Pope curbs conferral of “monsignor” title
The Catholic News Service (Jan. 6, 2014) reported that Pope Francis has decided to limit the conferral of the honor of “monsignor” to secular or diocesan priests who are at least 65 years old. In addition, of the three grades of the title––apostolic protonotary, honorary prelate of His Holiness, and chaplain of His Holiness––only the last will be available to “worthy” diocesan priests who meet the age requirement. The report notes that nunciatures around the world were notified of the decision on Dec. 30 by the Vatican Secretariat of State along instructions to inform local bishops.
The change is not retroactive and does not affect Vatican officials or members of religious orders. The Vatican Insider (Jan. 4, 2014), the
Internet service of the Italian journal LaStampa, states that those who have already been conferred the honor will not lose their title. The CNS report goes on to note that there has been no change regarding the granting of ecclesiastical honors to laypeople.