Secular priests (I’m not sure about regular ones) can be given honorary titles, by the Pope, of Protonotary Apostolic supra numerum, Honorary Prelate of His Holiness or Chaplain of His Holiness. They are all collectively known as monsignore.

If a monsignor is elevated to the episcopate does he retain or lose his monsignoral title?

As far as I know, they don’t loose the title monsignor, it isn’t really used anymore. I like to think of it like this: It’s technically correct, but would you call the pope “father”? Likewise, would you call a bishop monsignor who has been named one before becoming a bishop? Yes, you could, but it isn’t standard.

In places with more European influence, bishops are sometimes called monsignor, but this is just a reference to the fact that monsignor really means “My Lord”.

For more information on that last comment, see Fr Z’s entry on the topic:

Hope this helps!

The various “grades” of Monsigniore are all merely honorifics, whereas the episcopacy is the fullness of Holy Orders. If a Papal Chaplain is raised to Protonotary Apostolic (which can happen, at least in theory), he ceases to be a Papal Chaplain (albeit that the spoken title is the same, the degree of honorific is different). If a Monsignor of one or another degree is raised to the episcopacy, the the same is true (even in those places where bishops are also addressed by the title “Monsingor”).

I think we are supposed to call bishops “monsignor”, although we don’t. I think it’s used in Italy. Ut sive sollicite (AAS 61: 334-40), an instruction from the Secretariat of State, says we should call bishops Most Reverend Monsignor.

However, my question was not so much about whether the style “monsignor” is lost but whether a bishop loses the honorary title such as protonotary, prelate of honour, chaplain of His Holiness.

I believe some hold substantive offices in the Roman Curia such as prelate superiors of the various dicasteries, e.g. auditors of the Roman Rota, Promoter General of Justice, Defender of the Bond in the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Segnatura, Protonotaries Apostolic de numero, and clerics of the Apostolic Camera.

What position they hold makes absolutely no difference. If, e.g., the person is a Papal Chaplain, and is then ordained bishop, he ceases to be a Papal Chaplain. Whether he continues in whatever curial post he holds is another matter entirely.

You have misunderstood me. I meant that not all monsignore are honorific, some hold substantive post holders in the Roman Curia.

No, I didn’t misunderstand. Irrespective of any post they may hold, if they are Papal Chaplains, e.g., the title is honorific. The title goes with the Chaplaincy not with any curial post. There are actually many curial officials (some interestingly highly placed) who are simple priests. If, at some point in their career, they are granted the honorific, of course they are entitled to use it. If not, they are simply “Father” by virtue of their ordination, and do not carry the title “monsignor” or anything else.

Thank you very much for your comments. However, I prefer to rely on the directives of the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, which states that the holders of the posts I listed I Post #5 are to be addressed as “Monsignor”.

Rely on whatever you wish. If they are called “monsignor” or anything else by virtue of a job, when they no longer have that, or an equivalent, job, the title ceases.

I knew at the outset that I should not have involved myself in this thread. Shame that I wasted my time and cannot delete what I’ve posted.

Then perhaps you should have resisted.

It must be rather trying to not be able to accept that you cannot always be right.

I shall pray for your peace of mind.:slight_smile:

You can delete what you posted. Use the edit function. Hope this helps.:slight_smile:

It will be more intuitive if you recall that the various grades of monsignori were/are given certain privileges belonging to bishops as a sign of honour e.g. the wearing of purple. Even the title itself “Monsignor” is from the bishops - although since bishops are not commonly addressed this way in the English speaking world, it is perhaps less intuitive . Thus, it is not so much that they “lose” their privileges as that they gain the full deal, so to speak. But strictly speaking, yes, they are no longer ranked among the monsignori of their former class. .

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