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28. Public Penance

1. For some very grave sins which are committed, so tospeak, in the eye of the public, and are therefore likely to causegreat spiritual harm because of the bad example they set to thefaithful (that is, because of the scandal they cause), theChurch imposes public and solemn penance.

2. Such public penance is very rarely imposed. And itseems that it should not be imposed more than once on anyindividual, even if the individual sins publicly again.

3. Public penance "not imposed in the solemnform" may be repeated. It may be imposed on laymen or clerics.Public and solemn penance, which can be imposed but once, is neverimposed on clerics because of the scandal that would be involved inthe very performing of the penance by such a person. Public andsolemn penance may be imposed by a bishop, but not by a parishpriest.

"God gives us some things, as the beginning of faith, even when we do not pray. Other things, such as perseverance, he has only provided for those who pray."
St Augustine

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"Let persons in the world sanctify themselves in their own houses, for neither the court, professions, or labour, are any hindrance to the service of God."
St Philip Neri

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"There is nothing which gives greater security to our actions, or more effectually cuts the snares the devil lays for us, than to follow another person’s will, rather than our own, in doing good."
St Philip Neri

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