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What is a censure?

Question:

I occasionally hear about the Church imposing a "censure." What is that?

Answer:

A censure is a type of penalty imposed by the Church. Imposition of such a penalty is intended to motivate a change in behavior and to reintegrate an offending party back into the Church. For this reason a censure is called a medicinal penalty (CIC 1312) as opposed to an expiatory penalty that is compensatory in nature.

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