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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.

"It is well to choose some one good devotion, and to stick to it, and never to abandon it."
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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"To think of oneself as nothing, and always to think well and highly of others is the best and most perfect wisdom. Wherefore, if you see another sin openly or commit a serious crime, do not consider yourself better, for you do not know how long you can remain in good estate. All men are frail, but you must admit that none is more frail than yourself. "
Thomas á Kempis

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