|Sanctions in the Church » Offenses and Penalties in General » The Application of Penalties|
|Even though the law may use obligatory words, the judge may, according to his own conscience and prudence:
1° defer the imposition of the penalty to a more opportune time, if it is foreseen that greater evils may arise from a too hasty punishment of the offender, unless there is an urgent need to repair scandal;
2° abstain from imposing the penalty or substitute a milder penalty or a penance, if the offender has repented, as well as having repaired any scandal and harm caused, or if the offender has been or foreseeably will be sufficiently punished by the civil authority;
3° may suspend the obligation of observing an expiatory penalty, if the person is a first- offender after a hitherto blameless life, and there is no urgent need to repair scandal; this is, however, to be done in such a way that if the person again commits an offence within a time laid down by the judge, then that person must pay the penalty for both offences, unless in the meanwhile the time for prescription of a penal action in respect of the former offence has expired.
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