Campaign of the Month: August 2011
Le Ballet de l'Acier
In canon law, in commendam, or simply commendam, is a form of transferring an ecclesiastical benefice in trust to the custody of a patron.
The phrase in commendam originally applied to the provisional occupation of an ecclesiastical benefice, which was temporarily without an actual occupant, a corollary of the phrase in titulum, which is applied to the regular and unconditional occupation of benefices; in practice, however, abbeys held in commendam are effectively in the permanent trust of the clerics who receive them, and they are often reserved for a successor by the abbot in commendam as well along with Church offices.
An abbot in commendam is a patron, not the working head of an abbey on the site; he draws the revenue, but is not concerned with the abbey’s working or spiritual discipline. Abbots in commendam ordinarily do not reside in their abbey.