Bavarian Benedictine Congregation

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The Bavarian Benedictine Congregation (Latin: Congregatio Bavaria Ordinis Sancti Benedicti ) is a monastic association of monasteries , an association of basically independent Bavarian Benedictine monasteries , which was founded in 1684 by Pope Innocent XI. was founded by the Breve "Circumspecta" under the title of the holy guardian angel .


The first suggestions for the amalgamation of the Bavarian Benedictine abbeys in a congregation came from Felizian Ninguarda in 1583 , who was papal nuncio in southern Germany from 1578 to 1583 . In this way, after the shocks of the Reformation, the monastic discipline was to be consolidated and the religious and spiritual life in the monasteries renewed in accordance with the reform provisions of the Council of Trent ( counter-reformation ). However, such a merger did not initially take place. Other initiatives by individual or several Bavarian abbots also repeatedly failed. One reason for this was the bishops, who saw in a congregation a restriction of their own influence on the abbeys located in their dioceses. However, the plans were also opposed by individual abbots and convents, who saw the merger to form an association with uniform discipline and joint leadership as a contradiction to the Benedictine tradition, which emphasizes the autonomy and independence of the individual monastery.

The decisive initiative that ultimately led to the establishment of the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation came from Abbot Coelestin Vogl of St. Emmeram Monastery in Regensburg. He had to fight against the resistance of bishops, but also abbots and convents for almost two decades before the congregation was established by papal decree on August 26, 1684. The newly established Bavarian Congregation of the Holy Guardian Angels by no means included all Benedictine monasteries that were in the Bavarian region. Initially, the congregation included the abbeys Andechs , Attel , Benediktbeuern , Ensdorf , Frauenzell , Mallersdorf , prüfunging , St. Emmeram in Regensburg, Reichenbach , Rott , Scheyern , Tegernsee , Thierhaupten , Weihenstephan , Weißenohe and Wessobrunn . The abbeys Michelfeld , Oberaltaich and Weltenburg later joined the congregation . Other abbeys, such as B. Niederalteich and Metten stayed away from the congregation.

At the head of the congregation were an abbot praeses and two visitators who were elected from the abbots of the member monasteries by the general chapter, which meets every three years. Each monastery was represented at the general chapter by the abbot and a delegate elected by the convention. The individual abbots were accountable to the congregation for the management and discipline of their monastery. A common novitiate was established to promote a uniform discipline in the monasteries belonging to the congregation . The general chapter designated one of the monasteries as the location of the novitiate and appointed the novice master. For the philosophical and theological training of the next generation, a joint study program was set up, for which the individual monasteries had to provide suitable monks as professors. In addition, the monasteries committed themselves to mutual support. The small and financially weaker monasteries benefited from this in particular. The merger to form a congregation had an overall positive effect on the cultural, scientific and religious life in the monasteries that had joined. The congregation came to an end with the abolition of the Bavarian monasteries during the secularization of 1803.

In 1858 the Congregation was founded by Pope Pius IX. rebuilt from the monasteries of Metten , St. Bonifaz (Munich) with Andechs and Weltenburg, which were restored by King Ludwig I of Bavaria after secularization . The remaining monasteries were added, partly through later annexation, partly when they were rebuilt: Scheyern 1861, Schäftlarn 1866, St. Stephan (Augsburg) and Ottobeuren 1893, Ettal 1900, Plankstetten 1904, Niederaltaich 1918, Rohr 1984.

See also: Benedictine Confederation

Congregation member monasteries today

  1. Braunau Abbey in Rohr : Abbey of St. Wenceslas in Braunau (Bohemia) in Rohr
  2. Ettal Abbey with Wechselburg Monastery : Abbey of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in Ettal with a priory in Wechselburg
  3. Metten Abbey : Abbey of St. Michael the Archangel in Metten
  4. Plankstetten Abbey : Abbey of the two virgins in Plankstetten
  5. Niederaltaich Abbey : Abbey of St. Mauritius and his companions in Niederaltaich
  6. Abbey Ottobeuren : Abbey to the holy Alexander and Theodor in Ottobeuren
  7. Schäftlarn Abbey : Abbey of Saints Dionysius and Juliana in Schäftlarn (Ebenhausen)
  8. Scheyern Abbey : Abbey of the Assumption of Mary and the Holy Cross in Scheyern
  9. Abbey of St. Boniface , Munich, with priory of Andechs : Abbey of St. Boniface in Munich with priory of St. Nicholas and Elisabeth in Andechs
  10. Abbey of St. Stephan, Augsburg : Abbey of St. Stephen in Augsburg
  11. Weltenburg Abbey : Abbey of St. George in Weltenburg

Abbot President of the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation

Abbot president until secularization 1803

  • Coelestin Vogl , 1684–1689 (St. Emmeram)
  • Gregor Kimpfler, 1689–1692 (Scheyern)
  • Bernhard Wenzl, 1692–1698 (Tegernsee)
  • Eliland Oettl, 1698–1705 (Benediktbeuern)
  • Quirin Millon, 1705–1711 (Tegernsee)
  • Placidus Stainbacher , 1711–1717 (Frauenzell)
  • Ildefons Huber, 1717–1735 (Weihenstephan)
  • Gregor Plaichshirn, 1735–1747 (Tegernsee)
  • Beda von Schallhammer, 1747–1760 (Wessobrunn)
  • Benno Vogelsanger, 1761–1768 (Benediktbeuern)
  • Petrus Gerl , 1768–1781 (checking)
  • Joseph Maria Hiendl , 1782–1796 (Oberaltaich)
  • Karl Klocker , 1797–1803 (Benediktbeuern)

Abbot President of the re-established congregation since 1858



  • The statutes of the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation / Ordo Sancti Benedicti / Bavarian Congregation, Metten 1989.
  • Called by God. The path of St. Benedict for our time. The statutes of the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation (spiritual part), St. Ottilien 1979.

Secondary literature

  • Wilhelm Fink: Contributions to the history of the Bavarian. Benedictine Congregation. An anniversary publication 1684–1934 (SMGB, supplement volume 9), Metten / Munich 1934.
  • Franz Gressierer: The General Chapter of the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation 1684–1984 , in: SMGB 95 (1984) 489–521.
  • Stephan Haering : Bavarian Benedictine Congregation from 1684 to 1803 , in: Ulrich Faust, Franz Quarthal (edit.): The Reform Associations and Congregations of the Benedictines in the German-speaking Area (= Germania Benedictina 1), St. Ottilien 1999, pp. 621–652
  • Stephan Haering: Bavarian Benedictine Congregation in the 19th and 20th centuries , in: ibid. Pp. 675–703.
  • Stephan Haering: The abbot praeses of the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation: Comments on his position and his powers, especially under current law , in: Wolfgang Winhard (Ed.): Glad in common hope , Sankt Ottilien, 2002.
  • Michael Kaufmann: The Metten Monastery and the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation , in: Alt und Jung Metten, vol. 75 (2008/09), volume 2, 254–279.
  • Anselm Reichhold: 100 Years of the Bavarian Benedictine Congregation as reflected in the most important resolutions of the General Chapters, in SMGB 95 (1984), 522–696.

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