The Rules regarding Penance as laid down by Pope Paul VI

This is an excerpt from the document on Penance. These are the rules 
on Penance as laid down by Pope Paul VI from that document:

.....the following is declared and established:

1. By divine law all the faithful are required to do penance.
2. The prescriptions of ecclesiastical law regarding penitence are
   totally reorganized according to the following norms:


1. The time of Lent preserves its penitential character. The days of
   penitence to be observed under obligation throughout the Church are
   all Fridays and Ash Wednesday, that is to say the first days of
   "Grande Quaresima" (Great Lent), according to the diversity of 
    rites. Their substantial observance binds gravely. 
2. Apart from the faculties referred to in VI and VIII regarding the
   manner of fulfilling the precept of penitence on such days, absti-
   nence is to be observed on every Friday which does not fall on a 
   day of obligation, while abstinence and fast is to be observed on
   Ash Wednesday or, according to the various practices of the rites,
   on the first day of "Grande Quaresima" (Great Lent) and on Good


1. The law of abstinence forbids the use of meat, but not of eggs, the
   products of milk or condiments made of animal fat.
2. The law of fasting allows only one full meal a day, but does not
   prohibit taking some food in the morning and evening, observing -
   as far as quantity and quality are concerned - approved local 


To the law of abstinence those are bound who have completed their 14th
year of age. To the law of fast those of the faithful are bound who
have completed their 21st year and up until the beginning of their 
60th year.
    As regards those of a lesser age, pastors of souls and parents
should see to it with particular care that they are educated to a
true sense of penitence.


All privileges and indults, whether general or particular, are 
abrogated with these norms, but nothing is changed either regarding
the vows of any physical or moral person or regarding the constitut-
ions and rules of any approved religious congregation or institute.


1. In accordance with the conciliar decree Christus Dominus regarding
the pastoral office of bishops, number38,4, it is the task of episco-
pal conferences to:
A. Transfer for just cause the days of penitence, always taking into
account the Lenten season;
B. Substitute abstinence and fast wholly or in part with other forms
of penitence and especially works of charity and the exercises of 
2. By way of information, episcopal conferences should communicate to
the Apostolic See what they have decided on the matter.


   While the faculties of individual bishops of dispensing, according
to the decree Christus Dominus, number8b, remain unchanged, pastors
also for just cause and in accordance with the prescriptions of the
Ordinary may grant to individual faithful as well as individual fami-
lies dispensation or commutation of abstinence and fast into other 
pious practices. The superior of a religious house or clerical instit-
ute enjoys the same faculties for his subjects.


   In the Eastern rites it is the right of the patriarch, together 
with the synod or supreme authority of every rite, together with the
council of hierarchs, to determine the days of fast and abstinence in
accordance with the conciliar decree on the Eastern rites, number 23.


1. It is strongly desired that bishops and all pastors of souls, in
addition to the more frequent use of the sacrament of penance (sic),
promote with zeal, particularly during the Lenten season, extraordin-
ary practices of penitence aimed at expiation and impetration.
2. It is strongly recommended to all the faithful that they keep deep-
ly rooted in theirhearts a genuine Christian spirit of penitence to
spur them to accomplish works of charity and penitence.


1. These prescriptions which, by way of exception, are promulgated by
means of L'Osservatore Romano, became effective on Ash Wednesday of 
this year, that is to say on the 23rd of the present month.
2. Where particular privileges and indults have been in force until 
now-whether general or particular of any kind-"vacatio legis" [suspen-
sion of the law] for six months from the day of promulgation is to be
regarded as granted.

 We desire that these norms and prescriptions for the present and fut-
ure be established and effective notwithstanding-inasmuch as is neces-
sary-apostolic constitutions and regulations issued by our predecess-
ors and all other prescriptions, even if worthy of particular mention
and revocation.
 Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, Feb. 17, 1966, the third year of our