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Coming (emphasis on the second syllable; from Latin commendare "to entrust", "recommend") originally referred to as a term in canon law, the transfer of the income of a church or monastery property to a third person with exemption from official duties.

In later times the branches of the knightly orders were referred to as Kommende or Komturei (in France as commanderie , in Spain as encomienda , in Poland as komturia, komenda or komandoria ).

Coming in canon law


In canon law , the coming was a form of the fiduciary transfer of church benefices to a third person, the comingist. The term in commendam was originally applied to the temporary occupation of a benefice for which there was temporarily no official - as a logical counterpart to the term in titulum , which was assigned to the orderly and unconditional state.

Already Ambrose of Milan stated († 397) in a letter the passing of a church in commendam during his time as bishop: "commendo tibi, fili, Ecclesiam, quae est ad Forum Cornelii, ... donec ei ordinetur episcopus" (Epistle II). The third council of Orléans in 538 granted the right to give goods in commendam to the bishops, while in the German-speaking area the institution of the private churches was common. Pope Gregory the Great († 604) gave churches and monasteries in Commendam to those bishops who had been driven out of their dioceses by violence or whose dioceses were not wealthy enough to feed their ecclesiastical head.

Laymen as commendatars

During the time of the Merovingians and Carolingians , lay people were enfeoffed with abbeys in the Frankish Empire. Such a lay abbot or commander abbot was a patron, but not the executive head of an abbey; he received the income, so that the monasteries often lost their income and received no compensation for it. An abbot in commendam had nothing to do with day-to-day operations or spiritual discipline and usually did not reside in the abbey. The spiritual direction of the monastery was mostly with a monk of the monastery, who was often called prior . The custom, which first appeared under Karl Martell , was mostly opposed by the church, but given the power of the respective political sovereign, the church often had no choice but to accept this practice.

Well-known examples of lay abbots from the 10th century are:

When the investiture dispute was settled in favor of the church in 1122 , the appointment of lay people in commendam was abolished.

Further development

From the 14th century onwards, benefices were given in large numbers to individual cardinals , whereby the granting no longer had to be limited in time, but could also be for life. The Bologna Concordat of 1516 between Pope Leo X and King Francis I gave the King of France the right to appoint 225 abbés commendataires (for almost all French abbeys). Commendatar abbots could also help to improve discipline, as the examples Jean de la Barrière , Armand Jean Le Bouthillier de Rancé and Angélique Arnauld show.

Well-known cardinals who were commendatar abbots at the same time are Richelieu and Mazarin , who, among other things, ran the Cluny Abbey and La Chaise-Dieu Abbey.

Todays situation

With the French Revolution , in practice, the award of the title is abbé commendataire extinct in France, according to also in Germany after the secularization in the early 19th century, the awarding of the title ended commendatory .

In the Church of England , the practice of giving benefices in commendam was abolished in 1836.

In the Catholic Church the Pope still has the right to use this procedure today. But he only makes use of this with cardinals who reside in Rome.

Coming of the orders of knights

The Gillhof in Kirchhain , coming of the Teutonic Order

The religious orders of knights called their settlements (e.g. monasteries of the knights and priests ) "Coming". They were not only convents , but also administrative units that were subordinate to a Komtur (Middle Latin commendator = "commander"). The Komtur exercised all administrative powers, supervised the bailiwicks and tithe courts subordinate to his comers, and was in turn subordinate to the Bailli or Landkomtur . Several comedians were united in a Ballei (a religious province ).

The tasks of the commandery primarily included the management of their goods. However, she was also responsible for the practice of hospitality towards members of the order passing through. The Coming alimentierte sexton , priest and all secular and ecclesiastical subordinates of the Commendatore. The poor were given alms .

See also:


  • Werner Bergmann, Otto Dickau, Heinz-Jürgen Kamp: History and sources of the German Order Coming in the Ruhr area using the example of the Coming Welheim. From the beginning to the eve of the Reformation . Henselowsky Boschmann, Bottrop 2017, ISBN 978-3-942094-74-0
  • Franz Josef Felten : Abbots and lay abbots in the Franconian Empire. Study on the relationship between state and church in the early Middle Ages (= monographs on the history of the Middle Ages. Vol. 20). Hiersemann, Stuttgart 1980, ISBN 3-7772-8018-6 (also: Saarbrücken, Univ., Diss., 1976).
  • Erich Meuthen : To the late medieval coming creatures . In: Lotte Kéry, Dietrich Lohrmann, Harald Müller (eds.): Licet preter solitum. Ludwig Falkenstein on his 65th birthday . Shaker, Aachen 1998, ISBN 3-8265-3636-3 , p. 241-264 .
  • Ulrich Stutz : History of ecclesiastical charity from its beginnings to the time of Alexander III . Completed from the estate and provided with a foreword by Hans Erich Feine . 2nd Edition. Scientia-Verlag, Aalen 1961.
  • Michael Ott:  "In commendam" . In: Catholic Encyclopedia , Volume 7, Robert Appleton Company, New York 1910.
  • Michael Ott:  "Commendatory Abbot" . In: Catholic Encyclopedia , Volume 4, Robert Appleton Company, New York 1908.

Individual evidence

  1. Kommendist . In: Former Academy of Sciences of the GDR, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences (Hrsg.): German legal dictionary . tape 7 , issue 8 (edited by Günther Dickel , Heino Speer, with the assistance of Renate Ahlheim, Richard Schröder, Christina Kimmel, Hans Blesken). Hermann Böhlaus successor, Weimar 1981, OCLC 832567114 ( ).
  2. Gregory the Great: Epistles I, 40; II, 38; III, 13; VI, 21. In: Patrologia Latina , Vol. LXXVII, pp. 493, 577, 614, 812.
  3. Johanniter magazine , issue 2/2007