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A French word meaning primarily and strictly an abbot or superior of a monastery of men. It came eventually to be applied, in France, to every man who wears the dress of a secular ecclesiastic (Littré). This extension of meaning dates from the time of Francis I (1515-47), who, by consent of the Holy See, named secular clerics Abbots in commendam (See ABBOT: Kinds of Abbot). During the following centuries the name was applied to clerics, often not in sacred Orders, engaged as professors or tutors, or in some similar capacity in the houses of the nobility.
APA citation. (1907). Abbé. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01007c.htm
MLA citation. "Abbé." The Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1907. <http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/01007c.htm>.
Transcription. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Christine J. Murray.
Ecclesiastical approbation. Nihil Obstat. March 1, 1907. Remy Lafort, S.T.D., Censor. Imprimatur. +John Cardinal Farley, Archbishop of New York.
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