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Within the limits of his territory such an Abbot has, with few exceptions, the rights and privileges of a bishop, and assumes all a bishop's obligations.
Abbots of the second grade, however, whose authority (though quasi-episcopal) is intra-territorial, cannot be considered ordinaries, nor can they lay any claim to the rights and privileges of bishops, excepting those, of course, which have been especially granted them by the Holy See.
Every individual monk was to be a son of that family, the, Abbot its father, and the monastery its permanent home. Benedict was based entirely upon the supremacy of the abbot.
Upon the Abbot therefore, as upon the father of a family, devolves the government and direction of those who are committed to his care, and a paternal solicitude should characterize his rule. Benedict says that "an abbot who is worthy to have the charge of a monastery ought always to remember by what title he is called," and that "in the monastery he is considered to represent the person of Christ, seeing that he is called by His name" ( Rule of St. Though the Rule gives directions as to an abbot's government, and furnishes him with principles upon which to act, and binds him to carry out certain prescriptions as to consultation with others in difficult matters etc., the subject is told to obey without question or hesitation the decision of the superior.
His will is supreme in all things; yet, as the Rule says, nothing is to be taught, commanded, or ordered beyond the precepts of the Lord.
All the officials who are to assist him in the government of the house, are appointed by him and have their authority from him. The Abbot, by virtue of his office, administers the temporal possessions of the community, exercises a general supervision for the maintenance of monastic discipline, provides for the keeping of the Rule, punishes and, if need be, excommunicates the refractory, presides in choir during the recitation of the Office, and at Divine Service, and gives the blessings.
Pachomius, who, about the same time, founded his first coenobium , or conventual monastery, at Tabennae in the far south of Egypt.