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  • TITLE 27 Penal Sanctions in the Church
    • 1409
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Canon 1409

1. In the application of penal law, even when the law is expressed in preceptive terms, the judge, in accord with his own

conscience and prudence, can: (1) defer the imposition of the

penalty to a more appropriate time, if it is foreseen that

greater harm will ensue from a hasty punishment of the guilty

party; (2) abstain from imposing a penalty or impose a lighter

penalty if the offender has reformed and reparation of the scandal and harm has been adequately provided, or if the guilty party

has been, or it is foreseen, will be sufficiently punished by

civil authority; (3) moderate the penalties within equitable

limits if the guilty party committed several offenses, and the

cumulative burden of the penalties appears excessive; (4) suspend the obligation of observing the penalty in favor of him who

has committed an offense for the first time, after having been

commended heretofore by an upright life, as long as the need to

repair scandal is not pressing. The suspended penalty is lifted

entirely if the guilty party has not repeated the offense within

the time set by the judge; otherwise such a one shall be more

severely punished as the perpetrator of both offenses, unless in

the meantime time has run out for initiating a penal action for

the prior offense. 2. If the penalty is indeterminate and the

law does not provide otherwise, the judge cannot impose the penalties mentioned in can. 1402, 2.




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