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Prince-abbot: Wikis


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A Prince-Abbot is 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 known as prince-abbacy or abbey-principality — an area that is ruled by the head of an abbey. The holder, however, does not hold the ecclesiastical office of bishop.

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.

In many cases, the holder was a Prince of the Empire of a Reichsabtei in or near Germany, with a seat in the Reichstag (imperial diet).

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.

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