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Old Oct 11, '04, 5:11 pm
Sir Knight Sir Knight is offline
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Join Date: June 9, 2004
Posts: 7,611
Religion: Roman Catholic
Default What is a "Monsignor"?

In the parish that I belonged to down in Florida, we have two priests. One of them was the Pastor but both were addressed as "Father".

In the parish that I belong to now, there are four priests. Three of them are "Monsignors". One of those Monsignors is the Pastor. The fourth priest is addressed as "Father".

Having been a cradle Catholic for over four decades, I'm a bit ashamed to ask this but, what is "Monsignor"? The closest answer that I've been able to get is that it is an "honorary title". Yet, from watching interactions at various events, it appears that Monsignors "outrank" Fathers and are shown a higher level of respect than a regular "Father".

So, exactly what is a "Monsignor" and how does a regular "Father" become one? Is there a formal process like when someone becomes a Bishop or exactly how is it done?
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Old Oct 11, '04, 5:25 pm
RichT RichT is offline
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Join Date: June 28, 2004
Posts: 737
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is a "Monsignor"?

Well, in our parish we have two Monsignors. I believe it is an honorary title that comes with a certain amount of esteem. Kinda like the esteem an elderly person might get from their many years of wisdom. In the case of a priest it is from their many years of service, and hopefully their wisdom as well.
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Old Oct 11, '04, 5:54 pm
Joe Kelley Joe Kelley is offline
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Join Date: June 24, 2004
Posts: 16,339
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is a "Monsignor"?

See Monsignor

Basically, when a bishop wishes to honor a priest for some achievement, frequently raising the funds and building a new church, he has him appointed to an honorary position in the papal household. there are different levels and titles, each with its proper dress etc. All are addressed as Monsignor in this country. I am not sure about elsewhere.

I think Bishops in France are addressed as Monsignor.
I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live,
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Old Oct 11, '04, 6:12 pm
Exporter Exporter is offline
Join Date: August 7, 2004
Posts: 2,553
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: What is a "Monsignor"?

I think all of you are correct.

I used to play golf occasionally with Monsenior Doyle back in the 70s. He wore red piping on a cossak. He was the senior priest in our parish. There were a total of 4 Priests in the Parish.

Monsenior did get the building fund started for our church. I haven't seen this in writting, but I think "Monsenior" is usually the senior Priest in a parish. Or if at the Vatican, he may be an important man in one department.
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Old Oct 11, '04, 6:34 pm
WanderAimlessly WanderAimlessly is offline
Join Date: June 29, 2004
Posts: 41,783
Religion: Catholic - Latin Rite
Default Re: What is a "Monsignor"?

Originally Posted by Exporter
I used to play golf occasionally with Monsenior Doyle back in the 70s. He wore red piping on a cossak
In the past year, the Pastor of my parish was made a Monsignor.

It was explained at a reception at the parish that there are two types of Monsignors I cannot remember the distinction, but I do remember something about the cassock. As Exporter said, one has red piping on the cassock. The other has a purple cassock. In the case of the Pastor at my parish, he wore a purple cassock.

The ironic thing is that we have two Monsignors at our parish. Both have the purple cassock and, I think this is true, both have the same birth date.

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