Sunday 27 February 2011

A Modest Proposal For Christian Unity

(The first half of this piece is my article on The Importance of Christian Unity. I would recommend reading that first if you haven't already. It also has the slides I used when giving both halves as a presentation. (It can also be found directly below this article on my blog))

I've now explained why I think this issue is so important for Christians. But I don't want to finish with just a vague appeal.  In the spirit of personal commitment I also want to talk about the practical problems of achieving Unity. Fundamentally the change we need to see is in our hearts rather than in the external world. Not because external change is unimportant, but because only from our hearts can this change be achieved and sustained as a reality. There is no point just fiddling with external structures if we ourselves do not change.

However, with the scale and complexity of the problem we must also consider how to drive and effect this change in the meantime. The task is huge but with God's grace nothing is impossible, and certainly not something so close and dear to his will and heart. In this I believe there are broadly three areas that we must be constantly aware of.

The First thing is to recognize who our friends are. I'll explain what I mean.

One question that I haven't answered yet is who I'm including as Christians who could or should be reunited in One Christian Church. I don't think it's possible to give one binary answer to that question but rather to talk about those who are closer or further away from us in unity and doctrine. Most fundamentally, to be a Christian is to be a follower of Christ. The Bible says clearly that "no-one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit". This makes it clear that the Holy Spirit works within all those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and recognises them as Christian (in some basic sense).

Those who worship God as their Father and Jesus Christ as Lord form a group in humanity clearly recognisable as differentiated from those of other religions and ideologies. Even in the bad old days of sectarianism this was recognised, with those who confessed Christ, but were considered to get serious things wrong, called heretics, in difference to those who weren't Christians, who were labelled infidels. In fact it is possible to go further than this. Almost all denominations recognise the possibility of those who, as the Catholic Catechism states, "through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ" also through the grace of God reaching eternal salvation, whether or not they have ever even heard the name Jesus Christ.

It is definitely possible to be more precise than this vague statement about "Jesus is Lord" though. All the 4 major Christian families I mentioned before: Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant and Non-Trinitarian share in this heritage, that Christ is Lord and God is our Father. Taking out the Non-Trinitarian grouping though, which is the most different, both internally and to the others, we are left with Protestant, Orthodox and Catholic. These three groups constitute Trinitarian Christianity and share a huge common heritage and similarity compared to which their differences are, truthfully, small and often downright invisible to those from outside their communities not versed in the history of the conflict.

Most basically we share the concept of the Trinity, a belief in One God in Three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We share a belief that the man Jesus of Nazareth who walked in Judea 2000 years ago is also God Almighty, the Son of the Trinity. We believe he is both fully God and fully man; that he is the single most important man who ever has or will live, and that he came to bring eternal salvation to all mankind. We share a common, complete Scripture, the Old and New Testaments of 66 books and we believe this Holy Bible is the authoritative and divinely inspired word of God. We trust in Jesus' Apostles to have recorded and transmitted the truth about Jesus and we take their interpretation as authoritative. We share our fundamental standard of prayer: the Lord's Prayer, and the three historic creeds (Nicene, Apostolic and Athanasian), with their detailed description of Christian doctrine; the two fundamental sacraments of Baptism and Communion as necessary to the Faith, and various other ceremonies such as Marriage and Burial. We all share a historical basis in Judaism, as well as at least 400 years of history, a joint heritage of early Christian Saints and Holy Men, the folk memory of the persecution of the early Church under the Roman Empire, and the eventual victory of Christianity. We share core theology of the role of the Holy Spirit in bringing strength and truth, of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ, and of the importance of Good works to faith, and the mission of all Christians to "make disciples of all the nations" and to make the Kingdom of God a reality on this earth. And I could go on for some time.

This Trinitarian Christian community numbers about 90% of Christians. There is a further subset of this group though that shares even more than this. All Orthodox, Catholics and some Protestants share a common heritage of how Christians should be organised based on the Apostolic succession. We share a belief in the importance of the threefold ministry of Deacons, Priests and Bishops; the Apostolic Succession of Bishops in a line going back to the Apostles and Jesus himself and the importance of Tradition (with a big T) as a source of doctrine and interpretation. (As well as doctrines such as the real presence, veneration of Saints, Liturgy, etc, etc.) And this further subset makes up about 70% of Christians. It is also possible to go further and identify which group within this diversity are closest to each other, and have the most in common down to a fineness. But we would be here forever and it is multidimensional question, so as I mentioned before there is no one clear measure to rank people by or standard to judge with.

Now, I do not by any of this mean to make little of, minimise or ignore the differences that do exist between Christians and Christian groups. These issues are often serious, important and deeply felt. But rather to put these differences in the context in which they truthfully exist. Genuine dialogue and work towards reconciliation cannot occur on the basis of ignoring differences or abandoning one's own beliefs, but rather in being honest and open about the differences and the similarities that do exist between groups, and neither ignoring or minimising either. We will never move forward without a genuine willingness to change and compromise and no church or person within the body of Christ is perfect. We all have our sins and our mistakes, in the past and today, and without the willingness to admit this there can be no progress. But this does not mean that we can start the journey by abandoning the Truth we currently hold. You never get anywhere by watering down or avoiding the Truth because that is the very thing that we seek to unite around.

What we must do though is take the Truth that we have and work with our whole hearts to see what grounds we can agree on. To see where we can be united, on the basis of our common heritage and our common goal to do the will of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, rather than looking for excuses to be disunited, to ignore one another and to relapse into stereotypes and self-righteousness. I say this because there is no dogma in any major group that is against respectful and open dialogue and an honest, heartfelt desire to search for common ground and Christian Unity.  Such a thing would go directly against core Christian values to go and seek the wanderers and those who are lost.  

Also, there is no point baulking at the scale of the whole task and thus doing nothing. Rather each group can and must start with their neighbours, those other groups nearest to them. God does not ask that we solve all problems ourselves immediately. Rather that we do what we can and with others and God's grace solve them eventually together.

The 1960's were the start of a great time for Ecumenism, and saw, for the first time in Centuries, the stirrings of a movement towards unity between various Christian groups. This movement began at this time, and not at any other, not because of any dramatic change in doctrine in the groups involved, but rather a change of the heart, a new desire to see what unity could be achieved.  And in many ways the results were impressive.

In 1965 for the first time in 1000 years the Pope, head of the Roman Catholic Church, and an Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, head of the Eastern Orthodox Church, met and rescinded the excommunications that had followed the Great Schism 965 years before, and pledged to work to closer unity. In the 1970's there were historical meetings between the Pope and the heads of the Oriental Orthodox Syrian, Egyptian and Assyrian Churches, which resulted in joint theological statements on the nature of Christ, despite 1600 years of division between them at least theoretically because of this issue. In 1999 the Lutheran World Federation and the Roman Catholic church both published the 'Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification', affirming that officially Lutheran and Catholic teaching on justification through faith are compatible, thus at least nominally solving the theological rift that was one of the main causes of the Reformation. This document has also been affirmed by the World Methodist Council.

There has also been less high-profile work between Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox, between Catholics and Anglicans and between Anglicans and Methodists. Among Protestants, who are by nature more fragmented, there have been moves to unity in creating and strengthening umbrella organisations and communions of mutually recognising Churches, of Lutherans, of 'Reformed' Calvinists, and of many other groups. As well as Unity Churches uniting protestant denominations on the same territory, such as the URC here in England. Anglicans, particularly, may be surprised to know they are part of the Porvoo Communion, in which the Anglican churches of Europe are joined with the Lutheran national churches of the Baltic states, which share the similarity with Anglicanism of being Protestant, national Churches which maintain Bishops. They're also in communion with the Saint Thomas Malankara Church of India, the Philippine, Independent Church and the Old Catholic Church of Utrecht. Who knew, eh?

The point about all this though is that it has been achieved through a process of looking again at those issues that divide us, with an open mind and heart and with a desire to come together, and by seeing through the emotional baggage around the issues seeing that fundamentally we believe and hope for the same things. It involved admitting that we made mistakes in the past, not compromising doctrines, but admitting that in the past we allowed emotional, political and cultural issues to drive our separation rather than necessary issues of difference in doctrines. This then gives the opportunity to correct these mistakes, and also to use these bridges which have been built as a basis for further work pulling us towards each other and bridging the divide further, through admitting that the divide is essentially not as wide or deep as we previously thought. It shows what can be done.

The Second thing I think is important is a reunion based on convergence at all levels of faith, both on the personal, the level of individual churches, the levels of structure and worldwide. Again, I will explain what I mean.

So far I have talked about reunion as seeking unity between denominations, what I may call horizontal unity. It is quite theoretical though, but there is also practical or 'vertical' unity. In almost all parts of the world these days there are multiple Christian churches and groups active and visible in the same area, the same country. This brings chances for working towards practical (or vertical) unity. By this I mean independent groups in the same area looking to work together towards common goals and ends, to come together for services, to share ideas and to make each other part of their lives in that local area. Groups don't have to agree on everything to work together, they can do so on the common ground they do have. An example would be the 'Churches Together' movement in the UK. Other examples could be working together to fight poverty, promote fair-trade, peace in the Holy Land, or to work together to stand up for the rights of Christians against aggressive secularism. The local Anglican and Catholic diocese of Coventry can't declare themselves united as one, independent of the actions of the whole Anglican and Catholic churches. But, they and other groups can care for each other and act and work together and be united in action and fellowship in practice and through sharing experiences grow in trust, come to regard each other as part of the same family, and realise that we share more of the same aims and ends than we thought.

This applies to individual churches within denominations as much as between them. They can be as good at ignoring one another as we can between denominations. It also applies to sub-church Christian groups that may be active in various areas. (In Universities in Britain CU's and chaplaincies for example, and there are plenty other examples.) It is also important to talk about Christian unity at an individual and personal level.

I take inspiration from something Thomas Merton said. That the first step towards Christian Unity, towards ecumenism, is to regard all fellow Christians ecumenically. Unity starts in the heart of the individual, for as long as we regard other Christians as necessarily better or worse solely because of their group then we will remain disunited. From our heart all change can come, but if our hearts are not changed then we cannot change the world. Specifically we can regard our brothers and sisters, even from different groups, as a part of ourselves, as Christ surely did, such as their hurts are our hurts and their griefs are our griefs. This means taking that little extra time to go out of our way to support and care for each other, rather than resting in easy apathy. Unity is, as I said before, not really about belonging to the same institution, but rather about having the care and compassion for another that is the what community truly is. This is what drives unity and the search for unity, even at the church-wide and institutional level, and holds it together, and without which institutional unity is am empty shell that will inevitably collapse.

It becomes apparent to me as I travel through life that, as someone once said to me, Christians have no trouble with ecumenism at a personal level. We can and do mix with other Christians, as we can and do mix even with respectful unbelievers, and welcome them into our communities, and despite differences in stated belief, we can and do contribute to one another in Love and fellowship. Thus we mutually acknowledging Christ in our hearts and our actions even if we believe there are areas where other Christians do not entirely understand with their heads. This truth can be expressed across all levels of thought and dispute if we have the will. This is not something that we can manufacture but, like all Love, comes by God’s grace. It is however essential; we must look for the heart in our brothers and sisters and love them as such. From this we can heal the greater, more solid, more institutional hurts and divisions that trouble us. (Merely one reason why this can happen being that a respectful and trusting atmosphere is an absolutely essential prerequisite for convincing anyone that they are in fact mistaken, as the admissions of the mistakes made in the past that I described above make clear.) The end result we seek is for all Christians to see and love one another the same and from this act and organise together as one body. Ecumenical man is thus the end we seek, but it must also be the means and the start from which we can continue.

The Third thing I think is essential is an inclusivity of diversity in worship and culture.

Any community can only exist through a compromise between width and depth, between a width of definition, a range of people who can qualify as members, and depth, certain defining features that restrict membership. A community without width would be empty, or at best filled by one person and hence not a community. A community without depth would not be defined in any way and just be an arbitrary collection of people and hence also not a community.

There is a very ancient drive in the Church to realise a unity through everyone doing the same thing, something that can be seen in the original strife that tore it asunder. But I believe this is to look at it wrongly. God makes all men differently, so that they might compliment each other and be enriched by each others' skills and talents. All together we should be greater than the sum of our parts. This surely logically means that each different person comes to, approaches God, in different way, as best suits their different nature. This alone, as well as the wide differences in culture, mean that different people’s expressions of worship of God will always be different.  This is the fundamental basis of how God has made us, by our diversity adding ever new richness to creation.  And I believe the Church, as the New Humanity in its entirety must reflect this created diversity.

I believe the only way we can reach unity is not in seeking one uniform culture of religion for all the world  but rather to allow the differences in people and peoples to create a rich tapestry of religion without abandoning its fundamental truths and thus to benefit from the interweaving of each element of the pattern.  That is, unity not of everyone looking and doing exactly the same, but rather unity in devotion to Christ and conscious, spiritual identity and recognition with one another in our diversity.  If history has taught me anything it is that not allowing this rich tapestry to weave itself only leads to people breaking away from the whole.

To go back to St Paul's metaphor of the Body of Christ: "Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ." In fact the whole 1 Corinthians 12 says it far more eloquently than I am capable of. But it is clear what he means: "There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work" Just as the diversity of parts of the Body add to the capacity and ability of the body so the diversity of the Church adds strength to the Body of Christ.  But they are all part of the same body through their interdependence and their purpose and devotion to the same goals.  It is not something we should be afraid of. God's way has always been to use our diversity to build greater things. It would have been simple at Pentecost for the Holy Spirit to make all the people understand the one language the disciples spoke, but rather the Spirit chose to make the disciples speak many languages, so they may reach out to the people there in their diversity.

The important distinction here though is, crudely put, that between Culture and Dogma. Dogma being the specific metaphysical truths that we hold and Culture being how we celebrate and express them. It is the greatest sorrow of our past that cultural differences have been allowed to break our communion and tear apart our unity. To put it another way, we may each express the Love that we feel in different and diverse ways as long as it is still the same love that drives us, and the same dogma. The Church today is a broad enough body, culturally, I believe, for anyone to find a home somewhere, but this has, to date, brought a scandalous array of disunity. We have enough genuinely serious disagreements about dogma without letting culture stand in our way as well. There are of course non-negotiables, depth, to such a Christianity but there must also be an unprecedented width, if we are to achieve the hope that we hold. Diversity of culture can be nothing but an enriching factor in our life and religion, though it can be very hard to distinguish and disentangle from the dogma, the depth, which in the end cannot be compromised on.

We should not see different preferences of style and worship as either competitive or exclusionary. We must be willing to give space for different types of worship and organisation wherever possible, or in other words there should be an assumption in favour of tolerance in those things that are inessential to true doctrine. There must be room for both Quaker style silence, and Charismatic joyful worship, both Old Orthodox Church Slavonic and Charismatic spirit-led praise.  These are not opposed, there is joy and exuberance in Orthodox culture and worship at times and solemnity in charismatic churches, though maybe at different times and places.  These can all occur in different churches and streams, organizations or orders, within the same church. We must achieve a state whereby one type of worship is not looked down upon by another, along as we have correct dogma and as long as that type of worship is done well. There should be enough churches in a world such that within the same city there could be one dedicated to High Church and one to low church worship of every shape and stripe. Obviously this could only be possible in larger population centres but it should be an ideal that we constantly seek to pursue and people must not be scared of recommending someone to a different church which they will do better at. I have seen just as many people leave the church who have would have preferred and gained more from a higher style of worship as a lower, and that is merely within the Church of England.

The Church of England deals with this issue by tolerating a range of churchmanships: Evangelical, Liberal, Anglo-Catholic, helped by its position in the middle of the church’s spectrum and its necessarily inclusive nature as the state church. The Roman Catholic church despite its central control has an impressive diversity appeared through the various and manifold different and different types of orders, congregations and rites under its jurisdiction. These give a range of different types of worship and style that would otherwise be lacking. Also its sheer size gives a range of different national styles and strictness of organisation across the world. Protestantism deals with this by just splintering and thus providing a whole range of options. This diversity is both unavoidable and a good thing, in of itself, but we must try to achieve it within unity rather than at the cost of unity. We do not have to think certain practices are optimal in all cases to allow toleration of them, as they may prove optimal in certain cases and for the specific purposes of bringing people closer to Christ. A presumption of toleration means seeking the minimum possible arguments over which division may be necessary or possible, except where absolutely necessary in terms of true doctrine.

There is even possibility for using our diversity for the cause of Unity. Different types of churches often concentrate more or less on different levels of practice, doctrine and structure. Hence different churches have different things to teach and offer on various different levels of concentration and emphasis. The fact that different churches and groups have traditional confidence and heritage in certain areas (for example the Salvation Army with social action, the Orthodox Church with the witness of the Church Fathers) mean that they are capable of taking these expertise and offering them to the wider church both as an offering of that heritage and because their confidence at that level gives them a greater ability to reach out, because they have something to offer, not only to request. This is one method by which our differences can in fact be useful to help towards union. By enacting such an approach across all levels we can also have a situation where all groups can come to the table with something to offer, rather than merely wanting to receive and we can balance the strengths and weaknesses held by different Churches and groups. Obviously in this case though organizations in of themselves do not do anything. It requires individuals, with the grace of God, to lead from within by showing the way of possibility This is a process that must occur at every level, but with Grace individuals can act at whatever level they are and act to lead first then and thus pull other levels and people with them.


Despite my optimism here I don't think that all the theological and cultural divisions between us can or will be dissolved any time soon. There are some deep and seemingly insoluble differences, some of which do not even go along denominational lines. Some have said that the biggest divide in Christianity today is between liberal protestantism and the Catholic/Orthodox more conservative teachings on the role of women, homosexuality and sexual morality. But what we can do now is to be constantly working together towards unity, and see where this will lead us. There are plenty of things to be done, from the state we are at now, on the theoretical level, and if we reach an impasse there on the practical level. It is said that the divisions between the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox have largely been resolved, and similarly between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. Sadly, due to recent decisions, there seems to be more distance between the Anglican and Catholic churches than there has been for generations, but God never closes a door without opening a window, and it seems at the same time the Anglican Church has never been closer to unity with the Methodists.

A great deal can be achieved merely by switching to more inclusive language and approach. The 2nd Vatican Council saw a change to referring to non-Catholics as fellow Christians and those in partial communion, rather than as schismatics and heretics. This change and the personal commitment of Pope Paul VI, opened the door to the reconciliations I mentioned above. A similar move to consider all Christians as part of the One Church, even if wrong in certain theology and only in partial communion would give a greater capacity to build bridges. We are those who follow Christ and there can be room within the Church for all those who are on that path.

A wider Church must have an inner core of what we would consider total Orthodoxy, but it may also have an acceptance of those who have not reached that more perfect core and an understanding that all who honour the Lord Jesus and the One God stand essentially with us and can work to the same ends of love and community. And, that it is easier to convince those further away from entire truth in doctrine and practice by reaching out to them in friendship, rather than merely rejecting them. There is no sense in treating those with whom we agree in 90% of things, and share history and foundations, like they are total strangers. This is not to undermine orthodoxy in the slightest but rather to insist on treating theological differences in the same sense as we treat other failings, as something to be redressed by Love and companionship and true witness of the truth and the Love of God, rather than as excuse to ignore one another.

Should we reach a point where the differences between us come down to differences of principle that cannot quickly be overcome I believe there is a final possible model for fostering unity. Accepting that all Christians of apostolic Churches belong to the same One Church, even though communion may be impaired and partial at times, we have a further possibility for unity within the Churches of the apostolic succession. For example, within Apostolic Christianity (if I may call it that) there are several metropolitan sees of great importance, such as Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria, each of which are claimed by various churches and traditions. We share the ridiculous situation of there being 7 Patriarchs of Alexandria and 5 Patriarchs of Antioch. There are also countries and areas where one of the Churches is historically and demographically overwhelmingly dominant. With a recognition that we underlyingly are part of the same One Church, but impaired in communion and disagreeing over details of practice and doctrine, could come a nominal recognition of the primacy of certain occupants over these historical seats and the acceptance that they hold over-all responsibility as safe-guard and nominal head of Christians in those areas.  For example, the Coptic Patriarch in Egypt, the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople. We could establish agreement that the nominal head would not interfere with the internal organisation and practice of the other denominations, but would take responsibility for the over-all spiritual leadership of Christians and representation of the community. This could be conducted in a similar manner as the current positions as primus inter pares (first among equals) and senior elder of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople within the Eastern Orthodox Church, or the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Anglican Communion or the Coptic Pope among Oriental Orthodox.

Further, Christian minorities in territories dominated by one Church could agree to look to the dominant Apostolic Church for nominal leadership, and recognition of their position as senior branch of the Christian Church in that territory. The Orthodox community and Catholic Church in France for example. These processes would be at least a small step forward, and would give the possibility of building common institutions and fostering shared loyalties, in however a weak form, and act as another gentle encouragement in the direction of closer collaboration, respect and reliance, and thus a model for closer unity, however tentative at first, all without requiring immediate compromise on deeply felt differences of doctrine and principle. I think it would do great good for Christianity if we could just stand beside one another and proclaim the brotherhood and unity of all Christians together. Even if it does not lead to any more administrative unity than a growing truce and limited recognition between Christian groups.

That is the last idea, so to speak, that I have. So just a few final words. I think this is all so important because I really think that our disunity and lack of care for one another we weaken our witness to Jesus Christ because people do not believe us when we talk about love when we cannot even love each other. What purpose then do we serve anymore? Did Jesus not say that it was better for a man to lose his hand rather than keep it and risk losing his immortal soul? So how can we reverse this thing, how can we redeem ourselves? Well, I believe the path is clear, there is only whether we are brave enough to take it. “Let your light shine before men”, Jesus said, “so that they may see the good things you do and praise your Father in heaven.” So let us begin. If Christianity and the Christian hierarchy means to lead the world its actions must match its words. Not to mention the fact that in a world where we are under pressure around the world as never before, from aggressive secularism, from militant Islam and from other threats.

It will require compromise, and eventually a willingness to accept when other's were right and we were wrong or misguided, implicitly, and probably also explicitly, and a willingness to work above and beyond those things we normally do but I believe it is more than worth it. We can build such a community, based on boundaries of membership but with a radical inclusivity of different ways of expressing a shared truth, which can give us strength in depth that we cannot now imagine; and behind all of which we can behold the incredible community and unity of the three persons of the Holy Godhead: of Father who is above all, of Son who walked and walks among us, and Holy Spirit who dwells within us, and the Church empowering us forevermore. It can not be done by any one man or group but only by the deeply felt and wished and worked intent of all Christian men and women everywhere, but I believe that in the Grace of God and the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit it is not too much to imagine.

And there is always the need for pioneers, a leader who can be followed and with the Grace of God that leader could be anyone and at anytime in any place. When we look at the great heroes of the faith what marks them out is precisely their ordinariness, they do not stand out and there is superficially evident reason why they and not some other should be chosen. The only thing which marks they out is the fact that they did have that faith in God and did act, which is something that is open to all of us.

I do not expect for a second for everyone or even anyone to agree with the ideas I have described and am entirely open to a completely different plan or idea. I do however hope to open up a discussion of these issues as something that desires actual practical thought and work rather than being placed in the box of things that are a nice idea theoretically but we don’t really think are in any way possible in the real world now or in our lifetime.



Anonymous said...

Just a quick comment to say how much I am enjoying reading through your blog posts. I have not settled onto one post as of yet, but hopefully I will be able to make some constructive comments with more indepth reading. Thanks!

Stephen Wigmore said...

Thanks for commenting. I'm very glad you're enjoying them. Any constructive comments would be gratefully received! Look forward to having you back.

Best Wishes,

clare said...

A side note re ideas for common leadership in areas with minority Christian groups. Sorry I ought to look up the reference, but haven't, I imagine it's Acts. I remember a bible study on unity in the early church highlighting that a larger voice than was proportional was given to the minority groups to improve unity. In my mind this is tied to the story of giving bread to the widows - and the minority group being marginalised. This story turns out to be Acts 6 - but when the 7 are elected it's not apparent which groups they belong to. Possibly this was extra info provided in the study. Not looked beyond Acts 5 and 7 to see if there was something else somewhere else. Hmm. Oh well.

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