What is exactly the criteria, duties, or marks of a Monsignor? I have heard the term quite often and I am not sure as to whom it refers?
me neither . . . I was wondering the same thing recently. Someone help us please! this place is a wealth of knowledge, I only hope the ones who know are on right now. Thanks!
In reviewing the description on the Catholic Encyclopedia on New Advent, it seems a bit complicated. Maybe I need to re-read it tomorrow when I’m less tired:
The article at New Advent does not reflect the current form of Papal Honors. There are still three tiers of Monsignor but they do not have much distinction between eachother except that an Apostolic Pronotary is a Prelate. In short it is a papal honor given by the Holy Father for exemplary work given to the Church. Each diocese has an alloted number of Monsignor titles that can be given out and it is the local Bishop who requests the title for one of his priests. A Monsignor is a member of the Papal Household and has certain rights and privledges when in Rome. An interesting note is that when a pope dies all the Monsignors lose their title. The next pope usually returnes their title to them but it is not necessary that he do so.
This reminded me of a true story my pastor (a Monsignor) told of himself and a Baptist minister: they frequently met at some ecumenical charity-planning meetings and the Baptist steadfastly refused to call the Catholic priest (with him he was friendly) “Father”. However, once he was given the honor of “Monsignor”, the Baptist minister couldn’t refer to him as “my friend the Monsignor” enough.