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Sanctions in the Church » Offenses and Penalties in General » The Punishment of Offenses in General
Canon 1311. §1. The Church has its own inherent right to constrain with penal sanctions Christ’s faithful who commit offences.

§2. The one who is at the head of a Church must safeguard and promote the good of the community itself and of each of Christ’s faithful, through pastoral charity, example of life, advice and exhortation and, if necessary, also through the imposition or declaration of penalties, in accordance with the provisions of the law, which are always to be applied with canonical equity and having in mind the restoration of justice, the reform of the offender, and the repair of scandal.
Canon 1312. §1. The penal sanctions in the Church are:

1° medicinal penalties or censures, which are listed in can. 1331-1333;

2° expiatory penalties, mentioned in can. 1336.

§2. The law may determine other expiatory penalties which deprive a member of Christ’s faithful of some spiritual or temporal good, and are consistent with the Church’s supernatural purpose.

§3. Use is also made of penal remedies and penances, referred to in cann. 1339 and 1340: the former primarily to prevent offences, the latter rather to substitute for or to augment a penalty.

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