Pope Francis abolishes title of “monsignor” for those under age 65

Pope Francis abolishes title of “monsignor” for those under age 65 January 4, 2014

That sound you hear is heads exploding in rectories.

From Vatican Insider: 

In a new move aimed at reforming the clergy and eliminating careerism in the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has abolished the conferral of the Pontifical Honor of ‘Monsignor’ on secular priests under the age of 65.

Henceforth, the only Pontifical Honor that will be conferred on ‘secular priests’  will be that of ‘Chaplain to His Holiness’ and this will be conferred only on ‘worthy priests’ who are over 65 years of age. (‘Secular priests’ are priests in a diocese, who are not monks or members of religious institutes or orders).

The Vatican’s Secretariat of State has communicated this news to Apostolic Nuncios around the world, and has asked them to inform all bishops in their respective countries of the decision in this regard taken by Pope Francis.

Thus, for example, on January 2, the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain, Archbishop Antonio Mennini, wrote to all the bishops in Great Britain to inform them of the Pope’s decision.  He confirmed that “the privileges in this regard” that have already been granted by the Roman Pontiff to “physical or juridical persons” remain in force.  This would suggest that the papal decree is not retroactive, those who are already monsignors will not lose their title.

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