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An archabbot ( Latin archiabbas , "first abbot") is usually the abbot of a monastery that has the rank of archabbey . An archabbot retains his title even after his retirement.

In the Benedictine order

Erzabteien are among the Benedictines either the regular monasteries some congregations , such as the Abbey Beuron in the Beuron Congregation and St. Ottilien Archabbey in ottilien congregation or by the Pope entitled Archabbey excellent abbeys such. B. the Archabbey of St. Peter in Salzburg . However, not every congregation has an archabbey.

In some cases the archabbot also directs his congregation; thus the Archabbot of Pannonhalma is also superior of the entire Hungarian Congregation . Until October 2012, the Archabbot of St. Ottilien was also the head of the Ottilian Congregation. Since then, as in the Beuron Congregation, Archabbey and Archabbot (today) have been purely honorary titles; the leadership of the congregation lies with an elected abbot . In this case, the archabbot ranks behind the abbot in terms of precedence , otherwise the archabbot takes precedence over all other abbots in the congregation. The archabbot belongs (like all abbots) to the higher superiors ( superiores maiores ).

In the Cistercian order

With the Cistercians of the general observance, the former abbot general, long-time abbot of the Zirc monastery and president of the Zirc congregation , Polikárp Zakar , had the apparently personal title of archabbot since 2000, without this being passed on to his successor or the Zirc abbey in the rank of archabbey would have been raised. In contrast, the Abbot General in the "Cistercian Order of Stricter Observance" ( Trappists ) still bears the title of 'Archabbot of Cîteaux ' as a historical reminiscence .

Archabbeys worldwide (as of 2018)

All archabbeys belong to the Benedictine order.


  • Stephan Haering : Art. Erzabt , in: ders./ Heribert Schmitz (Ed.), Lexikon des Kirchenrechts , Herder, Freiburg 2004, (Lexicon for Theology and Church compact), Sp. 263;
  • Iohannes P. Müller OSB: Atlas OSB Benedictinorum per orbem praesentia ..., Vol. I, Index Monasteriorum , Editiones Anselmianae, Roma 1973, pp. 8, 31, 45, 144, 208, 287f;
  • Asztrik Várszegi OSB: The election of the archabbot among the Hungarian Benedictines in the 20th century , in: Erbe und Einsatz , 94 (2018), pp. 167-178.
  • Johannes Zeschick : Art. Břevnov , in: LThK , 3rd edition, vol. 2, special edition, Herder, Freiburg 2006, col. 686f;