Catholics and voting

This is interesting.  And it is irritating.

From WND:

America’s salvation depends on Catholics
Exclusive: Anita Crane reveals mind-blowing number not registered to vote

by Anita Crane

“The religious group that seems to be figuring most prominently in the presidential election right now is the Roman Catholic Church,” wrote AP’s Rachel Zoll in an article about vice presidential candidates Republican Rep. Paul Ryan and the incumbent, Democrat Joe Biden. While that one sentence is true, Ms. Zoll doesn’t seem to know what makes someone truly Catholic or not. Worse yet, a vast number of Catholic voters may not know, either.

Why does this matter? According the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, 77.7 million Americans declared themselves Catholic in 2011. That’s a hefty 24.9 percent of the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimated population for last year, and Catholics are supposed to be the champions of human rights. However, according to Brian Burch of, 20 percent of eligible Catholics – 15 million – are not registered to vote in this crucial election.

The Catholic Church rightly condemns all forms Marxism (collectivism, communism, socialism) – but few Catholics know it. The Church also condemns human laws permitting or coercing the crime of abortion, but many Catholics ignore it. (See more in the searchable Catholic Catechism.) Yet Barack Obama and the nominally Catholic Joe Biden are imposing Marxist dictates and abortions upon the American people, ….


The rest of the piece is wide-ranging and includes a bit about Bp. Morlino of Madison on VP-candidate Paul Ryan.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Dogs and Fleas, Emanations from Penumbras, Liberals, New Evangelization, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, Religious Liberty, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Johnno says:

    Voting won’t help much anyway so understandably a lot of people are disillusioned with it. When the establishment already decides which candidates you have to choose between or both are cut from the same cloth and the entire process is rigged and the end result inevitable no matter who you put there, then what’s the point? I’d even go so far as to say it was decided well in advance that Obama would be the man to carry out the establishment agenda. And that establishment is not necessarily ‘American’ either. It’s a club of global elites who seek to consolidate power and eliminate a great deal of the global population to make managing the human race more efficient. God has allowed a great deception to take place upon the world, and the world wants it to be so. No man in office can help you now. No human ruler is of any consequence. Turn back to God!

    [Make sure you VOTE.]

  2. Anne Marie says:

    Dear Father,
    This is the instruction we get at my parish from our pastor.
    Warning: will cause headache.

  3. Bob B. says:

    I can’t help but to also blame our Church leaders. They have ALL talked a good game but not one has imposed Canon 915. To the laity this implies that either they don’t care to lead or they are afraid to cause a stir. The milk-toast Catholic politicians keep getting re-elected and they let everyone know they are supposedly Catholic, nonetheless.
    One has to ask: What would happen if (even a few) bishops got together and imposed sanctions on these un-Catholic catholic politicians before the election? We could have an honest debate about the role of religion in America (et al) and these habitually reelected types would be left to the wind when they talk about “their” church for they have forsaken it.

  4. frjim4321 says:

    However, according to Brian Burch of, 20 percent of eligible Catholics – 15 million – are not registered to vote in this crucial election.

    Curious about his source for that.

    Yet Barack Obama and the nominally Catholic Joe Biden are imposing Marxist dictates

    An assumption based on facts not in evidence. She’s not doing much for her credibility.

  5. kab63 says:

    Last night I sat in on the 7th grade faith formation class. The class was not horrible, thank God. Out of the blue, though, I hear one of the teachers telling a student that “Christianity is the foundation for communism.” I’m still reeling. I believe this teacher was no wacky Lib but an honorable Catholic. How in the world do these — well, HERESIES — take hold?

  6. wmeyer says:

    “Christianity is the foundation for communism.”

    How on earth could she reach that conclusion? The most obvious answer I can imagine is near total ignorance of Church teaching.

  7. Austin Catholics says:

    If Anita Crane want to convince people and for others to take her seriously, she should avoid making ridiculous assertions like:

    “Yet Barack Obama and the nominally Catholic Joe Biden are imposing Marxist dictates and abortions upon the American people,”

    This is practically over-the-top self parody.

  8. kab63 says:

    The teacher, a man, grabbed a Bible and began looking through Acts to support his position. (Good for the young man who continued to question him.) I think the teacher wanted Acts 4:35 “distribution of goods”. Clearly he was backwards and forwards wrong that this phrase in any way defines or supports communism. And the middle of class was no time for me to challenge him. Very uncomfortable situation.

  9. acardnal says:

    “The historical experience of socialist countries has sadly demonstrated that collectivism does not do away with alienation but rather increases it, adding to it a lack of basic necessities and economic inefficiency.”
    –Blessed John Paul II

  10. The Masked Chicken says:

    The class was not horrible, thank God. Out of the blue, though, I hear one of the teachers telling a student that “Christianity is the foundation for communism.”

    Ah, for want of two letters. Christianity is the more-or-less foundation for commun(al)ism, as in the formation of religious communities (the Elijian type ante-evangelical Cumran communities are similarly based on theological ideologies) as well as groups which put their money into a common pot (as in the early Church communities). The confusion is a common error stemming from a misunderstanding of communism. In fact, Marx was against communalism as defined, above. This is not to be confused with the twentieth-century use of the word as a type of libertarian political party politics.

    The Chicken

  11. Johnno says:

    Bob B.

    – They are afraid of violating that good ol’ Church State Separation that might violate that good ol’ tax examption if they ever get too explicit. One of many reasons why the Church ought to seriously think over whether keeping the tax exempt status is worth it in the long run. There are obvious benefits, but not when it acts as a muzzle against the Gospel. We will have a more difficult time without the tax breaks, but at least they can’t shut us up.


    – What Obama, Biden etc. are doing is following the same old road to Marxist Communism. But so are the Republicans. And so are the American and Canadian people. The prophecies of Our Lady of Fatima are coming true.

    kab63, wmeyer

    – One could blame Vatican II’s new era of ecumenism that refused to comdemn communism in order for the Russian Orthodox Observers to attend, and also numerous Pope’s continual failures to consecrate Russia to Mary’s Immaculate Heart in union with the world’s bishops to gain God’s divine assistance to prevent the errors of Communism from spreading in the Church and worldwide. Instead we got Vatican II and emphasis on ecumenism. A man made solution to a problem far beyond man’s control. The Church as a whole is now reaping the consequences of its disobedience to God.

    The dictates in the Bible about sharing of goods etc. are dictates on the individual doing it of his own accord. Not delegating his moral duties to the government. At the final judgment it will be you, individually and alone judged for your personal actions and pains. Not as a collective whole, not with an elected representative congress in place of you. Just you. Saying you voted to elect men to feed the hungry and clothe the poor and protect the definition of marriage when you didn’t do any of that yourself is not sufficient enough to cover our personal duty to personally feed one hungry man, or clothe one naked child or confront and teach and love and convert and support correctly one homosexual. And what good is feeding a man with earthly food or clothing him if in the end he will end up in hell? We have placed earth above heaven and missed sight of the goal. Best to quote Christ back at that teacher when He said, “The poor will always be with you, but I will not be with you always.” And then give him a lesson in common sense that bad government policies, however well intentioned they may be, will not help the poor if they end up bringing more families to poverty, nor is eliminating the poor through abortion helping if the decreased birthrate only brings down the entire economy overtime. Not that it is ever right to take a life for your benefit. Obama can personally write a million dollar cheque to every poor person if they would only kill their child in the womb or outside the womb, so that there’d be more money to go around to whoever’sremaining in the world, but would be immoral to take it.

  12. The Masked Chicken says:

    You know, 47% of the U. S. population self-identifies as either Baptists or Catholics and if they all voted and held to their religious teachings, Obama would never get more than a few percent of the votes. Here is a breakdown by religious affiliation from the 2008 election:

    Now, I hate to say it, but it is the marginal and liberal Catholics who are going to swing this election – the ones who are Christmas/Easter Catholics who probably can’t even tell who their bishop is and the one’s who think there is no such thing as infallibility. They aren’t really voting with a clear understanding of their religious teachings, by and large. The issues are far far more polarized than in 2008. Obama is a known quantity.

    He has no desire to shrink the number of abortions. He simply doesn’t care, as evidenced by the many opportunities he has had to speak convincingly to the issue. He says, without proof, that increasing the opportunities for poor people will stem abortion rates. There is no science in this statement. People, by and large, do not get abortions because they are poor (although the MSM would have you believe this). Stand in front of abortion clinics and see how many really “poor” people are trying to get in. Heck, many of the poor who are on welfare want children so they have a higher income from the government. It is those who can’t get on welfare who might try to abort.

    Most women want abortions either to further their already lucrative life-style or because of shame or because they want brutal control over their lives. These reason are not going to change by helping the poor. There is at least some evidence that it is not poverty that causes abortions, but, rather, that abortions cause poverty by breaking up stable relationships and creating psychological stress.

    Studies have been done using the Hyde Amendment that seem to indicate that abortion rates go up dramatically when there is government funding available and go down when it is not available. In any case, Obama does not want to reduce the abortion rate, so it makes no sense for him to implement policies that do. If he reduced the abortion rate, more people would be having babies that are “penalties” or worse, using silent abortifaciants like the Morning After Pill. His logic is contradictory. He can’t come out and say that he wants blanket access to abortions because that would alienate his soft targets – the marginal religious. After the election, it will become the de facto law of the land.

    One could make similar comments about foreign policies. Obama is no Eisenhower and not even a Nixon. Who in the world is afraid of Obama, seriously?

    The only way, I fear, to stop the influence of misinformed Catholics (in the sense of not understanding the hierarchy of evil acts) in the current U. S. politics is by a frontal attack on their ability to call themselves Catholics. This must begin with clear, unambiguous teachings by all of the bishops. It is not enough to say that the HHS mandate violates religious liberties. They have to be in the preparation stages, right now, for shutting down hospitals and nursing homes or converting them to Catholic-only facilities. If enough people see that they mean business, it might make them think that their religion is something to get serious about. That is the problem – religion is not a matter of life and death for these Catholics. It is more like a game.

    Make no mistake – Catholics are going to lose this election for Catholics and they are going to do it by the same actions they took in 2008 – by not taking their faith seriously, but merely as a little cautionary tale that can be used to promote almost anything.

    I don’t want to write any more. It gets depressing.

    The Chicken

  13. Fr. William says:

    I have made the comment several times recently: “If you do not vote then you have no right to complain afterwards. If you vote for Obama expecting him to be someone other than he has been then shame on you and you have no right to complain.” We cannot remove ourselves from the process no matter the imperfection of the candidates. We are joyfully obligated to participate in this exercise. I may not like Mitt Romney on all things and I most certainly would have preferred a different Republican nominee but he is the nominee and he is most certainly a moral man who stands on moral principles which is far more than I can say for the current occupant of the White House. May God have mercy on us and bless us and may we embrace the right and privilege of being able to vote by participating and voting as Catholics: fiathful and free!

  14. Bastiat Fan says:

    This is precisely why I joined an organization I would highly recommend all of Fr. Z’s readers take a look at: I joined, volunteered, and am spending my free time trying to get Catholic folks registered.

  15. Giuseppe says:

    Re. voter ID laws and nuns, here’s what happens when you make old nuns get IDs with expiration dates (PA’s new law, which will probably be struck down tomorrow.) This is from Roman Catholic Scranton PA (which will vote solidly Democratic in November.)

  16. frjim4321 says:

    I had made a wonderfully cogent comment that my BlackBerry ate while I was out at dinner. Now I can’t remember it. I can’t wait to replace the BB with an iPhone 5.

    Anyway, it was something about how the polls seem to determine Catholicism on the basis of self-report, and that could include a lot of people who really don’t participate any more.

    I wondered if you took the whole population defined by the pollsters as “Catholic” if their voting behavior would be predicable more by socioeconomic status than anything else?

    Generally I have the sense that affluent voters are most likely predicable as Romney voters and blue collar and lower demographics are more likely predictable as Obama voters?

    So, if this is true, dwelling on the “percentage of Catholics” voting for either candidate may really be unimportant if the overarching variable is s/e status.

    Further, as I brought up in another string, I’m pretty sure if you take the Hispanic vote out of the formula Catholic voters for for Romney.

  17. Clinton R. says:

    As we see from the latest polls that many “Catholics” are going to vote for Obama, it brings to my mind the Gospel account of the Passion of Christ. It is as if we are once again presented the choice of Jesus or Barabbas. Only this time, the people of God are presented the choice of Jesus or Obama.

    Pilate: I can give to you either Jesus or Obama.

    Liberal “Catholics” (LC): Give us Obama!

    Pilate: What evil has Jesus done?

    LC: “We are beyond Jesus”, say the polyester wearing, habitless nuns. “Jesus has to change with the times”, say the rainbow vestment wearing priests. “We need a Jesus in tune with those good Episcopalians.”

    Pilate: Isn’t Jesus your Savior?

    LC: Obama respects women’s rights, gay marriage and the right to contraception!

    Priests in cassocks and birettas, nuns resplendent in habits and God fearing men and women in one voice said: “Brothers and sisters, did not St. Peter say we should obey God and not man? How can you support this man that favors unnatural marriage and the killing of the unborn?”

    LC: Vah, you who love the Mass in that terrible Latin. Nobody speaks that dead language. Go back to the Dark ages with your indulgences, novenas and frequent confessions. President Obama is the embodiment of the Spirit of Vatican II.He is all inclusive and non judgemental. Just like the new Pentecost of Vatican II. Don’t you just love that fresh air that was brought into the Church?

    Pilate: So, is this Jesus not your King?

    LC: We have no King but Obama! Obama! Obama! Obama!

    May the Lord have mercy upon us. May the Blessed Virgin Mary pray for us. And may hardened hearts be softened.

  18. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    KAB63: I’d guess he was looking for Acts 2:44, “habebunt omnia communia” – which does not affect the cogency of Johnno’s remarks (5:24 p.m.). C.S. Lewis used to teach a political philosophy course that began with “Platonic Communism” (!), so one may note pre-Christian sources…

    Supporting Fr. Z’s call, “Make sure you VOTE”, it is usually possible to go some way to discovering what a given candidate (for whatever office) stands for (legislatively, often on the basis of past voting) and to vote for the ones upholding natural law positions (which does not seem to be the case of those in ‘Natural Law’ parties, etc.!).

  19. tonyfernandez says:

    “If voting changed anything, it would be made illegal.”

    I don’t vote because, IMO, I disagree with the premise that I can, by force, impose my beliefs on others. Now, for things that are intrinsic evils like murder and abortion, then yes, there absolutely should be laws against aggression. But what about the rest? Should my congressman be able to vote for a tax increase for the entire nation? No, because I disagree with the concept of taxation, especially when done over an extremely wide geographical area. What ever happened to subsidiarity?

    I much prefer the voluntary route of doing things. That is, if I want a change to be accomplished, I want it to be done because I’ve convinced people to do so, not because I force them to do so. After all, in the charity example, what spiritual benefit is derived if you are forced to give (nevermind the problem of the creation of a class of dependents via these expected benefits)? There is no love in forced charity.

    If you want to advocate for real change, change the entire system and spurn the national government.

  20. Sissy says:

    “I want it to be done because I’ve convinced people to do so, not because I force them to do so. ”

    tonyfernandez, I have never heard casting a vote referred to as exercising “force” before. Can you explain how registering a preference represents “force”? I’m confused.

  21. tonyfernandez says:

    I’ll use an easy example. Let’s say that we’re voting on the income tax rate. Voting yes raises it to 35%, and voting no keeps it at it’s current 25% (hypothetical situation, of course). I would much rather that the tax rate be kept at 25% rather than raised to 35%. That said, my voting on the proposition is a tacit agreement that I personally can force people to pay taxes. I don’t agree with the premise and I think that the income tax never should have been instituted. Therefore, by voting on it, I am, in essence, giving my approval. I much rather would have a tax rate of 0%, but that choice is not given to us.

    And that is the point: we are not presented with real choices. It’s much like this election. You can vote for a guy who wants the health care mandate, wanted the stimulus, wanted the auto bailout, and uses drone attacks to kill innocent people, or you can vote for a guy who instituted a health care mandate, wanted the stimulus, wanted the auto bailouts, and would also certainly use drone attacks to kill innocent people. They’ve also both supported abortion. So where is the difference?

    As a supporter of subsidiarity, I cannot, in good conscience, give my tacit approval to the idea of the national government running the entire nation. It’s wrong, and I want them in no way to get the idea that I support their use of force.

  22. Facta Non Verba says:

    @tonyf: Please give consideration that people can change their positions on issues when they learn more information or have a real change of heart. I think you need to pay attention to what the candidates’ respective positions are today and why they hold those positions. I think we do agree that we want to avoid those candidates who change positions on issues simply for political expediency.
    Re subsidiarity: I agree and support subsidiarity, and one of the best ways of ensuring that subsidiarity is allowed to function is by electing candidates who will appoint judges to the federal bench who embrace federalism.

  23. tonyfernandez says:

    @Facta Non Verba. I concede that people can change positions. However, I’m not going to ever vote for a guy who sees no problem with welfare, social security, etc., other than the fact that they’re underfunded.

    Also, the argument about judges seems to have been completely dispelled by John Roberts.

  24. Sissy says:

    tonyferguson, you are describing direct democracy. Our system of government is not a democracy; we have a Constitutional Republic. Republican federalism is the closest form of government I can think of to subsidiarity. I think you are confused about how our system of government is organized.

  25. Sissy says:

    Sorry, I was addressing tonyfernandez. My apologies.

  26. tonyfernandez says:

    Yes, we have a Constitutional Republic, but in name only . Our government has ignored the Constitution for well over a century. And as for federalism? That ended with the Civil War.

  27. wmeyer says:

    tonyfernandez: So in making that declaration, you give your approval to the tyranny which has resulted?

  28. Sissy says:

    tonyfernandez, I think you are giving in to despair. That is exactly what our ancient enemy wants you to do. Our country is in trouble, but things are not nearly so dire as you fear. Be of good cheer, resolve to do your best to practice your duty of citizenship, and trust our merciful Lord to always work His good will for His creation. I will pray for you right now, that hope will be rekindled in your spirit.

  29. tonyfernandez says:

    @wmeyer: How have I in any way given my approval to what out government has transformed into?

  30. tonyfernandez says:

    I’m confident that change can happen. I just put no faith in the voting booth.

  31. Sissy says:

    tonyf, you don’t have to put faith in the voting booth. But you can put your faith in the Lord who raises up leaders as He sees fit. He sometimes elevates an evil king to chasten His people. That, too, is for our ultimate good. Voting is a civic duty and responsibility. It simply isn’t the case that voting is a negative or even a neutral activity. You are not powerless.

  32. PA mom says:

    tonyf, I would like to add a point. In fact, a redirecting of the country toward Federalism is exactly what some people have pointed to as a bright light in the otherwise dismal Obamacare decision. The fact that it strengthens the States’ standing to say, “No thanks,” to certain agendas of the Federal government without risking losing other related, or even unrelated revenues.
    If that turns out to be true, it is a newly sharpened weapon for the States’ who choose to use it. Hence, judges are disproportionately important. But to finish, read up on Reagan and what happened in the years after his election. Economy, national security, employment, up, up, up. Not perfect, no one is, but that all would have been unimaginable under Carter. Some people will not face the fact that the right thing is something which is outside their agenda.

  33. Facta Non Verba says:

    TonyF says, “the argument about judges seems to have been completely dispelled by John Roberts.”
    I concede that Chief Justice Roberts may have got the one about constitutionality of the individual mandate wrong, but I don’t think that means the argument is “completely dispelled.” There have been many, many more decisions of the Chief Justice that were in agreement with principles of federalism and which took a strict constructionist viewpoint. In addition, don’t forget the rest of the bench including Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito, who are often deciding cases consistent with principles including judicial restraint / strict constructionism / or federalism.
    One of the most compelling reasons to vote in this election is that the President appoints judges to the federal bench. Just because one judge may get a decision wrong now and then is not a reason to dismiss this as a compelling reason to vote.

  34. wmeyer says:

    Tonyf: By your own logic, your casting a vote on any proposition is a tacit agreement to support the system as it stands, in violation of the Constitution.

    My position is that the FedGov is in violation, and Obama in particular, as he has so extensively used EOs to sidestep the legislative branch. We can’t simply shrug off the violations, no matter how long they have been occurring. Instead, we need to hold our various elected people to account, and demand that these violations be overturned.

  35. SKAY says:

    tony fernandez–your view of things at the moment will certainly come true with four more years of Obama. You have the opportunity to help start turning the battleship around this year-even if it is not fast enough for any of us–but you may not even have that opportunity in four more years.
    Hugo Chavez said he would vote for Obama if he could–he knows they are kindred spirits.
    We should be embarrassed that Obama’s idology is the kind of government we might be leaving our children and grandchildren. Remember-Obama wanted any child that survived abortion in his state–to be killed anyway. Does he even have a conscience?

    Yes–we are all disappointed with Justice Roberts decision. We will have to see how the future decisions go- but -I still have hope. If Obama gets another Supreme Court appointment–there will be no hope if it is replacing one of the more conservative judges. I have hope that Romney will do better.

    R Clinton–your idea and comment about the Passion of Christ has been going through my mind also for quite a while–and the Democrats reaction to putting the word God back into their platform said it all. It was put in for political reasons – not because the delagates wanted it.
    After it was over I thought-somewhere a cock is crowing. The whole thing gave me chills.

  36. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    wmweyer says most truly, “We can’t simply shrug off the violations, no matter how long they have been occurring. Instead, we need to hold our various elected people to account, and demand that these violations be overturned.”

    Voting (always assuming no overwhelmingly successful fraud – for which there is a lot of room at the moment) is a particular chance to try to do so, though even in (what is left of?) a Constitutional Republic it seem perilously close to no more than what some European languages call ‘a democratic moment’ – a sort of ritualized blip before (whatever assortment of) ‘our Masters’ get on with whatever they were planning, again.

    But what else, practically speaking, can we do? How can we be effective ‘widows in the parable’?

  37. Johnno says:

    Venerator Sti Lot: “But what else, practically speaking, can we do?”

    Something difficult. Something uncomfortable. Something that requires breaking from a cycle we are used to.

    There are two options to weigh…

    – Can be done peacfully, or violently. Both have their advantages. It will probably take both. Inevitably there are some situations and men for whom only violence and death are applicable to stop them. Both peaceful and violent means will be met with the same resistence: force and violence. The peaceful means requires less violence on their part, to an extent. For likely nothing will irritate them more than to see a contrasted mirror held up to their faces and not liking what they see back, in which case sometimes the most peaceful are the most violently opposed. Maybe violent revolt will result in an easier and quicker death and less suffering. The point would be to destabalize the plans of evil men. If necessary do absolutely nothing. Ground their entire plan to a halt, because you are the cogs they need. Be stubborn and prepared to mee the consequences of it. It can be done peacefully, but it requires a strong faith in the afterlife and God. Show them that we are willing to sacrifice our lives just for the sole purpose of not obeying them. You may be jailed, beaten, tortured, killed, or have to stand by and watch people you love suffer those in your place just to torture you mentally. but so long as your resist speaking little aas Christ did to Pilate, the future will be successful because of you, though you may not live to see it. Which is why they want to eliminate God. Insecurity of life after death and atheism make you more useful and willing to work for them to obtain worldly happiness, no matter how meagre.

    2. Miracle
    – I believe the Church has one it is unwilling to use. This option is still there and God waits for their signal. Don’t ask me what this entails. All I know is that option number 2 may not be so far from option number 1. All it may require is option number 1 be exercised. But like I said, option number 1 requires us to be sacrificial and stubborn lambs in the face of evil. Still, option number 1 would be useless apart from option number 2 which requires divine intervention for anything to work. God gave us an easy or a hard part to follow. It’s up to us and the Pope and Bishops to decide. For you see, God saw all this coming when He sent Our Lady to Fatima to prophecize it, and prove it by virtue of the greatest miracle of our times. That’s a very comfortable thought! Another miracle awaits. So that right there is reason for optimism. But it will be us who decide how long and how badly we will suffer before that time.

    So in a sense you really have only one option afforded to you…

    Prepare for persecution. Mentally. Financially. Physically. Do the right thing, no matter what it costs you. Pray. Pray. Pray that God gives you the strength and courage to do this. That He gives you the gift of rightfully discerning proper course of action, whether that action be peaceful or violent. Petition the Holy Father to obey God’s conditions for our deliverance.

    That’s it. Sometimes the only option is the best option. Well the other one is, “If you can’t beat ’em join’ em.” But you already know they’re on the losing side of that war.

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