POPE-POURRI: 'Light' news items, anecdotes about Pope Benedict now

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00Friday, May 5, 2006 1:47 AM
Pope thanks Swiss Guard in anniversary ceremony

May. 04 (CWNews.com) - Pope Benedict XVI thanked the Swiss Guard for their 500 years of service to the papacy today, as former members of the Vatican military unit joined current members in anniversary celebrations.

Appearing at the window of his apartment on the 3rd floor of the apostolic palace, the Holy Father gave his blessing to the past and present members of the Swiss Guard who had joined in a parade across Rome.

Some 110 former members had joined in a commemorative march of 450 miles from Switzerland to Rome, recreating the winter march by the original Swiss Guard recruits in 1506. The former members joined with the current troops at the Piazza del Popolo, then marched together to St. Peter's Square to receive the Pope's blessing.

Pope Benedict-- whose appearance was delayed, giving the Swiss Guard band an opportunity to perform for a lively crowd in St. Peter's Square-- paid tribute to the 147 members of the Swiss Guard who died in defense of the Pope during the sack of Rome in 1527. More generally, he offered his thanks to all the men who have served in the corps over the years.

Speaking alternately in Italian, German, and French-- the three languages used in Switzerland, and thus among the members of the corps-- the Pope said: "We give thaks to God for the good that was done by your predecessors, and for the precious help that the pontifical Swiss Guard continues to offer the Holy See today."

Colonel Elmar Mäder, the current commandant, used today's ceremony as an opportunity to thank the city of Rome, saying that every man who has ever served in the Swiss Guard cherishes memories of the city. He noted happily that the soldiers had received hearty applause from the people of Rome during today's march. Roland Buchs, who commanded the Guard from 1976 to 1998, agreed, adding that the day's ceremony was "grandiose."

"The march is not finished," Colonel Mäder observed. "We want to continue in the service of the Holy Father, to whom we have sworn fidelity, and we want to continue to march toward Christ."
00Friday, May 5, 2006 2:48 AM

Scritto da: !BlackDahlia! 03/05/2006 23.49
Welser-Moest will lead the Zurich Opera Orchestra and Chorus, the Freiburg Cathedral Choir and the Choir of the Lucerne Musikhochschule (Music School) [SM=g27836] [SM=g27836]

I will check French Catholic TV online, they have the best musical papal archive I know...Fingers crossed... [SM=g27817] [SM=g27817]

I am also hoping for that, but so far, the only French Catholic TV [ KTO], has not made announcements about broadcasting the concert. It may not do so since Papa will not be present at the concert. However, like you, am still keeping my fingers crossed.
00Friday, May 5, 2006 2:58 AM

Scritto da: SimplyMe 05/05/2006 2.48

I am also hoping for that, but so far, the only French Catholic TV [ KTO], has not made announcements about broadcasting the concert. It may not do so since Papa will not be present at the concert. However, like you, am still keeping my fingers crossed.

Sorry, I am referring to the concert on Friday at 7 pm Roman time (which Papa will not be present), but I realised now that you are all referring to the mass on Saturday which of course Papa will be presiding.

Yes, I hope KTO (French catholic TV) will broadcast it but so far there is no announcements yet for both concert and mass. I will be turning to CTV via broadband to watch these programmes.

00Friday, May 5, 2006 3:02 AM
EWTN WILL BROADCAST SATURDAY MASS...Check Papal Events on TV :))))))
00Friday, May 5, 2006 8:51 PM
[This is a touching review of the film about the second half of John Paul II's life, as pope, and the reaction of Benedict to viewing it. His response is very touching and typical Papa--see the last paragraph.]

A Pope’s Tears

April 30-May 6, 2006

VATICAN CITY — Once, then-Msgr. Stanislaw Dziwisz and Polish Sister Tobiana were looking for Pope John Paul II in the Apostolic Palace. John Paul was recovering from one of his hospitalizations and should have been in bed. He was found at work in his private chapel.

The Polish nun was the first to speak. “Holy Father, you are still recovering,” she said. “We are concerned about Your Holiness.”

“I, too,” the Pope replied, “am concerned about my holiness.”

This funny scene from the Italian movie “Karol, Un Papa Rimasto Uomo” (Karol, a Pope Who Remained a Man) evoked to the viewers John Paul’s most outstanding characteristic: his fidelity to God’s plan.

On March 30, Pope Benedict XVI and 5,000 people watched the premiere of this film in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall. I had the privilege to sit four yards to the Holy Father’s right.

Starring Piotr Adamczyck — who sat next to the Pope during the preview — the 2½-hour movie was produced by the Italian studios Taodue and Mediaset. It is the second segment of a two-part series. The first part, Karol, a Man Who Became Pope, ends with the Polish cardinal’s election to the See of Peter. Benedict watched the first segment in the same hall on May 20, 2005.

You could tell the Pope was looking forward to this screening. He arrived at 5:45 p.m. — 15 minutes before scheduled — with a big smile. He sat on a white chair in the center of the hall, as the lights went off and weeping people were seen on the screen praying the Rosary in St. Peter’s Square at night.

Then we see John Paul in his deathbed on April 2, 2005. In a quick flashback, he recalls the solemn inauguration of his pontificate some 26 years earlier. An energetic John Paul invites all peoples to “open the doors to Christ.”

Scriptwriter Gian Franco Svidercoschi and director Giacomo Battiato magnificently portrayed the late Pope’s capacity to endure suffering and give himself to every person.

Manifold Sufferings

The Pope travels to countries devastated by war, social injustice and poverty, as we see, in brilliant flashbacks, Bishop Oscar Romero’s assassination in his cathedral during El Salvador’s civil war, the 1984 martyrdom of Polish priest Jerzy Popieluszko, the abduction of children in northern Uganda, the killings in Sarajevo.

John Paul is deeply moved by the destruction of the Twin Towers in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. In his speeches and meetings, he vigorously condemns the Mafia killings in Sicily, the wars in Iraq, the exploitation of the Third World by wealthy nations, the U.N. attempt to legalize birth control at the 1994 Cairo Conference.

Particularly touching are his visits to African people infected by AIDS and to the dying in Mother Teresa’s hospice in Calcutta.

The well-depicted clash between the Polish Pope and the leaders of the Soviet Union reaches its peak in the 1981 assassination attempt. The scene depicting Ali Agca’s actions was, in fact, filmed in St. Peter’s Square. “It was very hard to get the permission,” said the Italian director. It was worth getting it.

“Petrified, as if we were present, we heard again the shots of the tragic attempt in St. Peter’s Square on May 13, 1981,” commented Benedict after the preview.

John Paul’s agony that May marked only the beginning of a long chain of physical sufferings. We see him breaking his femur and his right arm and hardly breathing. His personal doctor, Renato Buzzonetti, provided the filmmakers with many inside stories, such as the way the tracheotomy was performed in John Paul’s throat to allow him to breathe.

John Paul is shown, above all, as a man concerned for every person. From day one in office, he tries to learn the name of the first Swiss Guard he meets. In his audiences and trips, he is attentive to individual stories.

The images reminded me of the days you could shake hands with the Holy Father in the midst of thousands of people — he looked at you as if you were the only one there. I believe he never saw “crowds” of people. He saw, rather, many souls staying together.

The film brings out the special relationship between John Paul II and Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The two, indeed, were united “by an intimate spiritual harmony,” Benedict said.

In Rome’s Gemelli hospital the Pope visits a few sick children he knows by name. He will end up consoling a mother who rejects God after witnessing her little boy dying in bed.

At one point, a prominent cardinal warns the Holy Father about the French bishops’ fear that the 1997 World Youth Day to be held in Paris would be a fiasco. “It will be in August,” the cardinal says. “Besides, this is Europe.”

“In one of my trips to France,” John Paul replies, “a young man yelled at me saying that he was an atheist and didn’t find any meaning to life. I have to go to Paris to give an answer to that young man.”

In the next scene, he tells the same story to one million youth gathered before the Eiffel Tower.

‘Tireless Prophet’

In this film, Benedict XVI said in his remarks afterward, “stands out the figure of a tireless prophet of hope and peace, who traveled the roads of the planet to communicate the Gospel to everyone.”

Most watchers couldn’t restrain themselves from weeping. After the last two scenes, showing the Pope dying and Cardinal Ratzinger celebrating the funeral, we clapped for two minutes. Benedict also clapped, tears silently rolling down his cheeks.

John Paul II became a man for all seasons precisely because he was holy. That’s what the real story of Karol Wojtyla teaches us.

“May our beloved Pope accompany us from on high,” Benedict concluded, “and obtain for us from the Lord the grace to be always faithful, like him, to our mission.”

Legionary Father Alfonso Aguilar teaches philosophy at Rome’s
Regina Apostolorum University.

[Modificato da benefan 05/05/2006 22.37]

00Friday, May 5, 2006 11:10 PM
RE:Second part of film
Oh, what a beautiful post, Benefan!!!
Can't wait to see the movie. And our Papa also cried....oi.... [SM=g27836]
00Saturday, May 6, 2006 5:06 PM
[I think they mean 5 bishops from Quebec visited Papa on their ad limina trip. You wouldn't believe how many news articles on this subject referred to them as cardinals. You would think some editor somewhere would have caught the error. Anyhow, the part about the boy singing for Papa is sweet.]

Pope Benedict meets with five Quebec cardinals
Canadian Press

MONTREAL -- Pope Benedict met with five Catholic cardinals from Quebec on Friday in Rome.

The meeting, which takes place every five years between the province's Catholic leaders and the pope, offers the cardinals a chance to discuss the state of the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec.

Next week, nine-year-old Jeremy Gabriel of Quebec will get a chance to sing for Pope Benedict and the cardinals.

The boy, who was born deaf and also suffers from Treacher Collins syndrome, will sing ahead of a blessing ceremony for the Ark of the New Covenant at the Vatican next Thursday.

The severely handicapped boy, who has previously sung the national anthem at a Montreal Canadiens game and who sang with Celine Dion in Las Vegas, has wanted to sing a hymn for the Pope ever since the funeral of John Paul II, according to the Catholic Register.

The Pope will bless the ark, a chest covered in iconic images related to the eucharist, before it is returned to Canada.

The ark, which was built in Quebec, will tour the country ahead of the Eucharistic Congress in Quebec City in 2008.

Catholic leaders in Canada are hoping Pope Benedict may attend the congress.
00Saturday, May 6, 2006 7:32 PM
Thanks to Gerald Augustinus on closedcafeteria.blogspot.com/ for this truly special report:

Pope Benedict celebrates a Mass
after his own taste - Coronation Mass by Mozart

Mass at St.Peter's for the 500th anniversary of the Swiss Guard - with a Mozart Mass (ie the ordinary of the Mass, which Mozart set to music many times, the version used here is the so-called Coronation Mass) fit right into the liturgy - something that is a big no-no round here. Good for you, Pope Benedict !

He fervently defends having a skilled choir and views attentive listening as a form of participation (no, I am not saying every Mass has to feature classical music, rather, I am protesting the Spirit of Vatican II view that prohibits serious music, banning it to the concert hall. That view is, sadly, prevalent in the Diocese of San Diego. The actual Vatican II of course is in favor of Chant ("pride of place") and other serious church music)

The conductor is Franz Welser-Moest, an Austrian, whom I've seen/heard several times.

The Credo from the Mozart setting was not used, instead it was sung by all in Latin, to the common tune. Ave Verum Corpus was played for Communion.

The transition from the Pope speaking the words leading up to the "Sanctus" to the Mozart setting and from the end of the "Benedictus" setting back to the Pope was seamless.

Here, an official release:

Franz Welser-Möst, music director of both the Cleveland Orchestra and Zurich Opera, is to conduct liturgical works by Mozart during a pontifical mass to be held on Saturday, May 6, in St. Peter's Cathedral in Rome.

The mass, which will be celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI, will mark the occasion of a visit to the Vatican by Swiss President Moritz Leuenberger, who will be in Rome to celebrate the 500th Anniversary of the Swiss Guard.

Welser-Most will lead Zurich Opera's orchestra and chorus, the Freiburg Cathedral Choir and the Choir of the Lucerne Musikhochschule in works including Mozart's Coronation Mass


It is wonderful to see/hear Mozart being played at Mass in St. Peter's ! Thank you, Pope Benedict ! Now, if EWTN could broadcast in HDTV and Dolby Digital...

There is a CD of Mozart's Kroenungsmesse (Coronation Mass) at St. Peter's, from the 1980s, conducted by Herbert von Karajan and presided by John Paul II.


[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 07/05/2006 4.23]

00Saturday, May 6, 2006 8:08 PM
The Mozart Effect, The Benedict Effect
I still have very much to learn about The Church (long story, was Anglican but I am on my way to Rome) so I refrain from commenting on those matters about which I am a complete novice; but I thought the liturgy this morning was absolutely breathtaking.

I do understand that the focus is the sacrifice of the Mass, Our Lord, but far from taking attention away, the music (and everything else) today propelled one heavenwards and focussed the attention exactly where it should be. In my humble opinion.


Papa was just so graceful today, it was all beautiful.

I hope we see and hear much more of The Mozart Effect combined with The Benedict Effect....PLEASE!

[SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791] [SM=x40791]
00Saturday, May 6, 2006 8:34 PM
00Saturday, May 6, 2006 8:36 PM
00Saturday, May 6, 2006 10:08 PM
00Saturday, May 6, 2006 10:09 PM
Mozart effect + Benedict effect = TOTALLY BEAUTIFUL, CLASSICAL MASS! More please, Papino. Much, much more!
00Sunday, May 7, 2006 12:51 AM
RE: Mozart-Messe
SERIOUS REQUEST, please! RAI-International ignored the Mass, showed only the Swiss Guards on ST Peter's square, with small inserts of Papa at his window. BUT I wanted so much to see the Mass...can someone please direct us to a link for a video replay or is it too soon?
00Sunday, May 7, 2006 1:09 AM
www.vatican.va/news_services/television/multimedia/archivio_it.... LITTLE SLOW IN UPDATING I'M AFRAID... [SM=g27819] AND www.ktotv.com/html/benoitxvi.html...USUALLY THE BEST PLACE TO FIND PAPAL CONCERTS... [SM=g27822] KEEP AN EYE ON THESE 2 LINKS IN THE NEAREST FUTURE... [SM=g27817]
00Sunday, May 7, 2006 1:55 AM

I think several of us missed the concert. EWTN's schedule indicates that it will replay the concert tonight at midnight Eastern Standard Time, whatever that equates to in S. Africa, if, in fact, EWTN is broadcast there. I just check KTO, which usually archives all the papal events, and this time they didn't. The Vatican website will probably eventually archive it but right now the English section only goes through March, I think, so it may be a while before they catch up. Sorry. I feel your pain.

00Sunday, May 7, 2006 3:07 AM
00Sunday, May 7, 2006 3:28 AM
Is there a separate concert at all? I understood from the press releases that the performances of the Zurich Orchestra, choir, etc. were all for the Pontifical Mass, and that they have done.
00Sunday, May 7, 2006 3:52 AM

Sorry, Teresa. We were talking about the Mass this morning for the Swiss Guards. I mistakenly referred to it as "concert" in my last post. Blame it on forum fatigue.

00Sunday, May 7, 2006 10:51 AM
Budwud in the RFC e-mailed me to say I erroneously stated somewhere that Cardinals Schoenborn and Ouellet were former students of Joseph Ratzinger. Here is her correction, and I thank her for the information:

In fact, Cardinal Ouellet was never a student of Joseph Ratzinger. Rather, he received his doctoral degree at the Gregorian in Rome under the mentorship of Hans Urs von Balthasar. It was through his association with von Balthasar that he came to know Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome. That led to Cardinal Ouellet, along with Father Joseph Fessio, Christoph Schonborn and Father Jacques Serrais, S.J. founding the Association de Lubac, Speyr, von Balthasar [ Casa Balthasar ] under the guidance of Cardinal Ratzinger during the years 1987-1989. Those four men would meet annually with Cardinal Ratzinger to discuss the running of Casa Balthasar but it had nothing to do with Ratzinger's Schulerkreis.

As far as Christoph Schonborn goes . . . according to Father Vincent Twomey who was a doctoral student of Joseph Ratzinger's in Regensburg at the same time as Father Fessio, Christoph Schonborn was never a student of Joseph Ratzinger either. Father Twomey says that Schonborn attended one of Ratzinger Colloquies for two semesters as a visiting academic from the University of Freiburg and it wasn't until after 1978 when Ratzinger had become Archbishop of Munich that his real association with the Cardinal began. Aterwards, Schonborn did start to attend the meetings of the Schulerkreis but as a guest.

I hope that you find this information useful and don't mind me pointing it out for you by way of a personal message.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 07/05/2006 17.16]

00Sunday, May 7, 2006 5:12 PM

Scritto da: TERESA BENEDETTA 07/05/2006 10.51
Budwud in the RFC e-mailed me to say I erroneously stated somewhere that Cardinals Schoenborn and Ouellet were former students of Joseph Ratzinger. Here is her correction, and I thank her for the information:

Father Twomey says that Schonborn attended one of Ratzinger Colloquies for two semesters as a visiting academic from the University of Freiburg and it wasn't until after 1978 when Ratzinger had become Archbishop of Munich that his real association with the Cardinal began.

I'd just want to mention that both Cardinals Schonborn and Ratzinger have known each other for 33 years (by year 2005). So, it cannot be only after 1978 that they got well connected. This info comes direct from the mouth of Cardinal Schonborn himself in a French TV interview just after papal election in 2005.

This being said, I am always glad that these 2 cardinals are Papa's friends because they are of as great a personality as Papa. Both are just as humble and intelligent as Papa.

00Sunday, May 7, 2006 6:06 PM

After the Ferraris, which 'zoomed' to St. Peter's Square last
Sunday for the Regina CEeli prayers with the Pope, today it was the turn of the Duetto, the 'spider' of Alfa Romeo.

At the end of today's Regina Caeli, Benedict XVI greeted some 60 Duetto owners who came with their cars.

He also greeted all who came to participate in the celebration of the 500th anniverary of the Swiss Guard, which swore in 32 new members yesterday.

00Sunday, May 7, 2006 8:50 PM
RE: Schoenborn
Thanks to Budwud. I also had the erroneous impression that Cardinal Schoenborn is an ex-Ratzinger student.
00Sunday, May 7, 2006 8:59 PM
Ratzi-Lella in the main forum posted an interview by Swiss-Info in Rome with Elmar Maeder, commander of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, during which two following two questions were asked about Papal security:

The Pope must have contact with the faithful and he has shown himself quite open in this respect. How does that complicate your work?
When a person becomes Pope, I assume he has developed great trust in God. A Pope is certainly not the easiest person in the world to protect. I would imagine that the President of the United States would be more amenable to security recommendations in this sense.

The Pope has to carry out his role. Imagine a Pope who is behind armored glass – he can be seen but the effect will not be the same. He should be able to shake hands and speak with people – these personal contacts must continue to be possible. And this means that oine must make certain concessions regarding security. Absolute security is not possible for the Pope.

The Swiss Guard are responsible for the Pope’s security. How credible are they?
It may appear that we serve more to give a dash of color and render honorific service only. But we spend 80% of our time on guard duty and only 8% in honorific duties. We wear the traditional uniform even for guard duty, because it creates a friendly atmosphere. I don’t think a standard military uniform would be appropriate, because we would look too military!

For the personal protection of the Pope we only use trained cadres because it requires experience, training and ability to evaluate situations instantly, as well as techniques of self-defense. This training is carried out in Switzerland in collaboration with the Army. We keep ourselves abreast and are in the forefront of international security services.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 07/05/2006 21.00]

00Sunday, May 7, 2006 9:53 PM
Warm thanks [and something else]
Thanks to BlackDahlia, Benefan and others for info on links to Mozart Mass. Very sweet of you girls.

Although RAI International had the opportunity not to ignore yesterday's Mozart/papal Mass, they did just that. And today (Sunday) they televised the Sunday Mass from the town called Palestrina, not far from Rome. This is the birth place of Giovanni Pierluigi (da Palestrina), better known as "Palestrina", the great Renaissance composer of church music.
Naturally I was excitedly looking forward to see the church where he sang in the choir as a young boy and where he worked before leaving for Rome and the different positions he held there. I expected to hear fine church music in the "home temple" of Palestrina, especially since the Mass was going to be televised for a global audience and a "Spiel" was made by the TV programme presenter about the music-historical importance of this basilica and town.
The exact opposite happened. Poor Palestrina would have pulled out his hair... The regular choir sang with the accompaniment of two guitars played by a nun and a teenage boy; constantly out of tune. The choir was perhaps the worst I've heard from Italy in the past year of following every Sunday Mass on TV. And the anonomous musical settings were ....well, terrible. Absolutely the worst trash imaginable. The irony of it all, the near-horror I felt, made me burst out in tears.

I told myself that I was wrong to feel like this. God looks into the hearts of the singing faithful, the guitar plucking nun and partner, and THAT is the important thing. This is how I've been rationalising for a long time already, also telling myself it is sinful of me to place such a high premium on something that is perhaps extrinsic to the real mystery of the Mass - etc. etc. etcetera!

But, still, if Bolivia (another thread's story posted by Teresa)can manage to transcend difficult circumstances, a first world country (Italy) has no excuse to puke on the tradition or, at least, the standards set by the "Prince of Church Music", Palestrina, in the church and town where his spirit still hovers and where they cash in when musical pilgrim-tourists visit the town Palestrina.

A token gesture to Palestrina was made by a chamber choir (perhaps a guest choir) who woodenly sang one work by the master (his famous setting of Psalm 42) while the congregation lined up for the Eucharist. After the Ite, Missa est, the pathetic two guitars started up again.

I'm just getting this off my chest, because I feel RAI could - in stead of this exceedingly ugly service - have shown the Mozart Mass with Papa, and contributed to the spiritual uplifting of millions of global viewers.

[SM=x40799] Three cheers for Bolivia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
00Sunday, May 7, 2006 10:27 PM
...- in stead of this exceedingly ugly service...MAG6: Totally agree w/ you:
GENERALLY, DO NOT EXPECT ANYTHING GOOD FROM RAI [SM=g27812] [SM=g27812] WHEN IT COMES TO CULTURE W/ CAPITAL C... [SM=g27812] [SM=g27812] Very sad, but true... [SM=g27813] [SM=g27813]
00Sunday, May 7, 2006 11:05 PM


I am so sorry you not only missed the Mozart Mass but had to deal with the guitar and off-key choir of the Palestrina Mass. Fortunately, they probably don't have banjos in Italy. However, you were so graphic in your description that I couldn't help but laugh several times reading your post. Sorry. I've been told many times that I have a morbid sense of humor. I guess it kicked in while reading about your unhappy experience. It's just that when you mentioned the guitar-plucking nun, "Cumbaya" started running through my mind. I realize that as a former choir director at a university, you have a more refined sense of good music than most of us and it must be excruciating to listen to great music being throttled to death. I sincerely hope that the Vatican website uploads the Mozart Mass abnormally quickly so you can salve your wounded ears with its beauty. In the meantime, perhaps a bit of whiskey would numb the pain.
00Sunday, May 7, 2006 11:25 PM
A BIT OF WHISKEY? YOU ARE HILARIOUS, BENEFAN!!! And then, Mag6, having had your swig of rye to wash away the bitter taste of RAI, put on a good CD of Palestrina and it will all go away!
00Sunday, May 7, 2006 11:36 PM
Thank you Benefan and Dahlia
....hehehehe I feel like a criminal when I sit on a complaining-about-the-liturgy heap like Job, scratching myself with whatever he used (pot shards?)...sorry.....but Benefan, remember, there was only one piece of "real" music (the Palestrina Ps.24). The rest of the Missa Ordinarium movements sounded like music composed for dancing poodles in a circus. That's what's so "wrong" in my opinion. [SM=g27837]
00Monday, May 8, 2006 12:17 AM
But Mag6, that's what they're doing - "composing" "music" for circus poodles or the equivalent, because it's their idea of music! The basic problem with all the 'new liturgy" advocates whose mantra is "I'm expressing myself! Who's to argue with me?" - like the "primacy of conscience" militants ("I'm following my conscience", as though an uninformed or arbitrarily defined 'conscience' were the absolute authority)- is the ME!ME!ME!MENTALITY, where personal norms and desires take precedence over everything else, as a certain cardinal so memorably denounced on April 18, 2005.

[Modificato da TERESA BENEDETTA 08/05/2006 0.18]

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