One hundred and thirty Benedictine Abbots, representing the six Congregations of the Order from coun tries all over the world, met in Rome last week to elect their Abbot Primate. Dorn Bernard Kahn, Abbot of Muri Cries, Switzerland, was elected to succeed Abbot Stotzingen, who died in January of this year.
von There have been only three Abbots Primate since Pope Leo XIII in 1893 formed the autonomous Benedictine Congregations into a confederation.
This meeting in Rome of the Abbots was timed to coincide with the celebrations in connection with the 14th centenary of tlfe death of St. Benedict.
At the chief celebration in Rome the Pope himself took part. He visited the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Wall for the first time in his Pontificate, and was present at the Pontifical Mass celebrated by Cardinal Schuster. Archbishop of Milan, in the presence of 15 Cardinals, 30 bishops and the abbots and numerous Benedictine monks.
WORK AND PRAY
"It is a double command of God, this praying and working," said the Pope, in his address, recalling St. Benedict's motto of " prayer and labour." '' Now, indeed, when Europe has withdrawn from the ways of St. Benedict and despises Christ and the Church, and not a few deny even God, it is even teaching false doctrines to other nations.
" Therefore, Europe lies prostrate by the sorrowful consequences of all that, and has difficulty in raising itself from the immense calamity and misery. It does not seem useless, however, to think of Europe united again in its Catholic faith."
Describing St. Benedict as " the father of Europe," the Pope added that the congregations of the Benedictine Order will again be " more necessary for the internal apostolate and missionaries of present times."