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August 29, 2010

Pope names 20 local priests as monsignors

Catholic New World staff

Cardinal George has announced that Pope Benedict XVI, at the conclusion of the Year for Priests, has honored 20 priests of the Archdiocese of Chicago (see complete list on Page 3). The pope has named seven chaplains and thirteen prelates of honor for Chicago. Honorary chaplains and prelates have their origin in actual positions in the papal court, according to Father Thomas Baima, Provost of the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Mundelein.

With these positions comes the title of courtesy, monsignor. Prelates of honor handled many of the administrative tasks of the Holy See, and chaplains of honor were the priests who directly assisted the pope in liturgical celebrations. When “monsignor” is a purely honorary title, the priest so honored does not assume additional responsibilities.

In United States civil society, titles are traditionally associated with jobs or positions in business or education or government, rather than accorded as a courtesy. There are, however, honorary academic degrees and addresses of courtesy for judges, mayors, governors, and ambassadors.

No formal investing ceremony exists in the church for bestowing these honors, and “they are prelates and chaplains of honor from the moment the decree is signed in Rome,” Father Baima said.

Earlier during this year for priests, Msgr. Richard Zborowski, pastor of St. Theresa Parish in Palatine, received papal honors at the request of Polish Archbishop Edward Ozorowski for his work with the Polish community.