[quote="Biedrik, post:6, topic:243920"]
Others have already answered as to whether or not women can receive the title of Monsignor. I would however like to add one thing, which is that as far as I know one can't call all bishops and cardinals by that title. One usually calls them "your excellency" or "your eminence". I think that to call them Monsignor they'd have to receive that title from the Pope.
It's the other way around. All bishops are Lords. This dates back to the Middle Ages. Bishops were called Lord Bishop and the pope was called Lord Pope. Gradually, the honirific title of Lord was given to some secular priests. They too became Monsignor.
In English speaking countries, bishops are called:
Bishop or Archbishop, depending his diocese
Doctor (all bishops must have doctorate degrees)
Americans usually use Excellency or simply Bishop or Archbishop.
The Latin countries and their former colonies: France, Spain, Portugal, Rumania, and Italy still use Monsignore or Monseñor, which in Italian means My Lord.
These titles came into use because most bishops were secular priests and they came from the aristocracy. They retained their family titles. When parliaments were created, these bishops belonged to the House of Lords, not because they were clerics, but because they were legitimate aristocracy. They were the sons of Dukes, Princes, Barons, etc. That's how the English and Irish bishops became Your Grace.
Priests who belong to religious orders never receive the title Monsignor, because it would create a conflict of ranks, since they are subservient to the superior of the community, who may or may not be a priest. You don't have a superior calling his subordinate, My Lord . That's too weird. In religious communities, only the superiors have titles: Everyone else uses whatever title is usual for that particular religious community.
Cardinals are in a different grop of aristocrats.. A cardinal is a prince, but he need not be a priest. There have been lay cardinals and some who are priests. Most have been bishops. There are currently no lay cardinals; but there are some who are priests, not bishops. The last American priest to be a Cardinal was Avery Cardinal Dulles, who was a Jesuit, but never a bishop. Bl. John Newman was also a cardinal, but never a bishop. Cardinals are always called Your Eminence.
Br. JR, OSF :)