Abbot Pres

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The title of Abbot Preses ( Latin abbas praeses ), historically also the first President ( praesidens principalis ), bears the head ( Latin supremus moderator ) of a monastic congregation of the Benedictines and the Cistercians of the general observance in German-speaking countries .

He belongs to the higher superiors (superiores maiores), but his rights over the individual monasteries are restricted. They are described in more detail in the constitutions / statutes. Among other things, the abbot's task is to represent the congregation externally, to preside over the general chapter, to lead elections for abbots and abbesses and to check the spiritual and economic situation of the individual monasteries in the course of visitations . He is the second instance in disputes between members of his monastic congregation. The Abbot Preses has precedence over the other Abbots of his Congregation.

One differentiates:

  • the elected abbot praeses ( praeses electus ): He is elected by the abbots and deputies of the congregation at the general chapter for a fixed period. Depending on the constitutions, he can be
    1) abbot of a monastery,
    2) an abbot released for the office of president or
    3) a monk of the congregation, who is only then consecrated as abbot .
    His term of office usually lasts 6 years, re-election is possible (so-called Praeses system).
  • The born abbot praeses ( praeses natus ): He is the abbot of the main monastery of a congregation and automatically becomes head of the congregation when he is elected abbot of his abbey (so-called archabbot system). In some congregations the “born superior” of a congregation is therefore also called archabbot . In the branch orders of the Benedictine Confederation he is called Abbot General .

In addition to the congregations, the Benedictines also have the confederation, whose highest representative bears the title of Abbot Primate .

See also


  • The statutes of the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation. Abtei-Verlag, Metten 1989, ISBN 3-9801820-1-0 .
  • Viktor J. Dammertz : Abbot Pres. In: Stephan Haering, Heribert Schmitz (Ed.): Lexicon of Church Law. Herder, Freiburg 2004, ISBN 3-451-28522-3 , Sp. 12.
  • Honorius Hanstein: Order law. A floor plan for students, pastors, monastery administrators and lawyers. Schöningh, Paderborn 1953, DNB 451828321 , pp. 27, 57.
  • Gregory Polan : The Abbot President as a pastor and shepherd. The service of the visitation . In: Erbe und Einsatz , 94 vol. (2018), pp. 23–33.
  • Marvin Yuen: The introduction of the Abbot Preses model in the Beuron congregation in 1936. In: Jakobus Kaffanke, Joachim Köhler (Ed.): Use more than rule! Raphael Walzer OSB, Archabbot of Beuron, 1918–1937 (= contributions to theology, church and society in the 20th century, vol. 17). Lit, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-8258-1327-7 , pp. 109-140.

Individual evidence

  1. Abbot Preses. on: Order online.