position, he isn't exactly endorsing female ordination to the priesthood. He gives several interesting points to consider, even if I don't think they are sufficient to warrant a serious revisiting of the topic.

http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/illuminedheart/metropolitan_kallistos_ware_on_gender
 

minasoliman

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I never got the impression Metropolitan Kallistos was pro-female priesthood, but that the arguments used were not strong arguments and can be misconstrued to be taken into a wrong theological direction.  In other words, he challenges us to find better arguments for the exclusivity of maleness in the higher clergy.

Perhaps she may be deep down agnostic about it, but I don't think he made it clear as far as I read from him.
 

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minasoliman said:
I never got the impression Metropolitan Kallistos was pro-female priesthood, but that the arguments used were not strong arguments and can be misconstrued to be taken into a wrong theological direction.  In other words, he challenges us to find better arguments for the exclusivity of maleness in the higher clergy.

Perhaps she may be deep down agnostic about it, but I don't think he made it clear as far as I read from him.
You mean he, right?
 

minasoliman

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Yes...small iPhone mistake
 

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A bearded woman won the Eurovision so who knows. Maybe we have a bearded episcopess too.  :p
 

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qawe said:
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=886576791409035&id=645153102218073

We're EXCITED TO SHARE our Orthodox Women's Ministry Conference in September 11-13 in LONDON is OPEN for registration!!!! Spread the Word AND SHARE!!!! Great Theologians Metr. Kallistos Ware of Oxford and Dr. Kyriaki Fitzgerald of Holy Cross will be speaking!
Under the auspices and blessings of His Holiness Coptic Patriarch Tawadros II, the Orthodox Women’s Ministry (OWM) is excited to launch its first international Orthodox conference.
^Why is Pope Tawadros supporting a conference where an advocate of female priestly ordination is speaking about Women in the Church?!
Why is a Chalcedonian Bishop speaking at our events in the first place? We hardly pay any mind to our sister "Oriental Orthodox" (oh, how I have grown to despise that artificial euphemism) Churches, why not invite some of their clergy and theologians?
 

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In any case, qawe is right. If one of our own Bishops stated that he was "agnostic" about female ordination he would be promptly and rightfully defrocked. The contrast in our attitudes is even further proof that the two communions are in no way on the way to reunification.
 

Maria

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Severian said:
In any case, qawe is right. If one of our own Bishops stated that he was "agnostic" about female ordination he would be promptly and rightfully defrocked. The contrast in our attitudes is even further proof that the two communions are in no way on the way to reunification.
True.

Have the Coptics, Armenians, and Ethiopian Orthodox ever had female deacons? In the early church, non-liturgical female deacons only helped at (1) baptisms where females were baptized in the nude and had to be covered at all times, and (2) carrying the Holy Eucharist to sick or imprisoned females.

I have listened to both Met. Kallistos and Dr. Fitzgerald when they spoke in favor of a female diaconate. No doubt this will be the topic of the conference too. If a tiny door opens, and liturgical female deacons are allowed, then the priesthood and the bishopric might follow.
 

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Historically, in the Armenian Church nuns are allowed to be deaconesses.  I think the Copts have that also.
 

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But the Copts seem to be the strictest in these things.  In the Armenian Church we allow lay women to be choir ladies.  In the Coptic Church the issue of whether choir ladies should be allowed is currently a matter of debate.
 

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Salpy said:
Historically, in the Armenian Church nuns are allowed to be deaconesses.  I think the Copts have that also.
St. Elizabeth Feodorovna wanted the practice to be reinstated in Russian Orthodoxy. Needless to say, she wasn't successful in convincing the Synod.
 

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Salpy said:
Historically, in the Armenian Church nuns are allowed to be deaconesses.  I think the Copts have that also.
That's what I've heard also.
 

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biro said:
Salpy said:
Historically, in the Armenian Church nuns are allowed to be deaconesses.  I think the Copts have that also.
That's what I've heard also.
Are these nuns liturgical deaconnesses? Do they participate in the Divine Liturgy like a Deacon would?
 

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biro said:
qawe said:
TheTrisagion said:
Which of those has promoted women ordination to the priesthood? I know Dr. Kyriaki Fitzgerald has pushed for a female diaconate, but not priests as far as I know.  ???
Metropolitan Kallistos.
He has not promoted it. He has said he is "deeply agnostic" on the issue.

Putting words in someone's mouth is not right.
He says it is an open question (adiaphora in Greek) which is ridiculous because ordaining women to the priesthood is clearly NOT open for discussion.  Whenever anyone frames a theological concern in terms of open questions, it is safe to say that they want what is contrary to ORthodoxy's praxis, but are too much of a coward to come out and say it openly.
 

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scamandrius said:
biro said:
qawe said:
TheTrisagion said:
Which of those has promoted women ordination to the priesthood? I know Dr. Kyriaki Fitzgerald has pushed for a female diaconate, but not priests as far as I know.  ???
Metropolitan Kallistos.
He has not promoted it. He has said he is "deeply agnostic" on the issue.

Putting words in someone's mouth is not right.
He says it is an open question (adiaphora in Greek) which is ridiculous because ordaining women to the priesthood is clearly NOT open for discussion.  Whenever anyone frames a theological concern in terms of open questions, it is safe to say that they want what is contrary to ORthodoxy's praxis, but are too much of a coward to come out and say it openly.
It's only open in the sense that if Jesus came back to say "You can start ordaining women now", then we could, but until then it wouldn't be an option.
 

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Minnesotan said:
scamandrius said:
biro said:
qawe said:
TheTrisagion said:
Which of those has promoted women ordination to the priesthood? I know Dr. Kyriaki Fitzgerald has pushed for a female diaconate, but not priests as far as I know.  ???
Metropolitan Kallistos.
He has not promoted it. He has said he is "deeply agnostic" on the issue.

Putting words in someone's mouth is not right.
He says it is an open question (adiaphora in Greek) which is ridiculous because ordaining women to the priesthood is clearly NOT open for discussion.  Whenever anyone frames a theological concern in terms of open questions, it is safe to say that they want what is contrary to ORthodoxy's praxis, but are too much of a coward to come out and say it openly.
It's only open in the sense that if Jesus came back to say "You can start ordaining women now", then we could, but until then it wouldn't be an option.
But that is not how Metropolitan KALLISTOS is defining open question.
 

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minasoliman said:
I never got the impression Metropolitan Kallistos was pro-female priesthood, but that the arguments used were not strong arguments and can be misconstrued to be taken into a wrong theological direction.  In other words, he challenges us to find better arguments for the exclusivity of maleness in the higher clergy.

Perhaps she may be deep down agnostic about it, but I don't think he made it clear as far as I read from him.
That's along the lines of what I was thinking.

"As regards this present piece, it represents an extensive revision of something that I originally wrote in 1978. Since then my views on the issue have altered. In 1978 I considered the ordination of women priests to be an impossibility. Now I am much more hesitant. I am far from convinced by many of the current arguments advanced in favor of women priests; but at the same time a number of the arguments urged on the other side now appear to me a great lead less conclusive than they did twenty years ago. What I would plead is that we Orthodox should regard the matter as essentially an open question. Let us not imagine that in this area everything is clarified and finally settled; for manifestly it is not, either for us Orthodox or for other Christians. One point deserves to be underlined at the outset. On the subject of women and the priesthood, there exists as yet no pan-Orthodox statement, possessing definitive Ecumenical authority." (Emphasis his)

-- Met. Kallistos, Women And the Priesthood, (Saint Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1999), p. 7
And a longer bit by Met. Kallistos (quote given, commentary removed):

Heracleides said:
...
...
". . . the questions that you are considering are also questions that are of concern to us. And if they are not particularly on our immediate agenda now, yet they are questions that we will need to consider increasingly in the future. . . . also as questions that are posed to us Orthodox. For example, the question of women priests and bishops. Most Orthodox would say, we should not ordain women. But if you ask them why not, they will say that it has never been done; they will appeal to tradition. But you press them a little farther, and say that there must be a reason why women have never been ordained as priests. The argument from tradition merely tells you that they have never been ordained as priests, but it does not tell you why. Surely there must be some theological reason. On the one hand, the Orthodox are certain and clear in their answer. Most of us would say, no, we could not ever ordain women. Yet others would say, it is for us essentially an open question. We are not proposing to do so in the near future, but we need to reflect more deeply on it. If all we say is, “impossible, never,” we perhaps should ask ourselves, what are the implications for our understanding of human nature , of the difference between male and female, for our understanding of the priesthood and the relationship of the priest to Christ. That is an example of how your questions are perhaps to some extent also our questions.

Then again the issue that is coming up very much here at Lambeth: the possibility of blessing homosexual relationships. The Orthodox Church would answer, no, this cannot be done – that sexuality is a gift from God, to be used within marriage, and by marriage we mean the union of one man and one woman. But it’s quite clear in the modern world – and the Orthodox also belong to the modern world – that the whole issue of the meaning of human sexuality is going to be more and more explored. And if we are to interpret this traditional teaching to our people, we need to reflect deeply on the basic principles. "

...
...
Source: http://www.prayerbookatlambeth.org/interviews/2008/7/28/an-interview-with-the-most-revd-kallistos-ware-archbishop-of.html
The larger thing at issue was mentioned in the fundamentalist thread:

Justin Kissel said:
From my perspective the biggest threat to the Orthodox Church now is the fact that we shifted the way we respond to the questions of our age. And to be frank what I mean is we basically refuse to respond at all.
... Prof. Demacopolous ...
I would think Copts, Armenians, etc. would be facing similar issues, though perhaps with different people banging at the gates?
 

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Maria said:
biro said:
Salpy said:
Historically, in the Armenian Church nuns are allowed to be deaconesses.  I think the Copts have that also.
That's what I've heard also.
Are these nuns liturgical deaconnesses? Do they participate in the Divine Liturgy like a Deacon would?
I don't know about Coptic deaconesses, but Armenian deaconesses, yes.  Here is a photo from before the Genocide:

 

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Maria said:
Severian said:
In any case, qawe is right. If one of our own Bishops stated that he was "agnostic" about female ordination he would be promptly and rightfully defrocked. The contrast in our attitudes is even further proof that the two communions are in no way on the way to reunification.
True.

Have the Coptics, Armenians, and Ethiopian Orthodox ever had female deacons? In the early church, non-liturgical female deacons only helped at (1) baptisms where females were baptized in the nude and had to be covered at all times, and (2) carrying the Holy Eucharist to sick or imprisoned females.

I have listened to both Met. Kallistos and Dr. Fitzgerald when they spoke in favor of a female diaconate. No doubt this will be the topic of the conference too. If a tiny door opens, and liturgical female deacons are allowed, then the priesthood and the bishopric might follow.
Maria, why the fear mongering?  Deaconesses existed inthe Greek orthodox Church until the 12th century.  They were recorded in the lists of St. Sophia in Constantinople and this did not lead to (or open the tiny door as you say) to a female priesthood or hierarchy.  Also the Orthodox Church of Greece has restored the ordination of deaconesses.  And the Armenian Orthodox Church has a history of deaconesses as well.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Father Peter said:
Is that a liturgical service in a monastery only, or in secular contexts?
A few years ago, our Metropolitan of Kolkata visited the Armenian community in that city and attended the Liturgy.  IIRC, a deacon and a deaconess were censing simultaneously.  I remember wondering what the bishop made of it all.  :)
 

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Father Peter said:
Is that a liturgical service in a monastery only, or in secular contexts?
Originally, it was just for service in the convent.

Here is an article about the history of deaconesses in the Armenian Church:

http://armenianweekly.com/2013/07/06/a-nearly-forgotten-history-women-deacons-in-the-armenian-church/

The article quotes a 12th century priest who writes about them:

There are also women ordained as deacons, called deaconesses for the sake of preaching to women and reading the Gospel. This makes it unnecessary for a man to enter the convent or for a nun to leave it.

When priests perform baptism on mature women, the deaconesses approach the font to wash the women with the water of atonement behind the curtain.

Their vestments are exactly like those of nuns or sisters, except that on their forehead they have a cross; their stole hangs from over the right shoulder.

Do not consider this new and unprecedented as we learn it from the tradition of the holy apostles: For Paul says, ‘I entrust to you our sister Phoebe, who is a deacon of the church.’

Later, however, it seems that the deaconesses started serving in churches outside of the confines of the convent.  This seems to have predated the modern feminist movement, and so it would have been motivated by other factors, although it's not clear what those factors were.

This is what the article says about the deaconess in the picture I posted above, and her convent:

...

The women’s monastic community of Koosanats Sourp Stepanos Vank (Convent of St. Stepanos Monestary) was established in Tiflis, Georgia in 1725. The mission at St. Stepanos was the training of women deacons. As at St. Catherine’s, the Sisters at St. Stepanos were ordained deaconesses. ‘In 1933, the community comprised 18 members, 12 of whom were ordained deacons.’

“The abaouhi (abbess) of the convent was always an achdeaconess. She wore a ring on her finger and two crosses that hung down her chest. St. Stepanos’ last abbess, Deaconess Hripsime Tahiriants, who was a woman of authority and influence, came from a prominent family. During a trip to Jerusalem, she served on the altar of the Cathedral of Saints James in Jerusalem. The deaconesses of St. Stepanos were noted for their musical abilities, and as a result, they were frequently asked to perform at functions, including funerals. These engagements helped support their religious community. When women entered convents, they brought funds with them to help support themselves. If, however, someone came from an indigent family, then the abbess provided for her needs. Upon the death of a deaconess, whatever money remained after funeral expenses was kept by the convent. If, however, upon the monastic woman’s death, she had not yet attained the rank of deaconess, after funeral expenses, half of the money she brought with her to the convent was returned to the family.

“It is interesting to note that Holy Etchmiadzin’s finely carved wooden doors are a gift from Deaconess Tahiriants. The inscription on the doors read: Heeshadak Avak- Sarkavakoohi Hripsime Aghek Tahiriants, 1889 (In Memory of Archdeaconess Hripsime Aghek Tahiriants).

“In 1892, Deaconess Tahiriants traveled to Etchmiadzin for the consecration of Khrimian Hayrig as Catholicos, and there she presented him with a gold and silver embroidered likeness of the Cathedral of Etchmiadzin. It was on this occasion that she had given H.F.B. Lynch, the author of Armenia: Travels and Studies, her photo, which the author used in his book, and is on the cover of Fr. Oghlukian’s book and in Ervine’s paper.

St. Stepanos’s women’s community ceased to exist before 1939, but Nicolas Zernov, a Russian clergyman and writer on church affairs, wrote in 1939 how impressed he had been when present at the Eucharist in the St. Stepanos Armenian Church in Tiflis ‘where a woman deacon fully vested brought forward the chalice for the communion of the people.’

“According to internet sources, in 1988, the Georgian government took ownership of the 14th-century church. Between 1990 and 1991, all Armenian inscriptions were either removed or destroyed, and burial vaults where the Armenian deaconesses were laid to rest were destroyed. Goosanats Sourp Stepanos Vank is now a Georgian church.

...

Today, there is a convent in Istanbul which has nuns ordained as deaconesses. 
 

Second Chance

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IreneOlinyk said:
Maria said:
Severian said:
In any case, qawe is right. If one of our own Bishops stated that he was "agnostic" about female ordination he would be promptly and rightfully defrocked. The contrast in our attitudes is even further proof that the two communions are in no way on the way to reunification.
True.

Have the Coptics, Armenians, and Ethiopian Orthodox ever had female deacons? In the early church, non-liturgical female deacons only helped at (1) baptisms where females were baptized in the nude and had to be covered at all times, and (2) carrying the Holy Eucharist to sick or imprisoned females.

I have listened to both Met. Kallistos and Dr. Fitzgerald when they spoke in favor of a female diaconate. No doubt this will be the topic of the conference too. If a tiny door opens, and liturgical female deacons are allowed, then the priesthood and the bishopric might follow.
Maria, why the fear mongering?  Deaconesses existed inthe Greek orthodox Church until the 12th century.  They were recorded in the lists of St. Sophia in Constantinople and this did not lead to (or open the tiny door as you say) to a female priesthood or hierarchy.  Also the Orthodox Church of Greece has restored the ordination of deaconesses.  And the Armenian Orthodox Church has a history of deaconesses as well.
I see absolutely no connection between deaconesses having a liturgical function and females ordained as priests. Two different functions! The issue with women in the altar area is not one of gender but a reason to be there. Women have always been allowed to enter the altar area if the bishop/priest invites them to do something that is needful. In my parish, we are blessed to have a wonderful female oceanographer and she needs to enter that "bastion of men" to do her work. True, that is not a liturgical function, but women sing in the choir, read the prayers after communion, chant, and even say amen, bow, cross themselves, and all those liturgical things that men do. Horrors!!!
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
In my parish, we are blessed to have a wonderful female oceanographer and she needs to enter that "bastion of men" to do her work.
Wait, there's an ocean in your altar space?
 

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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
In my parish, we are blessed to have a wonderful female oceanographer and she needs to enter that "bastion of men" to do her work. True, that is not a liturgical function, but women sing in the choir, read the prayers after communion, chant, and even say amen, bow, cross themselves, and all those liturgical things that men do.
Of course!  ::)  Amen.

We Orthodox Christian women are not treated like Muslims, never have been!
 

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Iconodule said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
In my parish, we are blessed to have a wonderful female oceanographer and she needs to enter that "bastion of men" to do her work.
Wait, there's an ocean in your altar space?
I was wondering that too.  I'm glad it's not just me.  :)
 

minasoliman

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lol!  I think he meant iconographer.
 

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Salpy said:
Iconodule said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
In my parish, we are blessed to have a wonderful female oceanographer and she needs to enter that "bastion of men" to do her work.
Wait, there's an ocean in your altar space?
I was wondering that too.  I'm glad it's not just me.  :)

I thought this too....but decided not to ask.....;)
 

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I think I can say with absolute certainty that female oceanographers are not a part of Orthodox Holy Tradition. I am sad to see that a fellow OCA parish has lapsed into such modernism.
 

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Iconodule said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
In my parish, we are blessed to have a wonderful female oceanographer and she needs to enter that "bastion of men" to do her work.
Wait, there's an ocean in your altar space?
Didn't you know that women aren't allowed in the ocean? It encourages immodest bathing attire.
 

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TheTrisagion said:
Iconodule said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
In my parish, we are blessed to have a wonderful female oceanographer and she needs to enter that "bastion of men" to do her work.
Wait, there's an ocean in your altar space?
Didn't you know that women aren't allowed in the ocean? It encourages immodest bathing attire.
She can always wear one of these:
 

TheTrisagion

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I don't think it is appropriate to see an oceanographer's bare knees.
 

Second Chance

Merarches
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Iconodule said:
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) said:
In my parish, we are blessed to have a wonderful female oceanographer and she needs to enter that "bastion of men" to do her work.
Wait, there's an ocean in your altar space?
OOPS!!!

iconographer, of course.
 
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