ROME (CNS) — Abbots and priors from Benedictine men’s communities around the world elected U.S. Abbot Gregory Polan of Conception Abbey in Missouri to be abbot primate.
The 66-year-old Scripture scholar and translator was elected Sept. 10 in Rome during the Congress of Abbots (see stories, pages 1 and 2). His election means the monks of Conception Abbey will have to elect a new abbot to succeed Abbot Polan, who has led Conception Abbey since 1996.
The abbot primate is not the superior general of the Benedictine order because the monasteries are independent. Instead, the abbot primate is called to represent the monks at international gatherings, promote the unity of the abbeys and priories around the world and serve as a liaison to the Vatican.
As abbot primate, he also becomes the abbot of St. Anselm in Rome and chancellor of the Benedictine’s Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm and its Pontifical Liturgical Institute.
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