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A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

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PENALTY, PENITENTIAL

A penance imposed by ecclesiastical law or superior for some wrongdoing, as a substitute for the full penalty deserved. It may be a canonical admonition or the recitation of certain prayers, and represents and indulgence motivated by mercy.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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