That to penitents the times of their penance shall be assigned by the will of the bishop according to the difference of their sins; and that a presbyter shall not reconcile a penitent without consulting the bishop, unless the absence of the bishop urges him necessarily thereto. But when of any penitent the offence has been public and commonly known, so as to have scandalized the whole Church, he shall receive imposition of the hand before the altar (Lat. “before the apse”).
The bishops shall fix the time of penance for those doing penance according to their sins. A presbyter without his knowledge shall not reconcile one doing penance, even when necessity impels him thereto. 443
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