“I do believe the monsignor’s finally got the point.” – Connor MacManus, Boondock Saints
Anyone who has watched a gangland film has heard the term “monsignor” used in relation to some priest in the neighborhood. In fact, in Hollywood’s version of life, almost any priest seems to have the title of “monsignor”. The word literally translates to “my lord,” and is an honorific title bestowed by the church.
But there is a new pope in town, and after today there will be far fewer “monsignors” in the Church.
According to CBS News, Pope Francis announced that, from now on, very few priests will be getting the title of “monsignor”. In fact, even those that qualify for it will only receive it after the age of 65.
There are 3 categories of honorific within the church. Pope Francis is limiting the use of the “monsignor” title to only those called “Chaplains of His Holiness”. They must be 65 years of age, and the rule is not retroactive.
This new policy of the Church is in keeping with a new vision outlined by the pope in his “Evangeli Gaudium” or “The Joy of the Gospel”. In essence, this is Pope Francis’ mission statement. He chided those who succumb to the “new idolatry of money”.
This pope has already set the example for his Church to follow by eschewing many of the fancier traditional trappings of his office. He expelled a bishop who spent loads of money on his personal residence. And he has ordered the investigation of the scandal-ridden Vatican Bank.
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