VATICAN (CWNews.com): Pope Francis announced on September 13 that he will stop conferring the title monsignor on priests.
The Italian daily, Il Messagero, reported that shortly after his election, the pope instructed the Secretariat of State to stop approving requests for priests to be given the rank of monsignor.
The pope added that the moratorium on granting the title should continue at least until October, but it is not clear whether he will continue the new policy beyond that time.
The moratorium does not apply to members of the Vatican diplomatic corps, who are given the title monsignor in connection with their assignments as representatives of the Holy See.
A priest is ordinarily raised to the status of monsignor on the recommendation of his diocesan bishop. However, all such honorary titles require the approval of the Holy See.
There are no monsignors attached to Hong Kong diocese and many dioceses throughout the world do not recommend anyone for the title.