BY A STAFF REPORTER t"‘,XPERIMENTS with the structure of the Divine Office were suggested in a petition sent to the Holy See after the recent Congress of Benedictine Abbots and Priors Conventual in Rome. The English congregations already have permission to experiment with the use of the English language in the Office.
The Abbot President, Dorn Victor Farwell of Worth Abbey, near Crawley. Sussex, said the English congregations were very active at the Congress on matters concerning monastic organisation, changes in the constitution of the Confederated O.S.B.s and on the organisation of St. Anselmo's College in Rome.
"Our view on the future of St. Anselmo's was given a very sympathetic hearing," he said, "but there won't be any radical changes for a few years."
The Congress agreed that in future the Abbot Primate should serve for six years instead of 12, but the Congress
should continue to meet every six years as at present. There will, however, be an extraordinary Congress in three years' time.
Abbot Rembert Weakland, 40, of St. Vincent's Archabbey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, is the first American to be elected to lead the world's 13,000 Benedictine priests and brothers and 23,000 sisters.
The Synod of Presidents, which met several times during the Congress, reappointed Abbot Basil Hume of Ampleforth to the Monastic Commission and Abbot Robert Richardson of Belmont was appointed to the Liturgical Commission.
The Monastic Commission, appointed last year, produced a document giving a doctrinal exposition of the central Benedictine tradition, underlining the very diverse manifestation of Benedictine life. Quoting from the Rule, the Scriptures and Vatican II, it was warmly received by the Congress.
The Synod of Presidents will meet again next year, probably in Rome.