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Sanctions in the Church » Offenses and Penalties in General » The Remission of Penalties and the Prescription of Actions
Canon 1362. §1. A criminal action is extinguished by prescription after three years, except for:

1° offences reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which are subject to special norms;

2° without prejudice to n. 1, an action arising from any of the offences mentioned in can. 1376, 1377, 1378, 1393§1, 1394, 1395, 1397, or 1398§2, which is extinguished after seven years, or one arising from the offences mentioned in can. 1398§1, which is extinguished after twenty years;

3° offences not punished by the universal law, where a particular law has prescribed a different period of prescription.

§2. Prescription, unless provided otherwise in a law, runs from the day the offence was committed or, if the offence was enduring or habitual, from the day it ceased.

§3. When the offender has been summoned in accordance with can. 1723, or informed in the manner provided in can. 1507§3 of the presentation of the petition of accusation according to can. 1721§1, prescription of the criminal action is suspended for three years; once this period has expired or the suspension has been interrupted through the cessation of the penal process, time runs once again and is added to the period of prescription which has already elapsed. The same suspension equally applies if, observing can. 1720 n. 1, the procedure is followed for imposing or declaring a penalty by way of an extra-judicial decree.
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