Question about the title "Monsignor"

Hi all! Hope everyone’s having a super day… :slight_smile:

Our pastor was recently named “Monsignor” by His Holiness Benedict XVI… just before his resignation.

I’m trying to fill out a congratulations card to send him. But I don’t know how to phrase it. Is this a “promotion”… an “elevation”… or what? How would I word this… "Dear Monsignor… congrats on your _____________ (?) to Monsignor.

Also… is it still proper, “ok” and/or acceptable to address him as “Father”… when speaking to him? :shrug:

Thanks in advance! And God bless.

My guess is it depends on the Priest. My Priest is a “Monsignor”, but everyone refers to him as Fr. Steve and that’s how he concludes his weekly bulletin message.

Monsignor is an honorary title rather than an elevation or promotion so maybe something like “Congrats on being made a Monsignor”. I’d just call him Monsignor unless he says that he prefers to be called Father.

I believe that you would say something like, “…congrats on being named a Monsignor,” or, “…congrats on receiving the title of Monsignor.”

It’s not really a promotion. It’s getting awarded a new title but still holding the same position.

While I know people still call monsignors “Father”, the correct form of address is “Monsignor”.

Ok, thanks guys and gals! Appreciate the input! :slight_smile:

I think any of the suggestions above would be good.

It does depend on the priest as to what you call him. I have known some monignors who always refer to themselves as “Father”. For me, I always tend to err on the side of being more formal rather than less. So I go with “Monsignor” unless they specifically tell me to just call them “Father.”

It was my understanding that a monsignor is of equal dignity, though not authority, with a bishop.

Sideline – the word “monsignor” in English is “my lord.”

+1 on “being named”.

It is just an honorary title. Some dioceses don’t have too many monsignors. In the Northeast they seem to be a dime a dozen, almost every pastor sooner or later gets the title. I call most of the Monsignors I know by “Father so and so.” They seem to prefer it. I don’t think they are on par with the bishop at all in any sense. Many of the ones I know were given the title because they got their parish out of debt or they headed up a diocesan office. Most don’t think of themselves as higher than any of their fellow priests and certainly not equal in dignity with the office of the bishop, but equal in dignity with all of the faithful.

Catholic encyclopedia:

[quote=Catholic Encyclopedia]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. The fact that it lapsed in usage in many countries, so far as these are concerned, does not affect the question. Instead of addressing patriarchs as “Vostra Beatitudine”, archbishops as “Your Grace”, bishops as “My Lord”, abbots as “Gracious Lord” one may without any breach of etiquette salute all equally as Monsignor.

In other words, it is a title of dignity used for cardinals bishops abbots etc. which by papal permission can be used by a priest.

Tell him now that he has some pull, to make sure he is being fairly compensated :wink:

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