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did not, however, become a general practice in the West until after the Eighth Council of Toledo (653), where ten Abbots had been present, and had subscribed to the decrees by virtue of their pastoral charge. From the eighth century onward Abbots had a voice also in the œcumenical councils of the Church. It must be remarked that in later centuries Abbots wore invited to assist at such councils and were permitted to give a decisive vote, mainly because they too, like the bishops, exercised a power of jurisdiction in the Church of God. In this connection Pope Benedict XIV says: "Item sciendum est quod quando in Conciliis generalibus soli episcopi habebant vocem definitivam, hoc fuit quia habebant administrationem populi … Postea additi fuere Abbates eâdem de causâ, et quia habebant administrationem subjectorum" (De Syn. diœc., XIII, c. ii, no. 5). A newly appointed Abbot, before he receives the solemn benediction at the hands of the bishop, takes an oath that he will discharge faithfully all the duties of his office, specifying among others that of attending councils: "Vocatus ad synodum, veniam, nisi præpeditus fuero canonicâ præpeditione" (Pontif. Rom., De Benedictione Abbatis). In the performance of this duty the Abbot must be guided by the regulations of the sacred canons. According to the present practice of the Church all Abbots nullius diœcesis, or with quasi-episcopal jurisdiction, have a right to assist at œcumenical councils. They have, moreover, the right of a decisive vote, and may subscribe to the decrees. The Abbots-President of congregations and the abbots-general of an entire order are also present and cast a decisive vote, though only by virtue of privilege. Other classes of Abbots were not admitted to the Vatican Council in 1870. In provincial synods and in plenary or national councils the Abbots nullius have de jure a decisive vote, and sign the decrees after the bishops. Attendance at these synods is for them not merely a right, but also an obligation. By the terms of the Council of Trent (Sess. XXIV, De ref., c. ii) they are obliged, "like the bishops who are not subject to any archbishop, to make choice of some neighbouring metropolitan, at whose synods they shall be bound to appear," and they are further directed "to observe and to cause to be observed whatsoever shall be therein ordained." Though other Abbots must not be called de jure to provincial or to national councils, it is yet the custom, in most countries, to invite also the mitred Abbots who have actual jurisdiction only over their monasteries. Thus, at the Second Plenary Council of Baltimore (1866) both the Abbot of the Cistercians and the Abbot-President of the American-Cassinese Benedictines were present, and signed the decrees. At the Third Plenary Council of Baltimore (1884) six mitred Abbots assisted, two of whom, the Abbots-President of the American-Cassinese and of the American-Swiss Congregations of Benedictines, exercised the right of a decisive vote, while the other four had only a consultative voice, and subscribed to the decrees merely as assenting, not as defining. And this is the practice of the Church generally. Exempt Abbots have no obligation to attend diocesan synods.

IX. Distribution of Abbots.—The Black Monks of St. Benedict have at present seven Abbots nullius diœcesis, located as follows:—Italy, 4; Switzerland, 1; Hungary, 1; and West Australia, 1;—86 Abbots exercising actual jurisdiction over their monasteries:—Austria, 19; United States, 14; France, 9 (before the Law of Associations); Italy, 9; Germany, 7; England, 6; Hungary, 5; Switzerland, 4; Brazil, S. A., 3; Holland, 3; Spain, 3; Belgium, 2; Scotland, 1; West Australia, 1. They have also nine titular, and three resigned Abbots.

The Cistercian Abbots of the Three Observances number fifty-seven. Of these the Cistercians of the Common and of the Lesser Observance have nineteen:—Italy, 3; Belgium, 2; Austro-Hungarian Province, 8; and the Swiss-German Congregation, 3. The Congregation of Sémanque, to which the three Abbots of the Lesser Observance belong, is now dispersed by the Associations Law of France. The Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists) have thirty-eight:—France, 18 (not expelled); Belgium, 4; Italy, 3; United States, Austria, and Ireland, two each; Canada, China, England, Germany, Holland, and Spain, one each. The Cistercians have also two Abbots nullius diœcesis.

In Italy, the Camaldolese, Vallombrosans, Silvestrines, and Olivetans, all branches of the Benedictine Order, have each a small number of Abbots. Monte Oliveto Maggiore belonging to the Olivetans, is an abbey nullius diœcesis. Some few houses of the various Congregations of Canons Regular, of the Antonians, of the Armenian Benedictines, and of the Basilians, are also under the direction of Abbots. Mitred Abbots in the United States are the Abbots of St. Vincent's Arch-Abbey, Beatty, Pa.; St. John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minn.; St. Benedict's Abbey, Atchison, Kan.; St. Mary's Abbey, Newark, N. J.; Maryhelp Abbey, Belmont, N. C.; St. Bernard's Abbey, St. Bernard, Ala.; St. Procopius's Abbey, Chicago, Ill.; St. Leo's Abbey, St. Leo, Fla.; St. Meinrad's Abbey, St. Meinrad, Ind.; Immaculate Conception Abbey, Conception, Mo.; New Subiaco Abbey, Spielerville, Ark.; St. Joseph's Abbey, Covington, La.; St. Mary's Abbey, Richardton, N. Dak.; St. Benedict's Abbey, Mount Angel, Ore.; Gethsemani Abbey, Ky.; New Melleray Abbey, near Dubuque, Iowa; and the Sacred Heart Abbey, Oklahoma.

Mitred Abbots in England are the Titular Abbot of Reading, the Abbot of St. Gregory's Abbey, Downside, Bath; St. Lawrence's Abbey, Ampleforth, York; St. Edmund's Abbey of Douay, Woolhampton, Reading; St. Augustine's Abbey, Ramsgate; St. Thomas's Abbey, Erdington, Birmingham; Buckfast Abbey, Buckfastleigh, Devon; St. Michael's Abbey, Farnborough (Benedictines of Solesmes); Abbey of St. Pierre, Appuldurcombe, Isle of Wight (Benedictines of Solesmes); St. Bernard's Abbey, Coalville, near Leicester (Cistercian); The Canons Regular of the Lateran, Spettisbury, Dorsetshire.

In Scotland: St. Benedict's Abbey, Fort Augustus, Inverness.

In Ireland: Mt. Melleray Abbey, Cappoquin; Mt. St. Joseph's Abbey, Roscrea, Tipperary.

In West Australia: Holy Trinity Abbey, New Norcia (nullius diœcesis).

In Canada: Abbey of Notre Dame du Lac, Lac des Deux Montagues.

Rule of St. Benedict in P. L., LXVI, 933 sq. (ed. Schmidt, Ratisbon, 1880; 2d ed., ibid., 1893); Gasquet, English Monastic Life (London, 1904); Taunton, The English Black Monks of St. Benedict (London, 1898); Idem, The Law of the Church (St. Louis, 1900); Digby. Mores Catholici; or The Ages of Faith (London, 1845; reprint. New York. 1906, Bk. X, vol. III); Montalembert, The Monks of the West, from St. Benedict to St. Bernard (ed. Gasquet, New York. 1896); Doyle, The Teaching of St. Benedict (London, 1887); Dugdale, Monasticon (London, 1817); Mabillon, Annales Ordinis S. Benedicti (Lucca, 1739). I, ii; Thomassin, Vetus et Nova Eccl. Discipl. (Mainz, 1787); Marténe, De Antiq. Eccl. Ritibus (Bassano, 1788), II; De Cange, Gloss. Med. et Infim. Latinii., s. v. Abbas; Ferdaris, Prompta Bibl. Can. (Rome, 1885); Tamburini, De Jure et Privileg. Abbat. Prælat. (Cologne, 1691); Fagnani, Jus Canon., a. Commentaria in V Libros Decretalium (ibid., 1704); Lucidi, De Visitatione Sacrorum Liminum (Rome, 1878); Besse, Les moines d'orient (Paris, 1900); Chamard, Abbas au moyen âge, in Rev. des. questions historiques (1885), XXXVIII, 71–108; Besse, in Dict. d'archéol. chrêt. (Paris, 1903); Lagogne, in Dict. de théol. cath., s. v. Abbés (Paris, 1905); Sagmüller, Lehrb. des kathol. Kirchenrechts (Freiburg, 1905); Hergenröther-Holweck, Lehrb. den kathol. Kirchenrechts (ibid., 1905); Heuser, in Kirchenles., s. v. Abt (2d ed., ibid. 1882). For an extensive bibliography, see Scherer, Handbuch des Kirchenrechts (Gratz, 1886), II, 729 sq. 753.