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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.

"The more you know and the better you understand, the more severely will you be judged, unless your life is also the more holy. Do not be proud, therefore, because of your learning or skill. Rather, fear because of the talent given you."
Thomas á Kempis

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"Lord, here burn, here cut, and dry up in me all that hinders me from going to You, that You may spare me in eternity."
St Louis Bertrand

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"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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