abbot



abbot defined in 1939 year

abbot - Abbot (Aramaic abba, father);
abbot - Title given in the West, not earlier than the 6th century, to the superior of a monastery of twelve or more monks. Within his own jurisdiction he had the authority and insignia of a bishop. Before the dissolution of the monasteries mitred abbots formed the majority of the lords spiritual in the English Parliament. An abbot is elected, by the votes of the professed members of the community, for life. An abbot president is elected by the abbots of the federated houses of the particular order in each land. The election must be confirmed by the bishop of the diocese, or, if the house be exempt, as Westminster Abbey was, by the Pope. When the greater monasteries possessed large estates the abbot had all the authority of a lord of the manor. In Germany certain abbots—e.g. the abbot of Fulda— had sovereign powers.

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