Prince-abbot

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Adolf von Dalberg, Prince-Abbot of Fulda 1726-1737 Fulda um 1750.jpg
Adolf von Dalberg, Prince-Abbot of Fulda 1726-1737

A Prince-abbot (German : Fürstabt) is a title for a cleric who is a Prince of the Church (like a Prince-bishop), in the sense of an ex officio temporal lord of a feudal entity, notably a State of the Holy Roman Empire. The secular territory ruled by the head of an abbey is known as Prince-abbacy or Abbey-principality. The holder, however, does not hold the ecclesiastical office of a Bishop.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol (Italy), the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

Clergy leaders within certain religions

Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over specific rituals and teaching their religion's doctrines and practices. Some of the terms used for individual clergy are clergyman, clergywoman, and churchman. Less common terms are churchwoman and clergyperson, while cleric and clerk in holy orders both have a long history but are rarely used.

Prince of the Church

The term Prince of the Church is today used nearly exclusively for Catholic cardinals. However, the term is historically more important as a generic term for clergymen whose offices hold the secular rank and privilege of a prince or are considered its equivalent.In the case of cardinals, they are always treated in protocol of Catholic countries as equivalents of royal princes.

The designated abbey may be a community of either monks or nuns. Thus, because of the possibility of it being a female monastery, an abbey-principality is one of the few cases in which the rule can be restricted to female incumbents, styled Princess-Abbess.

Monk religious occupation

A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism by monastic living, either alone or with any number of other monks. A monk may be a person who decides to dedicate his life to serving all other living beings, or to be an ascetic who voluntarily chooses to leave mainstream society and live his or her life in prayer and contemplation. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.

In some cases, the holder was a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire (Reichsfürst), with a seat and a direct vote (votum virile) in the Imperial Diet. Most immediate abbots however, while bearing the title of a "Prince-Abbot", only held the status of an Imperial prelate with a collective vote in the Imperial Diet. Actual Prince-Abbots were:

Princes of the Holy Roman Empire

Prince of the Holy Roman Empire was a title attributed to a hereditary ruler, nobleman or prelate recognised as such by the Holy Roman Emperor.

Imperial Diet (Holy Roman Empire) general assembly of the Holy Roman Empire

The Imperial Diet was the deliberative body of the Holy Roman Empire. It was not a legislative body in the contemporary sense; its members envisioned it more like a central forum where it was more important to negotiate than to decide.

Imperial immediacy was a privileged constitutional and political status rooted in German feudal law under which the Imperial estates of the Holy Roman Empire such as Imperial cities, prince-bishoprics and secular principalities, and individuals such as the Imperial knights, were declared free from the authority of any local lord and placed under the direct authority of the Emperor, and later of the institutions of the Empire such as the Diet, the Imperial Chamber of Justice and the Aulic Council.

Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor 1194 – 1250, Holy Roman Emperor of the Middle Ages

Frederick II was King of Sicily from 1198, King of Germany from 1212, King of Italy and Holy Roman Emperor from 1220 and King of Jerusalem from 1225. He was the son of emperor Henry VI of the Hohenstaufen dynasty and of Constance, heiress to the Norman kings of Sicily.

Pope Benedict XIV 18th-century Catholic pope

Pope Benedict XIV, born Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini, was head of the Catholic Church from 17 August 1740 to his death in 1758.

Prüm Abbey abbey

Prüm Abbey is a former Benedictine abbey in Prüm, Lorraine, now in the diocese of Trier (Germany), founded by the Frankish widow Bertrada the elder and her son Charibert, Count of Laon, on 23 June 720. The first abbot was Angloardus.

The Imperial prelates were represented in the Diet by the envoys of the Swabian and Rhenish College, both holding one collective vote.

Swabian Circle imperial circle of the Holy Roman Empire

The Circle of Swabia or Swabian Circle was an Imperial Circle of the Holy Roman Empire established in 1500 on the territory of the former German stem-duchy of Swabia. However, it did not include the Habsburg home territories of Swabian Austria, the member states of the Swiss Confederacy nor the lands of the Alsace region west of the Rhine, which belonged to the Upper Rhenish Circle. The Swabian League of 1488, a predecessor organization, disbanded in the course of the Protestant Reformation later in the 16th century.

Other examples include the Abbot Nullius of Pinerolo in the Piedmont, Italy and Belmont Abbey, North Carolina, which had the status of an Abbey Nullius until 1977.

Territorial abbey

A territorial abbey is a particular church of the Catholic Church comprising defined territory which is not part of a diocese but surrounds an abbey or monastery whose abbot or superior functions as ordinary for all Catholics and parishes in the territory. Such an abbot is called a territorial abbot or abbot nullius diœceseos. A territorial abbot thus differs from an ordinary abbot, who exercises authority only within the monastery's walls or to monks or canons who have taken their vows there. A territorial abbot is equivalent to a diocesan bishop in Catholic canon law.

Pinerolo Comune in Piedmont, Italy

Pinerolo is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Turin, Piedmont, northwestern Italy, 50 kilometres (31 mi) southwest of Turin on the river Chisone. The Lemina torrent has its source at the boundary between Pinerolo and San Pietro Val di Lemina.

Belmont Abbey, North Carolina abbey

The Abbey of Mary Help of Christians, better known as Belmont Abbey, is a small American monastery of Benedictine monks and Basilica in the town of Belmont, Gaston County, North Carolina, outside of Charlotte, North Carolina.

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The Holy Roman Empire was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western and Central Europe that developed during the Early Middle Ages and continued until its dissolution in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. The largest territory of the empire after 962 was the Kingdom of Germany, though it also came to include the neighboring Kingdom of Bohemia, the Kingdom of Burgundy, the Kingdom of Italy, and numerous other territories.

Prince-bishop bishop who is a territorial Prince of the Church

A prince-bishop is a bishop who is also the civil ruler of some secular principality and sovereignty. Thus the principality or prince-bishopric ruled politically by a prince-bishop could wholly or largely overlap with his diocesan jurisdiction, since some parts of his diocese, even the city of his residence, could be exempt from his civil rule, obtaining the status of free imperial city. If the episcopal see is an archbishopric, the correct term is prince-archbishop; the equivalent in the regular (monastic) clergy is prince-abbot. A prince-bishop is usually considered an elected monarch.

Fürst is a German word for a ruler and is also a princely title. Fürsten were, since the Middle Ages, members of the highest nobility who ruled over states of the Holy Roman Empire and later its former territories, below the ruling Kaiser (emperor) or König (king).

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German mediatisation 19th-century event

German mediatisation was the major territorial restructuring that took place between 1802 and 1814 in Germany and the surrounding region by means of the mass mediatisation and secularisation of a large number of Imperial Estates. Most ecclesiastical principalities, free imperial cities, secular principalities, and other minor self-ruling entities of the Holy Roman Empire lost their independent status and were absorbed into the remaining states. By the end of the mediatisation process, the number of German states had been reduced from almost 300 to just 39.

Princely Abbey of Corvey Corvey today with architecture and history

The Princely Abbey of Corvey is a former Benedictine abbey and ecclesiastical principality now in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It was one of the half-dozen self-ruling princely abbeys of the Holy Roman Empire from the late Middle Ages until 1792 when Corvey was elevated to a prince-bishopric. Corvey, whose territory extended over a vast area, was in turn secularized in 1803 in the course of the German mediatisation and absorbed into the newly created Principality of Nassau-Orange-Fulda. In 2014, the former abbey church was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Primas Germaniae

Primas Germaniae is a historical title of honor for the most important Roman Catholic bishop (Primate) in the German lands. Throughout the history of the Holy Roman Empire, it was claimed by the Archbishops of Mainz, Trier, Magdeburg and Salzburg alike. Actual prerogatives, however, were exercised by bishops holding the rank of an Apostolic legatus natus. While Mainz, Trier and Magdeburg lost the Primate dignity upon the 1648 Peace of Westphalia and the Napoleonic Secularisation in 1802, the Salzburg archbishops bear the title up to today.

Prince-Bishopric of Trent ecclesiastical principality and constituent state of the Holy Roman Empire, 1027–1803

The Prince-Bishopric of Trent, was an ecclesiastical principality roughly corresponding to the present-day Northern Italian autonomous province of Trentino. It was created in 1027 and existed until 1802, when it was secularised and absorbed into the County of Tyrol held by the House of Habsburg. Trent was a Hochstift, an Imperial State under the authority of a prince-bishop at Trento.

Princely abbeys and imperial abbeys of the Holy Roman Empire

Princely abbeys (German: Fürstabtei, Fürststift and Imperial abbeys were religious establishments within the Holy Roman Empire which enjoyed the status of imperial immediacy and therefore were answerable directly to the Emperor. The possession of imperial immediacy came with a unique form of territorial authority known as Landeshoheit, which carried with it nearly all the attributes of sovereignty.

Archduchy of Austria fief of the Holy Roman Empire

The Archduchy of Austria was a major principality of the Holy Roman Empire and the nucleus of the Habsburg Monarchy. With its capital at Vienna, the archduchy was centered at the Empire's southeastern periphery.

Prince-provost

Prince-provost is a rare title for a monastic superior with the ecclesiastical style of provost who is a Prince of the Church in the sense that he also ranks as a secular 'prince', notably a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire (Reichsfürst), holding a direct vote in the Imperial Diet assembly coequal to an actual Prince-abbot, as in each case treated below.

Princely Abbey of Kempten monastery

The Princely Abbey of Kempten was an ecclesiastical principality of the Holy Roman Empire for centuries until it was annexed to the Electorate of Bavaria in the course of the German mediatization in 1803.

Imperial Count title of nobility in the Holy Roman Empire

Imperial Count was a title in the Holy Roman Empire. In the medieval era, it was used exclusively to designate the holder of an imperial county, that is, a fief held directly (immediately) from the emperor, rather than from a prince who was a vassal of the emperor or of another sovereign, such as a duke or prince-elector. These imperial counts sat on one of the four "benches" of Counts, whereat each exercised a fractional vote in the Imperial Diet until 1806.

The Imperial Diet was the primary legislative body in the Holy Roman Empire after 1648. Various princes, bishops, abbots and free cities convened in Regensburg to vote upon and enact laws across the Empire. The allocation of votes were carefully considered with a goal of maintaining balance between Protestant and Catholic princes. Votes were cast by princes in relation to the number of estates with voting rights and the members were arranged into 3 colleges; and 2 prelate benches, 4 count benches, and 2 free city benches.

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