Chapter Chapter

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Order chapter is called an assembly of representatives of an order , which according to the statutes of the order is the (highest) collegial decision-making body of the order, the congregation , the order province or the monastery .

One distinguishes

  • the general chapter (lat. Capitulum generale ) of an order. It only exists in this form in the more centralized, mostly younger (i.e. originated from the late 11th century) orders and is the organ that regulates the interests of an entire order. For international orders, the delegates come from all provinces into which the order is divided. The general chapter is presided over by the respective superior general . The official name is different depending on religious traditions, for example, General is in the Cistercians and Premonstratensians , General Minister at the Franciscan , General Magister or Ordensmeister in Dominikanern , General Prior in Augustine Eremiten and Carmelites , general of the order in the Jesuits .
  • the general chapter (Latin Capitulum generale or Capitulum annale ) of a congregation, an order or a branch of the order. It mostly exists in this form in federally organized religious orders (such as the Benedictines or Augustinian Canons ) and makes binding decisions on all matters affecting the associated monasteries. Head: Abbot General, Archabbot , Abbot Preses or First President. The overall order was never centrally directed here, but has been in existence since 19/20. Century represented by an abbot primate.
  • the provincial chapter or provincial chapter ( Capitulum provinciale ), which negotiates the interests of a single religious province. The provincial superior or an elected president is the chairman of the chapter. In the Franciscan Order , the delegates from the individual convents ( Discreti ) met at the level of the custodians , below the provinces, for custody chapters .
  • the chapter (lat. capitulum or capitulum locale ) of an independent monastery.

From the Middle Ages, not only religious orders had chapters, but also orders of knights , until the term became the general designation of the governing body of most religious orders.

See also


  • Bruno Primetshofer : Ordensrecht: On the basis of the Codex Iuris Canonici 1983 and the CCEO taking into account the national law of the Federal Republic of Germany, Austria and Switzerland (= Rombach Science ). 4th edition. Rombach, Freiburg i. Br. 2003, ISBN 3-7930-9354-9 .

Individual evidence

  1. Bernd Schmies, Volker Honemann : The Franciscan Province of Saxonia from its beginnings to 1517: basic features and lines of development. In: Volker Honemann (Ed.): From the beginnings to the Reformation. (= History of the Saxon Franciscan Province from its founding to the beginning of the 21st century , vol. 1.) Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2015, ISBN 978-3-506-76989-3 , pp. 21-44, here p. 38.