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 Schizophrenic Faith & Reason #1 Modernist Problem 
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New post Schizophrenic Faith & Reason #1 Modernist Problem
(This thread comes from an edited version of the Fisheaters thread "Gaudium et Spes 36. and Faith & Reason," which was originally on Catholic Answers Forums but, not surprisingly, censored.)

Introduction
After reading the First Vatican Council's excellent dogmatic decree that won unanimous support by council fathers, Dei Filius, which contains the famous canon II. 1. on the ability of natural reason to come to know God's existence and Chapter IV. on Faith and Reason, I cannot help but comparing it to the self-contradictory Second Vatican Council's Gaudium et Spes, which only cites the First Vatican Council twice,* once in section 36. ("Rightful Autonomy of Earthly Affairs") and again in section 59. ("Proper Harmony Between Forms of Culture"), both in the context of faith and reason. Also, Section 36. implicitly refers to the Galileo affair in its citation of Msgr. Pio Paschini's Vita e opere di Galileo Galilei.

The traditional Franciscan Br. Alexis Bugnolo, student of Dr. Peter Kreeft and author of an excellent site of Vatican II resources, comments on Gaudium et Spes 36. in his "The Trouble with Gaudium et Spes:"
Quote:
36. §2 Consequently, we cannot but deplore certain habits of mind, which are sometimes found too among Christians, which do not sufficiently attend to the rightful independence of science and which, from the arguments and controversies they spark, lead many minds to conclude that faith and science are mutually opposed.(7) [It is erroneous to speak of a "rightful independence of science" since empirical science depends upon eternal Truth, inasmuch as it is through Him that all things came into being, all things which are the object of the empirical sciences, and inasmuch as empirical science perfects the human mind by knowledge, it depends upon the Eternal Truth who is the Word of the Father, who is the cause of the intellectual light. Hence it is and has no rightful independence from the Creator, who is the God of Christianity,( cf. St. Bonaventure's "Return of the Arts to Theology") The Council Fathers themselves, to their credit, noticed this deviation, and corrected it in 36 §3, which clearly shows the divergence of tendencies among them.]
Gaudium et Spes 36. appears to go against, e.g., Pope St. Pius X's encyclical against Modernism Pascendi sections 16. and 17., "Faith and Science" and "Faith Subject to Science." To quote Pascendi:
Quote:
17 It would be a great mistake, nevertheless, to suppose that, according to these theories [of the Modernists, mentioned in section 16.], one is allowed to believe that faith and science are entirely independent of each other. [...] Thus it is evident [to the Modernists and in Gaidium et Spes 36.] that science is to be entirely independent of faith, while on the other hand, and notwithstanding that they are supposed to be strangers to each other, faith is made subject to science. All this, Venerable Brethren, is in formal opposition to the teachings of Our predecessor, Pius IX, where he lays it down that: "In matters of religion it is the duty of philosophy not to command but to serve, not to prescribe what is to be believed, but to embrace what is to be believed with reasonable obedience, not to scrutinize the depths of the mysteries of God, but to venerate them devoutly and humbly." [...] [Not to] "turn the head into the tail and force the queen to serve the handmaid[, the other sciences being the handmaidens of the science of sacra doctrina (cf. Summa q. 1 a. 5)]."
(For a full exposition of sections 16. and 17. of Pascendi in Fr. John Fitzpatrick's Catechism of Modernism, click here.)

Vatican II never cites Pascendi once, which is not surprising because combating Modernism, which Pope St. Pius X feared could resurface again in the future, was his top priority.

So my question is: Where has the "spirit of Vatican I" gone? Where has the true, Catholic, Thomistic doctrine of faith and reason gone? Why has Vatican II supplanted it with a Protestant fideism that even atheists abhor? Why has Vatican II completely overshadowed Vatican I?

*Interestingly, the other Vatican II documents that cited Vatican I are:
Code:
# times cited:          Vatican I Vatican II
Lumen Gentium           11        3
Dei Verbum              8         0
Gaudium et Spes         2         16
Unitatis Redintegratio  1         0
Cf. also Chapter 1 of Philosophy & Catholic Theology: A Primer by Philip A. Egan for a treatment o faith and reason in Dei Filius and Gaudium et Spes.

We Need a "New St. Thomas"?
The issue of faith and reason is the crux of the whole Vatican II crisis. The relationship between the Church with society and the Church with other religions (e.g., Dignitatis Humanæ) follows from how one views the relationship between faith and reason.

Benedict XVI thinks the faith and reason issue is very important, too, as evidenced, in his Regensburg Lecture and his 2005 Christmas address to the Roman Curia (the "hermeneutic of continuity" speech). The latter says (my emphasis and [comments]:
Quote:
The steps the Council took towards the modern era which had rather vaguely been presented as "openness to the world", belong in short to the perennial problem of the relationship between faith and reason that is re-emerging in ever new forms. The situation that the Council had to face can certainly be compared to events of previous epochs.

In his First Letter, St Peter urged Christians always to be ready to give an answer (apo-logia) to anyone who asked them for the logos, the reason for their faith (cf. 3: 15).

This meant that biblical faith had to be discussed and come into contact with Greek culture and learn to recognize through interpretation the separating line but also the convergence and the affinity between them in the one reason, given by God.

When, in the 13th century through the Jewish and Arab philosophers, Aristotelian thought came into contact with Medieval Christianity formed in the Platonic tradition and faith and reason risked entering an irreconcilable contradiction, it was above all St Thomas Aquinas who mediated the new encounter between faith and Aristotelian philosophy, thereby setting faith in a positive relationship with the form of reason prevalent in his time [So he thinks human reason evolves over time‽]. There is no doubt that the wearing dispute between modern reason and the Christian faith, which had begun negatively with the Galileo case, went through many phases, but with the Second Vatican Council the time came when broad new thinking was required.

Its content was certainly only roughly traced in the conciliar texts, but this determined its essential direction, so that the dialogue between reason and faith, particularly important today, found its bearings on the basis of the Second Vatican Council.
The problem with this is that Benedict XVI thinks there needs to be a new St. Thomas Aquinas to reconcile our faith with "modern reason," viz., with what Pope Pius IX and Pope Pius X, respectively, condemned: Catholicism is compatible with modern civilization (Syllabus of Errors, 80.) and Catholicism is incompatible with true science (Lamentabili Sane, 65.); hence, modern civilization and true science are incompatible. Therefore, Benedict XVI's hope for a new St. Thomas Aquinas and a reconciliation with "modern reason" is futile.

It is very difficult to lead one to the faith who is deceived in his principles, the "preambles of faith" (cf. Summa II-II q. 156 a. 3 ad 2).

John Paul II, at times a Thomist who saw the limitations in his personalism approach, nevertheless seems to agree that there needs to be a "new St. Thomas Aquinas," too, because in Fides et Ratio 78. he thinks we should only imitate St. Thomas Aquinas's method, not adopt his very principles (my emphasis):
Quote:
78. It should be clear in the light of these reflections why the Magisterium has repeatedly acclaimed the merits of Saint Thomas' thought and made him the guide and model for theological studies. This has not been in order to take a position on properly philosophical questions nor to demand adherence to particular theses. The Magisterium's intention has always been to show how Saint Thomas is an authentic model for all who seek the truth. In his thinking, the demands of reason and the power of faith found the most elevated synthesis ever attained by human thought, for he could defend the radical newness introduced by Revelation without ever demeaning the venture proper to reason.
Paul VI thought otherwise in his speech on the 700th anniversary of the death of St. Thomas Aquinas, Lumen Ecclesiæ 29. (my emphasis):
Quote:
[...] to be a faithful disciple of St. Thomas today, it is not enough to want to do in our time and with the means available today that which he did in his. Contenting oneself with imitating him, like walking on a parallel street without nothing to draw from him, one would with difficulty arrive at a positive result or, at least, offer to the Church and to the world that contribution of wisdom which they need. One cannot, in fact, speak of true and fecund loyalty if one does not receive, almost from his own hands, his principles which also illuminate the most important problems of philosophy and to the better understanding of the faith in these our times and, similarly, the fundamental notions of his system and his dynamic ideas. Only so, the thought of the Angelic Doctor, confronted always with new contributions of profane science, will meet—through a sort of mutual osmosis—a new, thriving, lively development. [my translation of the Italian]
Amen, Paul VI!

Full Analysis of Gaudium et Spes 36.
Let me post the full Gaudium et Spes 36. with [my comments in red]
Quote:
36 Now many of our contemporaries seem to fear that a closer bond between human activity and religion will work against the independence of men, of societies, or of the sciences.
[Here begins the paragraph that says autonomy means "that science is to be entirely independent of faith" (Pascendi 17.):]
If by the autonomy of earthly affairs we mean that created things and societies themselves enjoy their own laws and values which must be gradually deciphered, put to use, and regulated by men, then it is entirely right to demand that autonomy. [Yet civil laws are a participation in the Divine Law. From where do civil laws against murder, e.g., derive if not from the 5th commandment? From where do these "values" come without acknowledging God? Do we discover or invent them ourselves and later "impose" them on God, as though God proceeds from man? That is certainly Modernistic.] Such is not merely required by modern man [Why? Modern man must be entirely independent of God?], but harmonizes also with the will of the Creator. [Yes, it is His will that created things be contingent. He does not meddle in nature as the Protestant Intellegient Design movement would have it; He is the very creator of said nature. But it is certainly not His will that modern man rebel against God and seek his own Godless autonomy.] For by the very circumstance of their having been created, all things are endowed with their own stability, truth, goodness, proper laws and order. [This sounds dangerously pantheistic or deistic. All creatures subsist in themselves, after God creates them, independently of God? Also, how does one understand "goodness" without the Supreme Good, "truth" without the "Ultimate Truth," etc.?] Man must respect these as he isolates them by the appropriate methods of the individual sciences or arts. Therefore if methodical investigation within every branch of learning is carried out in a genuinely scientific manner and in accord with moral norms [The fact morality is brought up presupposes a Divine Legislator, but GS is still assuming here that science is independent of that, or, perhaps, subjected to faith. (Dei Filius would say science is subjected to faith.)], it never truly conflicts with faith, for earthly matters and the concerns of faith derive from the same God. (6) Indeed whoever labors to penetrate the secrets of reality with a humble and steady mind, even though he is unaware of the fact, is nevertheless being led by the hand of God, who holds all things in existence, and gives them their identity. Consequently, we cannot but deplore certain habits of mind, which are sometimes found too among Christians, which do not sufficiently attend to the rightful independence of science and which, from the arguments and controversies they spark, lead many minds to conclude that faith and science are mutually opposed.(7) [Is not this inevitable "if methodical investigation within every branch of learning is [truly] carried out in a genuinely scientific manner and in accord with [Catholic, God-given] moral norms"? If not, then "faith is made subject to science" (Pascendi 17.). Who or what judges which "independence" is "rightful"? The sole fact of not leading "many minds to conclude that faith and science are mutually opposed"? Also, if "Christians" here can include Intelligent Design movement Protestants, then GS is correct in saying they can "lead many minds to conclude that faith and science are mutually opposed."]

6. Cf. First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapter III: (DS 3004-3005) (1785-1186).
7. Cf. Msgr. Pio Paschini, Vita e opere di Galileo Galilei, 2 volumes, Vatican Press (1964).

But if the expression, the independence of temporal affairs, is taken to mean that created things do not depend on God [But isn't this precisely the meaning of "autonomy" in the previous paragraph where God is seemingly a transcendent, deistic God who is not continually immanent in sustaining the existences and natures of His creatures?], and that man can use them without any reference to their Creator [This seems to be what the previous paragraph implies by "autonomy".], anyone who acknowledges God will see how false such a meaning is. For without the Creator the creature would disappear. [Indeed] For their part, however, all believers of whatever religion always hear His revealing voice in the discourse of creatures. [Perhaps this also means "always hear His Divine Reason governing creation."] When God is forgotten, however, the creature itself grows unintelligible. [So if modern science is intelligibly to study creatures, it must recognize God.]

Q&As from Fisheaters User "Verbum incarnatur"
Quote:
For me, the most startling claim in the passages of Gaudium et Spes you've been quoting is that science must be independent from faith. There is a dangerous assumption behind that statement: science can never be in error regarding facts about the world and the world's history.
Exactly! Scientism is precisely what Pope St. Pius X warns against in the Pascendi sections 16 and 17. Contrast this with Vatican I's Dei Filius IV. (my emphasis):
Quote:
Reason, indeed, enlightened by faith, when it seeks earnestly, piously, and calmly, attains by a gift from God some, and that a very fruitful, understanding of mysteries; partly from the analogy of those things which it naturally knows, partly from the relations which the mysteries bear to one another and to the last end of man; but reason never becomes capable of apprehending mysteries as it does those truths which constitute its proper object.
[...]
But although faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason, since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind; and God can not deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth.
[...]
And not only can faith and reason never be opposed to one another, but they are of mutual aid one to the other; for right reason demonstrates the foundations of faith, and, enlightened by its light cultivates the science of things divine; while faith frees and guards reason from errors, and furnishes it with manifold knowledge.
[...]
For the doctrine of faith which God hath revealed has not been proposed, like a philosophical invention, to be perfected by human ingenuity, but has been delivered as a divine deposit to the Spouse of Christ, to be faithfully kept and infallibly declared.
Quote:
What if tomorrow discoveries were made that verified the book of Genesis as an essentially historical account of the beginning of the cosmos or at least the planet and the early history of its development?
Faith tells us this can be true, for the Pontifical Biblical Commission under Pope St. Pius X said in 1909 in its On the Historical Character of the First Three Chapters of Genesis:
Quote:
VIII. Utrum in illa sex dierum denominatione atque distinctione, de quibus in Geneseos capite primo, sumi possit vox Yom (dies), sive sensu proprio pro die naturali, sive sensu improprio pro quodam temporis spatio, deque huiusmodi quaestione libere inter exegetas disceptare liceat? Resp. Affirmative.

[Translation: Question VIII: Whether in that designation and distinction of six days, with which the account of the first chapter of Genesis deals, the word (dies) can be assumed either in its proper sense as a natural day, or in the improper sense of a certain space of time; and whether with regard to such a question there can be free disagreement among exegetes? -- Reply: In the affirmative.]
Quote:
In such a case there would be scientists who would refuse to accept the evidence on the grounds simply that it supports faith explicitly.
Again, excellent observation!

Scientism is essentially Monist in that "scientismists" think the natural world is an extension of God, viz., that it proceeds necessarily from Him, not freely. There can be no "ultimate theory of physics" because natural things have the freedom not to be constrained by absolute necessity. If they were so constrained, they would no longer be natural; they would be forced and never fail to achieve their end; they would be like an arrow speared into its target by the hand of an archer instead of being freely shot through the air by the archer's bow.

When society began to see God as separate from His creation, science flourished. The Platonists and Monists thought the created world necessarily emanated from God, yet Christians believe God freely creates the universe. Because of this, Christians began using their physical senses to study nature experimentally, apart from theology and revealed truths; they began studying the "book of nature" in addition to the book of Revelation, Holy Scripture. Thank God for that, or else the natural sciences would have long ago evaporated.

In relation to faith, this reminds me of Alessandro Manzoni's Morale cattolica, vol. II, pp. 544-545:
Quote:
Have you examined all these objections [against Revelation]? Objections of fact, of chronology, of history, of natural history, of morals etc. Have you discussed all the arguments of the adversaries, have you recognized their falsity, unfoundedness?... this is not enough to have faith in Scripture. It is possible, it is unfortunately possible that in the generations to come... there will be some men who will study new arguments against the truths of the Scriptures; they will rummage through history, ... they will pretend to have discovered truth of fact for which the things affirmed in the Scriptures have to appear false. Now you must swear that these arguments that are not yet found, will be false, that these books that are not yet written, will be full of error: do you swear it? If you deny it, you admit to not having faith. [my translation]
Quote:
Conversely, in our time we have science claiming irrefutable evidence that the story of faith is complete fiction. They have a complete account of the history of the cosmos from its earliest moments until now to which more is always being added. All of it is Godless too. But this atheistic account of the cosmos is riddled with internal contradictions and baseless assumptions and called "evidence" anyway.
The rejection of the 5 Ways by many scientists is what the good Dominican Fr. Benedict Ashley, O.P., sees as a great problem in science today (vide his The Way toward Wisdom) because, as he says:
Quote:
modern physicists are trained in a mistaken view of their work that is mistaken for two reasons:
(a) it does not establish first principles from our senses as does Aristotle in Physics VIII and also
(b) it is influenced by Descartes (and I would say also Kant’s) notion that our knowledge is essentially logical (empiriological as Martain called it).
Quote:
Shall faith NOT be involved in the project of science? If so, whatever for?
Faith is necessary for science because, as John Paul II wrote in Fides et Ratio 76., "faith purifies reason" (fides purificat rationem) and "liberates [it] from presumption" ([fides] rationem a nimia confidentia exsolvit). Pope St. Pius X wrote in Iucunda Sane:
Quote:
Human science gains greatly from revelation, for the latter opens out new horizons and makes known sooner other truths of the natural order, and because it opens the true road to investigation and keeps it safe from errors of application and of method. Thus does the lighthouse show many things they otherwise would not see, while it points out the rocks on which the vessel would suffer shipwreck.
Quote:
Do not scientists themselves exercise a faith of their own in fantastic theories of their own? Of course they do.
Faith "is a kind of knowledge, inasmuch as the intellect is determined by faith to some knowable object" (Summa Theologica Iª q. 12 a. 13 ad 3).
Quote:
The statement in GS is indicative of an overconfidence in man's ability, without God, to realize Truth. Does it not also reveal an attitude that considers theological truth as separate somehow from matters of fact in the cosmos? (and how ludicrous is that)
Pascendi 16. says the Modernists think that
Quote:
faith occupies itself solely with something which science declares to be unknowable for it. Hence each has a separate field assigned to it: science is entirely concerned with the reality of phenomena, into which faith does not enter at all; faith on the contrary concerns itself with the divine reality which is entirely unknown to science.
The Catechism on Modernism asks:
Quote:
Q.—'And if it be objected that in the visible world there are some things which appertain to faith, such as the human life of Christ'?

A.—'The Modernists reply by denying this.'


Q.—How can they deny it?

A.—They say: 'For though such things come within the category of phenomena, still in as far as they are lived by faith and in the way already described have been by faith transfigured and disfigured, they have been removed from the world of sense and translated to become material for the divine.
This is the heart of Modernist heresy. It is strikingly similar to the Islamic doctrine of "double truths" wherein religious truths can contradict truths attained by natural reason. It is also similar to the arch-heretic Luther's conception of faith and reason.

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Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:52 pm
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New post Re: Schizophrenic Faith & Reason #1 Modernist Problem
Classic V2 statement: "36. §2 Consequently, we cannot but deplore certain habits of mind, which are sometimes found too among Christians, which do not sufficiently attend to the rightful independence of science and which, from the arguments and controversies they spark, lead many minds to conclude that faith and science are mutually opposed."

As if the main tendency of the age was Fideism, as if "science" was being deprecated and faith suffered a defect of excess. This kind of lie is typical of V2. The same thing is at the centre of Dignitatis Humanae, in which a key premise is that forced conversion has always been a dangerous threat, lurking under the surface in every Christian society, and frequently breaking out into persecution of non-Catholics. Absurdity on absurdity.

Meanwhile organised naturalism was ignored, even while it murdered a hundred million people and destroyed the faith of countless more.

Neither JP2 nor B16 can be understood in the comments they made which coincide with orthodoxy. Orthodoxy does not consist in coincidences with true doctrine. They must be understood by focusing on the points in which they differ with the truth. This is the case with all error and purveyors of error, whether it be the Greeks, the Protestants, or the Modernists. Divine faith being the acceptance of ALL that God revealed, it is demonstrated to be absent when even one such truth is denied or not affirmed. It is heretical to fail to affirm a truth in any context in which it clearly belongs. See the condemnation of Pistoia for examples. Pistoia was Vatican 2, Part 1.

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Fri Nov 04, 2011 11:00 pm
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New post Re: Schizophrenic Faith & Reason #1 Modernist Problem
Has Bro. Alexis made it to Mars yet?


Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:17 am
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New post Re: Schizophrenic Faith & Reason #1 Modernist Problem
John Lane wrote:
Neither JP2 nor B16 can be understood in the comments they made which coincide with orthodoxy. Orthodoxy does not consist in coincidences with true doctrine. They must be understood by focusing on the points in which they differ with the truth. This is the case with all error and purveyors of error, whether it be the Greeks, the Protestants, or the Modernists. Divine faith being the acceptance of ALL that God revealed, it is demonstrated to be absent when even one such truth is denied or not affirmed. It is heretical to fail to affirm a truth in any context in which it clearly belongs. See the condemnation of Pistoia for examples. Pistoia was Vatican 2, Part 1.
Yes, Msgr. Tissier says that heresy means "to choose" in Faith Imperiled by Reason's section "A denial worse than Luther's," which shows that Ratzinger not only denies the propitiatory aspect of the Mass but, unlike Luther, "the expiatory and satisfactory virtue of the sacrifice of the cross itself," too. Msgr. Tissier then says that heresy is "an impoverishment;" "‘Heresy,’ in Greek etymology hairésis, means: retreat, selective choice, preference, diminution."

Also, the Si Si, No No article "The Fideism of Cardinal Ratzinger" is very good, too. It shows how, just like Pascendi noted, the philosophical basis of Modernism is (Kantian) agnosticism and fideism and that this is what Ratzinger promotes. I can't believe he said: "I believe that neo-scholastic rationalism has failed in its bid of trying to reconstruct the 'preambula fidei' through a purely rational certainty." No wonder some believe, contrary to Dei Filius II. 1., that St. Thomas's 5 Ways are merely pointers to and not proofs of God's existence.

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«The Essence & Topicality of Thomism»: http://ar.gy/5AaP
by Fr. Réginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.
e-Book: bit.ly/1iDkMAw

Modernism: modernism. us.to
blog: sententiaedeo.blogspot. com
Aristotelian Thomism: scholastic. us.to


Last edited by Alan Aversa on Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thu Nov 10, 2011 11:56 pm
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New post Re: Schizophrenic Faith & Reason #1 Modernist Problem
Yes, he's as bad as JPII, worse in some ways.

Pius VI, Auctorum fidei:
Quote:
The doctrine of the synod, in that part in which, undertaking to explain the doctrine of faith in the rite of consecration, and disregarding the scholastic questions about the manner in which Christ is in the Eucharist, from which questions it exhorts priests performing the duty of teaching to refrain, it states the doctrine in these two propositions only: 1) after the consecration Christ is truly, really, substantially under the species; 2) then the whole substance of the bread and wine ceases, appearances only remaining; it (the doctrine) absolutely omits to make any mention of transubstantiation, or conversion of the whole substance of the bread into the body, and of the whole substance of the wine into the blood, which the Council of Trent defined as an article of faith [see n. 877, 884], and which is contained in the solemn profession of faith [see n. 997]; since by an indiscreet and suspicious omission of this sort knowledge is taken away both of an article pertaining to faith, and also of the word consecrated by the Church to protect the profession of it, as if it were a discussion of a merely scholastic question, - dangerous, derogatory to the exposition of Catholic truth about the dogma of transubstantiation, favorable to heretics.

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New post Re: Schizophrenic Faith & Reason #1 Modernist Problem
John Lane wrote:
Yes, he's as bad as JPII, worse in some ways.


In "some" ways? No. In ALL ways. JPII was an actor. Benny was supposed to be a theologian.

He is FAR worse than JPII.

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Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:44 am
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