How does a priest become a Monsignor? : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread

Simple question... :-)

-- (, December 01, 2002



-- (, December 01, 2002.

Dont know if this helps Matteo, from the Catholic encyclopedia. Im guessing you already know this but are wondering the process of how priests are choosen for papal distinctions occurs. Blessings

"Up to 1630, when Urban VIII reserved the title Eminence (Eminentissimus) for the exclusive use of cardinals, the latter bore the title of Monsignor in common with the other prelates of high rank, and in France it is still customary to address a cardinal as Monseigneur. In all other languages this usage has completely disappeared, so that, practically speaking, cardinals are no longer counted among the Monsignori. All other prelates, from patriarchs down, who have received a papal distinction or are archbishops, bishops, or mitred abbots (among the secular clergy only), have a right to this title.

-- Kiwi (, December 01, 2002.

I meant to say I dont know how they choose what Priests qualify for the title, I guess they are nominated by their Bishop for outstanding, extraordinary service etc.

-- Kiwi (, December 01, 2002.

I don't know. I should do, really, but I don't.

-- The Weiner (, December 02, 2002.

Ha you actually made me chuckle for once, thats quite witty from one as dim witted as yourself. Congratulations numbskull now off to bed glowing in your new found self worth.

"heheh hehe Weiner cool yeah hehehe dude weiner rocks yeah he he he weiner he heeeeee" zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

-- Kiwi (, December 02, 2002.

I don't know either, but I have heard that it is a 'political' appointment within the church, depending on who the priest is friendly with in the hierarchy.

I do hope someone on the forum has the correct answer because I have often wondered about it myself. I'm sure we will get the correct answer from someone on the forum. ml

-- MaryLu (, December 02, 2002.


If you scroll down to thread,"Smile a while". John G's first post touches on this subject briefly. May you and your family have a blessed Advent season Marylu.


PS;Watch that dog around the Christmas tree ;-)

-- David (, December 02, 2002.

From what I understand it is merely an honorary title given by the (Arch)Bishop of the diocese. As far as I know, there is no special ceremony, ordination, etc., it is usually a letter from the bishop or him making a visit to tell that particular priest. Not sure if the Pope is the person to actually confer the title, and the bishop the go-between, as it were, but I would imagine the Pope would have some knowledge. Incidentally, it is required that one be named a monsignor before being ordained a bishop.

God Bless

-- (, December 02, 2002.

We have a visiting priest (Monsignor) who is helping at our church. I will ask him tomorrow and end the guessing games! :)


-- MaryLu (, December 02, 2002.

Monsignor IS an honorary title given in recognition of some special service. It doesn't confer any extra power, but it sure does sound nice, and they get to wear those cassocks with a pretty colour trim, red I think, or maybe fuscia. :)



-- Jane (jane@don't like spam.either), December 02, 2002.


Hello, "seminarian."
You wrote:
"Incidentally, it is required that one be named a monsignor before being ordained a bishop."

Did you mean to say, "... it is NOT required ..."?
If you really meant to say, "... it IS required ...," then do you have a source for that? I ask, because I have never heard of that being true, and I lean toward doubting it.
I wonder if you could be thinking of the fact that, in some countries, bishops are addressed as "my lord" (translated as Monseigneur, etc.), rather than "your excellency."

Here are some additional facts from the "Long Island Catholic:"
"Priests are sometimes given several honorary titles which are listed as 'papal honors' in [their] biographical information. These honors are granted by the Pope at the request of the diocesan bishop. They all bring with them the title 'monsignor' and they fall into three categories: (1) an honorary chaplain to the Pope; (2) an honorary prelate (formerly known as a domestic prelate); and (3) a protonotary apostolic supernumerary, which also brings in the initials P.A. Historically these titles were given to those who were part of the papal household and aided the Pope directly in carrying out his duties. Honorary membership has been conferred at least since the 16th century. There are seven apostolic protonotaries who work at the Vatican, collecting and caring for the records of major Church meetings and such events as canonizations; all other 'P.A.'s' are called 'supernumerary' to make clear that theirs is an honorary title. These honorary titles bring no additional authority [to a priest]."

God bless you.

-- J. F. Gecik (, December 07, 2002.

Actually, until today, I thought that was the case. I asked someone that knew better than myself, and I was apparently wrong.

God Bless

-- (, December 07, 2002.

Sunday early evening boredom set in here, and I was looking through the archives on the forum. Just thought I'd throw my tuppence worth in here!

There are two different titles given when writing to Monsignors, depending on why they've been honoured in this way. If a priest is given the title Monsignor because he was a chaplain to the pope then he is addressed as 'Very Reverend'. If a priest is given the title Monsignor because of, e.g. his work in a certain area over many years, then he would be called 'Right Reverend'. A bishop would also be 'Right Reverend', whereas an Archbishop would be 'Most Reverend'.

Oh and one further piece of useless Catholic trivia...the abbreviated plural for reverends is Revv.

God bless

-- Sara (, May 18, 2003.

"Monsigsnor" is only an honorary title. It is NOT part of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. In the time of Cardinal Spellman in NY, there were laymen who held the title "Monsignor." Pope Leo XIII had the title "Monsignor" while still in the seminary, before he was ordained a priest. Cardinal Merry Del Val also was a "Monsignor" before he became a priest. Today, the title is simply honorary. Bishops use it to "reward" their cronies and to punish (by NOT conferring it on) priests who might otherwise "deserve" a reward. YOu may not like to know this, but you can literaly buy the title. You don't have to ask your diocesan bishop. Any bishop, or anyone who has an "in" at the Vatican can request the title for you. You can facilitate the process with a cash remittance. Oh, you don't like hearing that? I personally know several "monsignors" who obtained the title without approval of their bishops. Those priests are marked for the rest of their lives with official opprobrium. Shortly after Vatican2 the title began to disappear. Lately, in accord with the new and improved hypocrisy of the neo-cons, it has re-emerged. Typically, when new "monsignors" are named, priests immediately begin complaining about who got it and who did'nt. Ironically, the "monsignor" concept is "old church" but is cherished by leftist neo-cons who need, among other things, a little perceived glory. The whole thing is stupid. I would like to suggest some other things for neo-cons.

-- AldoCP (, February 14, 2005.

“YOu may not like to know this, but you can literaly buy the title.” Any examples you can point to, or is this just the usual wild speculation putting the worst possible spin on everything that happens in the Church? Btw as to “uniform”, monsignori wear a pectoral cross, which is otherwise reserved for bishops.

-- Steve (, February 14, 2005.

The modern Monsignor jokes about his rank; admitting it's entirely a gratuitous favor from the bishop. He doesn't have to earn it. It's simple esteem for that person. I still remember when Fulton J. Sheen was Monsignor Sheen. If anybody ranked high on a list of U. S. Catholic personages of the 40's 50's, it has to be him. He was Bishop Sheen at the end of his brilliant life.

We should realise that Aldo hasn't put his finger on anything ''wicked''. If it's just a bon-bon (I'm tempted to say bone) the bishop throws to him; --Why would any sane man have to purchase it? Well-- Maybe if the guy has an inferiority complex, or a bald head . . . it might make him feel better. --Ha ha!

-- eugene c. chavez (, February 14, 2005.

In my experience as a priest I have seen good as well as bad priests who have been ignored or their work or sacrifice unnoticed, find a way to get "monsignor" in front of their names. The latest title "craze" is "Canon." While "monsignor" is technically a papal title, "canon" is an episcopal title. Canons do wear a pectoral cross and are addressed as "canon." Canons are technically part of the bishops cathedral staff and in former times had the job of chanting the Divine Office. Canons, however, should only wear their silly outfits when with the bishop who gave them the title. "Canon" is less expensive. For example, any Polish bishop will make you a canon. Just deliver a few grand as a "gift" and voila, you all of a sudden are a CANON! One of my friends just became a canon. His bishop was so annoyed that he reminded the guy that he was NOT allowed to be called "monsignor." You get to know these things if you are a priest for any length of time. I am often tempted ... but it's really NOT worth the money.

-- AldoCP (, February 15, 2005.

Aldo accuses the clergy of sin. He says he's been a clergyman (might still be.) and so ought to know.

Do priests commit sins? Of course. Have priests gone bad? Ask Aldo. It's not important, a bad priest damns only himself. His evil cannot cost the Church one iota of her authority or her holiness.

Is Aldo one of the kind who prizes money? NO? Why is all this about selling, buying, the cost, and how the Church is a fraud? It's just for MONEY.

Aldo, Mio Padre. Is any monsignore holy? One monsignore whom you knew? Benedetto????

-- eugene c. chavez (, February 15, 2005.

What I wrote is factual. It has nothing to do with "sin." It has to do with politics. Monsignori and Canons are honorary titles. The orders of bishop and priest are part of the Sacrament of Holy Orders that was instituted by Christ. Who instituted monsignors and canons? Lighten up. Get a hobby. You have too much free time. Any visions lately?

-- AldoCP (, February 15, 2005.

You might answer the question. What can you say ''positive'' about canons and monsignori or about yourself?

Yes, my time is dedicated to this. It's mine; I do with it what might help another Christian. And I have no visions, Aldo. If you object, I'm sorry.

''Lighten up,'' you suggest. OK; let's lighten up as well about priests, the good and the bad. Let's discuss faith.

-- eugene c. chavez (, February 15, 2005.

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