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Catholic Dictionary




Superior of a monastery of monks having a settled location; a title definitely fixed by St. Benedict. The abbot is elected, usually for life, by the professed members of the community in a secret ballot. The authority of an abbot is, first, paternal, administering the property of the abbey and maintaining discipline in the observance of rule, and, second, is quasi-episcopal in conferring a certain territorial jurisdiction. The rule of the order determines the qualifications of its abbot. His insignia are the pectoral cross and a ring. (Etym. Aramaic abba, father.)

See Also: ABBESS