In move to simplify Church, pope limits "monsignor" title
VATICAN CITY (REUTERS) - Pope Francis, in his latest move to simplify the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy, has severely restricted the number of priests who can receive the honorific title "monsignor".
Vatican Radio said on Tuesday a directive had been sent to Catholic bishops around the world outlining the new regulations for diocesan priests.
From now on, the honorific title can only be given to priests who are at least 65 years old, and thus have already given a life of service to the Church.
Until now, bishops could ask the Vatican to confer the title on priests over 35 as a distinction from the rest of the general clergy.