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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.

"If, devout soul, it is your will to please God and live a life of serenity in this world, unite yourself always and in all things to the divine will. Reflect that all the sins of your past wicked life happened because you wandered from the path of God's will. For the future, embrace God's good pleasure and say to him in every happening: "Yea, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight." "
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"It is better to be burdened and in company with the strong than to be unburdened and with the weak. When you are burdened you are close to God, your strength, who abides with the afflicted. When you are relieved of the burden you are close to yourself, your own weakness; for virtue and strength of soul grow and are confirmed in the trials of patience."
St John of the Cross, OCD - Doctor of the Church

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"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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