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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.

"Whom do you seek, friend, if you seek not God? Seek him, find him, cleave to him; bind your will to his with bands of steel and you will live always at peace in this life and in the next."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfill, even in adversity, the will of God."
St Alphonsus de Liguori

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"When the devil has failed in making a man fall, he puts forward all his energies to create distrust between the penitent and the confessor, and so by little and little he gains his end at last."
St Philip Neri

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