2014-01-07 Vatican Radio- The Secretariat of State of the Holy See on Tuesday issued a statement explaining the change in practice Pope Francis has instituted regarding the granting of the title of Monsignor. By circular letter sent to the world’s Nunciatures, the Secretariat of State has informed Bishops’ conferences that, in the world’s Dioceses, the only ecclesiastical title henceforth to be conferred shall be “Chaplain of His Holiness”, to which the appellation, “Monsignor”, shall correspond. The title shall be conferred only upon priests who have reached the age of 65.

The circular further clarifies that the use of the title, Monsignor, in connection with certain major offices – where this is a cultural practice – (eg . Bishop , the Vicar General of the Diocese, inter alia) remains unchanged. With regard to the Roman Curia, no change has been made either in the titles or in the use of the appellation, Monsignor, these being connected to the offices entrusted, and to the service performed.

The rule has no retroactive effect . Those, who received a title in the past, keep it.