Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Fr Ray Blake Slams Major Political Parties in The Argus

"Read all about it! Local Priest warns of hedonistic gay lobby!"

Fr Ray Blake hit the front page and page 5 of The Argus today, Brighton and Hove's local newspaper. The paper, driven as they are by sales, zoomed in on a comment he made on his blog concerning the fact that all the major political parties court the vote of the "hedonistic gay lobby." Obviously, in Brighton, making a comment like that is like painting the interior of Brighton Pavillion red and letting a herd of bulls through the front door.

'A church leader has claimed Labour has become contrary to the spirit of Christianity. Father Ray Blake, of St Mary Magdalen in Brighton, said faith communities in Brighton and Hove were being overlooked in favour of the city’s “hedonistic gay lobby”.

The Roman Catholic priest, whose church is in Brighton Pavilion constituency, stated he did not believe any of the parties standing for election locally represented his religious views. Writing in a blog to his parishioners he said: “I always used to vote Labour but I think that is impossible now, so contrary they have become to the very spirit of the Christian faith.”

He added: “It is very tempting in Brighton for political candidates to pander to the more vociferous elements of the hedonistic "gay lobby" and ignore the "faith" communities and their concerns. If that happens in the next election that would be more than foolish. Those who can get themselves out to church on a Sunday can normally get themselves along to vote. It is really quite outrageous how ignorant most politicians are about our faith despite, its contribution to western artistic culture and thinking.”'

Father Blake added he would like to get a group of Catholics together to work out which party he could vote for. But parliamentary hopefuls have claimed that elected representatives act on behalf of whole communities.

As a parishioner of St Mary Magdalen's Church, I know very well that Fr Ray Blake is not saying that all gay men in Brighton are hedonistic, nor is he saying that all gay men in Brighton are in the "hedonistic gay lobby". He knows this because in his congregation he has men and women who have a same-sex attraction. He is known for being kind and generous to all, no matter what orientation some of his congregation are. This is, after all, Brighton.

What he is referring to is a politically powerful, active gay movement which campaigns only to further the LGBT cause, at the expense of the freedom and liberty of, say Catholics and Christians or anyone, religious or not, who doesn't go along championning the big gay rights campaign. In the pursuit of the goal of 'gay rights' being extended even towards 'marriage', the gay movement is moving onto territory over which the Church has taught down the centuries is sacrosanct. Marriage is a union between one man and one woman, which, when it takes place with the Catholic Church, it says, is holy, sacred and indissoluable. Fr Ray Blake is coming in for criticism on The Argus website, so be absolute darlings and defend him against the enemies of Faith and Reason.

It is certainly unfortunate that The Argus have deliberately focussed on his comments regarding the gay lobby, because, if you read what Fr Blake is saying, it is quite clear that he is expressing frustration, not only as a Priest but as an intelligent and politically informed man in modern Britain, that all of the major political parties are standing on the same platform. They are all pro-abortion, rather than pro-life; they are all in bed with Stonewall, Marie Stopes and the BPAS; they are all listening only to the LGBT minority, over the perfectly legitimate concerns of the Church and other major religions; they are all in a quite striking way, against the poor, the homeless, the abandoned, unemployed and dispossessed and under Labour the trends towards a chasm between the rich and poor have increased. None of the major political parties are expressing a concern for the whole country, or in Brighton, the whole community. They stand up for only a few groups, most if not all of whom are concerned with certain causes for 'freedom' at the expense of freedom itself.

Brighton is a hedonistic town and has been for a very long time. I can tell you now that I live very near this road. It doesn't matter who takes over the Hare and Hounds pub, it always feels like there's a corpse in the room. Anyway, I digress. Every year, Brighton closes down to make way for the "hedonistic gay lobby" at Gay Pride. Every year the 'street drinking' ban which sees the poor and homeless hounded around town by cops and quasi cops is dropped to make way for the big Gay Pride parade. Every year the parade ends up at Preston Park where every drug under the sun is consumed while the poor and homeless get banged up for 18 months because they've genuine addictions. The clean up takes a day or two. Every year, I hope it rains on their parade. I'd love one day to see a Eucharistic procession down this road and see what the Council has to say about that. Our Most Holy Faith is not about us. It is about God. That is the difference between the 'hedonistic gay lobby' and us, whether we are gay, straight, bi or like the way we feel in a Dorothy Perkins cardigan. Of course there's no hedonistic gay lobby in Brighton. Move along, now, nothing to see here...


Anonymous said...

Mein gott! Another gay post.... I think someone is a bit too thrilled by the bones he may have crushed

Anonymous said...

Not that this will sway you Laurence, but just to make it clear, marriage is not an exclusively Catholic thing. For example, the Chinese guy sitting across from me at the office where I am currently avoiding work was a bit surprised when I showed him your post - he was married in China and says he had little to no knowledge about Catholicism before he came here. (He also says hi)

Wikipeida's section on the history of marriage will give you the details:


So, if gays want to marry, why is that a matter for the Church, which neither invented nor has a monopoly over a ceremony uniting two people?

The Bones said...

I just couldn't help myself. Honestly, I did this one in defense of my Priest.

Anonymous said...

Out of interest, do you get many gay Catholics down in Brighton or are they largely secular? I live in Belfast and the Catholic community here is largely straight- Pat

The Bones said...

Since marriage is fundamentally a union within which children are conceived, born and raised, homosexual partnerships can in no way constitute a marriage since every 'gay marriage' is sterile.

The Bones said...


The Bones said...

It is Brighton, as I said.

Anonymous said...

Again, your use of the term 'fundamentally' is misleading, since for the production of children to be part of the essence of marriage you already have to accept the theological notion of marriage as a contract between a man, a woman, and God. But like I say, marriages predate man's knowledge of God (i.e. in the Hammurabi Code mentioned in the linked article), and my Chinese pal had no idea God was getting involved when he decided to marry his lover (apart from simply being in love and wishing to express it, they wanted to get put on a list for a new flat apparently). As far as I am aware, Britain is not a Catholic country, but since the Church is a spiritual institution, it would be absurd for it to want to start taking control over civil and administrative matters anyway. So I ask again, why is it that one particular religious presence within a nation should be able to over-rule the rights of others to participate in a civil ceremony? By what right do you speak for others who do not choose to follow God?

The Bones said...

Marriage isn't solely a Catholic institution, Bro, but it is a male/female institution.

Anonymous said...

Ha, yes I forgot - I know the gay scene down there is legendary! Don't know why it attracts them so much. Well, I suppose they have some nice clothes shops

Anonymous said...

But now you have renounced the spiritual and theological claim to police marriage and simply say it is only for men and women.... that is mental. It simply begs the question! The discussion is whether male unions ought to be legally recognised. You can't just say "marriage is only for men and women" and stop at that - otherwise your answer is basically a fascist one. No, because I say so.
There may be perfectly good theological grounds for prohibiting gay marriage (as I believe there are), but this should only mean that the Church refuses to recognise them. The state can do what it likes, and it certainly can't fall back on the same arguments. So my point is simply that civil gay marriages are nothing to do with us

Anonymous said...

Is there room for wiggle on this conception thing? I'm thinking that if two gay married men and two married lesbians team up, the men can get the women pregnant, without of course copulating with them (so as not to violate their sacred vows toward one another), then they can have a child per couple and participate in the institution fully.

Anonymous said...

I like your comment that:
"Our Most Holy Faith is not about us. It is about God. That is the difference between the 'hedonistic gay lobby' and us." I love the way you just assume ALL gay men are selfish and only concerned with their own immediate pleasure! Absolutely NO evidence for that claim, but you're comfortable making it anyway. Brilliant stuff. It's a bit like your Bertrand Russell one below (the Russell paradox, one might say), where you accused him of leading a self-interested and unhappy existence with the only possible scrap of evidence being a vague inference that, since he did not believe in God, such must have been the case.

The Bones said...

Anonymous you are contradicting yourself, Bro.

I didn't say ALL gay men are even in the 'lobby', some of them, after all, are in the 'closet', so quite why you think I think 'ALL' gay men are selfish people only interested in their members strikes me as being a serious misreading of what I said.

The Bones said...

Further, I never insinuated that Bertrand Russell wasn't a happy, clever or inspiring man, just that true happiness comes from the Beatitudes of Christ.

'Blessed are the poor in spirit...
Blessed are the...etc.'

Anonymous said...

I quote: "The atheist is concerned primarily with what will make him happy. He is concerned with his happiness and finds but a fraction of it." [note that this is the same argument used against the mass-assembly of gays; they appear to be enjoying themselves in a way which does not involve Church teachings, therefore they are selfish]. - Pat

berenike said...

I thought Fr Blake wrote about the major parties ignoring the poor. I don't remember any of the stuff the Argus has written about.

The Bones said...

"He is concerned with his happiness and finds but a fraction of it."

He can find happiness, but he can't find blessedness - happiness with a capital H.

We are called to be 'Blessed' and we may not get there in this life, but Blessed Mother Teresa, we are increasingly being assured, did. By making her 'Blessed' the Church is saying that most likely now enjoys the Beatific Vision of God, for which every soul was made.

Hope that clears it up.

Anonymous said...

Not really, since your assumption that those outside of the Church are "only concerned with their own happiness" is still entirely unsupported (and patently false: In fact, you have no more claim to selflessness than anyone else). Since I can't accept that not believing in God ought to be interpreted, Per Se, as evidence that a person is only concerned with achieving personal happiness, I don't see the significance of his achieving "but a fraction of it" (what would achieving the whole be anyway - presumably it would simply constitute a belief in God, but since we already know Bertie didn't believe in God, we would just be repeating the same criticism again). Same thing goes for happiness with a capital H - capitalising words might transform them into substantives for you, but it is ultimately a pretty flimsy ground for an argument [the LGBT lobby might just as well tell you that you will never experience Life, with a capital L, if you don't follow them]

Also, a genuine question - how are we called to be Blessed? (is it a part of Grace?) I don't see how we can be called upon to become something which can only be granted by God in the first place

The Bones said...

Bro, why don't you become a Catholic and find out for yourself?

I'm not pointing towards myself but to Christ and His Saints and Blesseds. I am saying that they, in their lives and in the next, found the happiness for which the human heart was made: to love, serve and praise God in this life in order to be happy with Him forever in the next.

Compared with any earthly, or even selfless happiness in this World, we have been told, "Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, what God has in store for those who love Him."

To quote a James Bond movie title, 'The World is Not Enough'. We desire what the World alone cannot give us. We shaln't find it through philosophy, mathematics, or even through 'good works'.

'You made us for Yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.' St Augustine

Anonymous said...

Christ was God wasn't he? He couldn't very well serve himself

Anonymous said...

"Eye has not seen, nor has ear heard, what God has in store for those who love Him."

Doesn't say whether its good or bad then does it. I would have mentioned that if I wrote it

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm convinced. It's a pretty water-tight case: basically, you're saying we don't know what's in store for us, but if you're not happy with this world, better to leave it alone and hope there is something better coming along. Oh, and that God made people for his own purposes (which we are unsure of), and now we are condemned to misery until we merge with him again, which will make Him happy (presumably - this bit was unclear).
I can see why this Catholic thing took off in so many countries now

Anonymous said...

Oh, it also just occurred to me that, in trying to explain why the gays in Brighton can't be truly happy, you are once again relying upon an argument that is not specific to gays - you could just have written (for each article, since the point always remains the same ultimately): "Non-Catholics are not Happy (capital H)", then all your Catholic readers can reply with "good point L - Catholics are the only chosen ones". You could even start a few other blogs, one for each major religion, and just change the post title slightly [Jews are the chosen ones/Muslims are the chosen ones etc] and then you would sew up the market

The Bones said...

This life is a 'vale of tears'.

Anyone who has lost someone dear to them understands that while there are joys and sorrows in this life.

None of us are spared suffering in this life. But God will 'wipe every tear' from every eye when He comes in Glory at the End of Time, when Heaven and Earth shall be shaken and all men are raised at the General Resurrection.

Of course, the first time He came, he came as a Lamb. When He comes again, He will come as Judge. We hope and pray that He will show us Mercy.

The Bones said...


Saints are special cases. St Francis of Assisi, St Anthony of Padua, etc, all the Church's Saints are happy with God in Heaven. These are the ones we KNOW who are in Heaven. These are special individuals in as much as God, out of His free choice, granted them Grace (with their co-operation) to love Him and be close to Him in a special way.

We Catholics have our feet on the ground, or at least we should do. We are aware of our failings and our sins. We know that we are sinners but that God loves us. We strive to love God but we fail.

The happiness which Mother Teresa had was in doing God's will and serving Christ in the very poor. She was close to God in many ways, yet, even she talked of the desolation of the Cross and talked of feeling as if she had been 'abandoned'. Yet she was faithful to the end and for that, the Church believes, she was crowned in Heaven.

I am fully aware that happiness in worldly terms is what we often seek but we fail to find it.

Mother Teresa is a model, an example, a Blessed lady who gives us a model to follow, a pattern of life to imitate, a love for God which we too should seek.

We may not, as did she, find union with God in this life, but the fact that Saints exist give us, sinners, hope that it is possible. It is something to which we are all called to seek. We are called to seek the Face of God!

Gonzaga said...

Anon: "Not that this will sway you Laurence, but just to make it clear, marriage is not an exclusively Catholic thing."

Agreed the Ancient Greeks and Romans had varying and sophisticated forms of marriage but following the Marriage Feast at Cana the Church has taught that marriage is a Sacrament and therefore Holy and indissoluble. The Husband is able to help to sanctify his wife and likewise the wife her husband - it is a high calling and not to be entered into lightly.

Anonymous said...

Regarding MT: the Church presumably does NOT believe that she was crowned, since they have not yet made her a saint. We can't say for sure until they reach their verdict. - Pat

Anonymous said...

why does God need to bother coming back dressed as a judge if we meet him when we die anyway? Can't he just wait for everyone to die (since I think he can live for quite a long time, like a thousand years even, and he's got a massive beard so he must be dead old. My dad told me he was old, and he made the world too and all the animals - but then he tried to drown the animals, but they were alright cos he gave them a boat with a man called Noah. This must have happened cos it appeared in a book. Bit like the stuff in the Koran. But that's not true I don't think cos my dad didn't say it was, but it is in a book and stuff)

Gonzaga said...

Anon writes:

"There may be perfectly good theological grounds for prohibiting gay marriage (as I believe there are), but this should only mean that the Church refuses to recognise them. The state can do what it likes, and it certainly can't fall back on the same arguments. So my point is simply that civil gay marriages are nothing to do with us."

Civil Partnership (or as you loosely call them "Gay Marriage") is the public declaration of a homosexual couple that they intend to remain in a sinful relationship. Sodomy remains one of the sins crying out to heaven for vengeance.

As a loving Mother the Church urges those with homosexual tendencies to living chaste lives. How can the Church do anything else? Are we to abandon natural moral law and say that Civil Partnerships are as good as marriage?

I am happy to see that Fr Blake and Laurence are teaching the Gospel in season and out in Brighton.

Anonymous said...

Gonzaga: Agreed, I did try to clarify a bit further down but wasn;t clear about it - I am arguing that there is no justification for the Church opposing gay marriages in general, since by refusing to recognise them it can accomplish the same goals. If we were to argue that the mere fact of a union contrary to the Law of God being allowed is an abomination, even a civil union, then we presumably have to tell the Chinese that THEY can't marry (unless they seek to affirm the sacraments by doing so). What, after all, is the difference between an entirely secular marriage in China, and a gay marriage in England? Both are forms of civil engagement. Also, since we make up a very small proportion of the Uk population, aren't we becoming 'jihadists' by trying to impose our views on the secular world? I quite agree we should try to convert, but to try to block the freedoms of millions upon millions of non-believers simply because we don't agree with them is, well, I don;t know what. But if a different minority group tried to prevent us from worshipping because THEY didn't like it, then I would call bloody murder

The Bones said...

Pat...you got me! I've other blog posts to write so won't be commenting on this post for a while.

For enquiries on the intricacies of the Catholic faith there is this:


...and hopefully other commenters who will defend Her teachings.

Gonzaga said...

The Catholic Church has its own problems with SOHO Masses and the so-called Lavender Mafia.

There are so good articles on that topic here:


and the review of:

"GOODBYE! GOOD MEN: How Catholic Seminaries Turned Away Two Generations of Vocations From the Priesthood by Michael Rose"


We need to clean house first perhaps?

Anonymous said...

I don't claim it should do anything else - but this goes further, it is about the Church trying to prevent 'gay marriages' (or Civil Partnerships, as you prefer). Look, what goes around tends to come around, first we try to bully minorities, then realise we are a minority and get bullied back. It has happened to Catholics living here before, and it could happen again. We are effectively guests in a non-Catholic land, able to worship and practice freely by virtue of the freedom of that society. We should not, therefore, encourage attitudes which seek to erode the very freedom we depend upon

Gonzaga said...

Anon at 2 March 2010 20:40
(may I suggest that you adopt a name by pressing the button above "Anonymous" and writing something or other svp. That will make our discussion easier.)

You write:

"What, after all, is the difference between an entirely secular marriage in China, and a gay marriage in England? Both are forms of civil engagement."

The civil marriage in China (just to be absolutely clear - the union of a man and a woman) is in accordance with the natural moral law. God intends that a man should join with a woman, remain faithful to her and found a family. The primary purpose of marriage is the production of children. This Chinese couple by marrying are doing God's will.

The Civil Partners are acting contrary to God's will - the natural moral law.

The Civil

Patrick B said...

Again, agreed. But the Chinese couple might not have children! Anyway, they aren't getting married to please God, since they have no notion of our God (this, I assue you, is what my work-mate told me.) That book look sinteresting - good review too. I am a bit concerned with the overall point though; he seems to highlight systematic abuse of Church principles by those working within the Church. But then, what are Church principles but the principles determined by those working within the Church??

Patrick B said...

Also, I would add that Natural Law is a bit of a red-herring in this particular context, since it works by redoubling the force of God's Law. Since the argument is what to do with those who don't follow God's Law, you can't exactly tell them of Natural Law and expect it to be compelling (a secular concept of Natural Law might be anything from the laws of out and out materialism to the wild swinging sexuality of a chimp). By adding Natural Law to God's Law we are saying the same thing twice (as homosexuality IS present in nature, we have to mean by Natural 'that which God intends', but that presupposed belief in God)

Patrick B said...

BTW, your insistence upon the distinction between 'to marry' and 'to form a civil partnership' is still confusing. Like I said at the start, marriage is NOT universally a Catholic institution. Our word for marriage comes from the Sanskrit
'marya' (Hurrian: maria-nnu), which was used to refer to a young male warrior [Manfred Mayrhofer, Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen, Heidelberg 1986-2000]. To speak of marriage was to speak of the human treasures accumulated through war and conquest. It has no specific reference to anything like natural law, the stability of the family unit etc, it simply means to take something as your own. That can be another bloke if you are that way inclined

The Bones said...

Patrick B

'Go forth and multiply.'

Patrick B said...

Eh? I have. Me and Mrs B have two already. Both boys, so the B line will be going strong for a few generations to come I hope

The Bones said...

Sure...but you couldn't do it in a civil partnership.

Gonzaga... said...

Patrick B (good to be able to put a name to a face - Ha! Ha!)

To try to clarify the concept of natural law - the idea is that all men can know the natural law - it is as it were written into the conscience of every man and can be worked out by all men through the power of natural reason.

Killing the innocent is an example. Unless one's conscience is dulled all men know that murder is wrong.

Likewise telling lies is contrary to the natural law. The "Natural Law" is not always a "Law of Nature".

For this and other Catholic topics try the Catholic Encyclopedia:


"Founded in our nature and revealed to us by our reason, the moral law is known to us in the measure that reason brings a knowledge of it home to our understanding. The question arises: How far can man be ignorant of the natural law, which, as St. Paul says, is written in the human heart (Romans 2:14)? The general teaching of theologians is that the supreme and primary principles are necessarily known to every one having the actual use of reason. These principles are really reducible to the primary principle which is expressed by St. Thomas in the form: "Do good and avoid evil". Wherever we find man we find him with a moral code, which is founded on the first principle that good is to be done and evil avoided." from the Catholic Encyclopedia..

I hope this meets your objection that Natural Law is a red herring..

Anonymous said...

Nice one, thanks. p.s. it is in Romans 2:15 that "written in their hearts" appears!

Gonzaga... said...

Patrick B.

"To speak of marriage was to speak of the human treasures accumulated through war and conquest. It has no specific reference to anything like natural law, the stability of the family unit etc, it simply means to take something as your own. That can be another bloke if you are that way inclined.."

In a sense you may be correct that the origin of marriage may be to ensure that one's property is passed to one's children. (Gosh - passed to one's children - that requires one man and one woman!)

Also there are customs of giving dowries going back to ancient times.

Here is an interesting and simple site on Marriage in ancient Rome - there is a lot here about property rights...


Patrick B said...

If I follow that Romans passage correctly, Paul seems to be saying that even when non-believers perform actions which the Christian faith has deemed to be founded in Law, they are acting, albeit unwittingly, under the impulsion of the Natural Moral Law - is this a fair reading? So, for centuries and centuries prior to Christ, men had acted in a certain way, then Christ/Paul came along and said that actually, what you've been doing all along, motivated by a secular moral system, was actually part of God's moral system, you just didn't know it. And now we're going to take the fact that you act like that as PROOF that God devised such a system - right? This seems circular to me. Let's say I come along one day and say "you're only eating food because Xeno put the desire in your heart", then go around saying "we know of Xeno's Laws because he commanded that men eat, and even those who pretend they don't follow him continue to eat, which shows they have within them the trace of his command" -you'd be nonplussed, right?

Anonymous said...

Aye, isn't a dowry a fixed sum paid to get a man to take a woman off your hands though? Presumably it is part of cultures where women don't work but require feeding. I like the way you use the fact that you accept marriage is a vulgar means of ensuring the transmission of property then get all happy as if this confirms the Christian teaching (since the former implies children and the latter demands it). So what if marriage was about getting a son for a man to pass his cattle on to? Does this really confirm your point...

Gonzaga.. said...

Patrick B,

Natural Law - Part II

The Catholic Encyclopedia puts it better than I will but here goes...

You write:

"Paul seems to be saying that even when non-believers perform actions which the Christian faith has deemed to be founded in Law."

Since we need to be careful in our discussion may I ask what you mean by Law here?

Patrick B said...

Sorry - I meant 'Natural Moral Law' (I was just using a short title as I am lazy). I assume the passage means to say that the very fact that gentiles appear to have an intuition of the Natural Moral Law suggests that it is inscribed within their hearts, whether they are aware of who put it there or not. Is this correct (if so, you can get onto challenging the rest of the point I was making, if not, please, I would be happy to be corrected) -Pat

Physiocrat said...

All this publicity means we are not getting ignored, which is the worst thing of all.

Christian marriage is something that happens between a man and a woman. Civil partnership is not Christian marriage.

Actually I don't know why the Catholic church has made such a big thing of it, the usual reason is to do with property rights and inheritance rights. So far as tax and benefits are concerned, it is disadvantageous. There would be no objection to partners in a civil partnership taking communion as long as they have not been having sex and not gone to confession, which is the same as remarried divorcees. That is not unduly onerous or oppressive.

On the whole it is not a good idea to encourage same-sex partnerships amongst the young, but if they are really that way inclined, then as long as they don't force their choices on other people and are discreet about the matter, it would be a good idea if the rest of us minded our business.

But the kind of flaunty stuff we get in Brighton is getting up a lot of people's noses, not least, those of gay people who don't want to make an issue about what they do with their snopp.

Patrick B said...

Physiocrat: "Civil partnership is not Christian marriage."

Quite. I agree entirely. As I said above, the Church needs to make it clear that it does not recongise such unions as Christian marriages, that such unions are in effect ways of legitimising a relationship founded on the practice of what it declares to be a sin, and that the way to God is through the teachings of the Church. I could not agree more. But it should not, as you say, go any further

Patrick B said...

"But the kind of flaunty stuff we get in Brighton is getting up a lot of people's noses"

Again, I couldn't agree more. I think these vociferous demonstrations of sexuality do any community a disservice. I recall reading a great fictionalised report on an American gay pride parade in a humerous publication once; the non-gay observers all made comments to the tune of "I always thought gays were just normal people who were born inclined to express love to members of their own sex. At this parade, where men sprayed in gold paint are thrusting their groins out men dressed in gimp suits, I realise that I could not have been more wrong"!!!!!

Gongaza said...

Patrick B, (2 March 2010 23:34)


Dobrou noc, soudruh!**


(**Good night, Comrade) - Czech/Slovak communist greeting..

Anonymous said...

Your brave, caring and persistent witness is testament to your faith, hope and charity. I pray for you, Laurence!

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