Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Pope curbs use of title 'monsignor'

Catholic World News - January 06, 2014

Pope Francis has cut back severely on the use of the honorary title “monsignor” for Catholic priests.

Shortly after his election, Pope Francis instructed the Secretariat of State to stop approving requests for the designation of priests as “monsignors.” The Secretariat of State has now informed the world’s bishops that the title will only be conferred upon “worthy priests” who are above the age of 65.

The title of “monsignor,” which is purely honorary, has traditionally been conferred upon the recommendation of diocesan bishops. However all such titles require the approval of the Holy See.

In the past the Vatican acknowledged 14 different grades of monsignors. In 1968, as part of his campaign to eliminate outdated ceremonies and titles, Pope Paul VI abolished 11 of those grades, leaving 3 types of monsignors: Apostolic Protonotaries, Honorary Prelates of His Holiness, and Chaplains of His Holiness. Pope Francis has now eliminated the first two rankings, leaving only Chaplains of His Holiness.

The Pope’s decision is not retroactive. Priests who have already attained the rank of “monsignor” will retain that distinction.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our September expenses ($33,416 to go):
$35,000.00 $1,584.25
95% 5%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Don Vicente - Jan. 24, 2014 9:13 PM ET USA

    You know, it is interesting to note that the use of the honor of "Monsignor" for priests under 65 has been terminated everywhere in the Church -- EXCEPT in the Roman Curia! Given the admitted need for a thorough house-cleaning, you would think that would be the FIRST place the Pope would start. Something doesn't add up.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Liberal visions of Catholicism: Kickstarter and the world's largest NGO 13 hours ago
The Blessed Book of Beasts August 30
Weekend reading August 29
Frustrating the Moral Law August 29
Weep for slaughtered Christians, not for dialogue with Islam August 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
‘A real via crucis’: Pope Francis, patriarch plead on behalf of Iraq’s Christians CWN - August 8
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi Christians in flight as Islamic State advances CWN - August 8