Showing posts from January, 2014

End of the Empire

Over the weekend, Pope Francis announced that he would no longer be granting the title of "Monsignor" to priests under the age of 65.  Basically, it appears that the title will now be some kind of lifetime achievement award, as opposed to a feather in the cap of parish priests.  As the sun rises in the East, some of the more conservative elements have taken to criticizing this move, arguing that the Littles in the pews like it when their priest gets a fancy title, or accusing the Pope of iconoclasm.

In and of itself, this move means more or less nothing.  I have never met anyone who actually thought that the title means anything, except perhaps the careerist priests that seem to be the target of this change.  The careerist will always be with us, no matter how many baubles you get rid of for them to chase.

There are, however, psychological and symbolic reasons why I think this announcement is very good news for the Catholic Church.  Let's take a moment and break down the…