Downside monks in Rome

Every four years all the Abbots and other superiors from the Benedictine monasteries throughout the world meet in Rome in order to discuss issues relating to the whole Benedictine Confederation. They also elect the Abbot Primate, who is the link between the Vatican and the Benedictine world.

This time Downside was well represented at the Congress. Abbot Richard, as a member of the Primate’s Council, had been heavily involved with the organisation of the Congress; Dom David was engaged as a German – English interpreter and Dom Leo was there as the Prior Administrator of Downside. The Congress members were kept fully occupied throughout their time, but had a good opportunity to talk together and to exchange experiences. A highlight for many participants will have been the private audience with Pope Francis, at the end of which each member was personally presented to the Pope and had a brief opportunity to speak with him.