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By Mark Abrams

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Pope Francis has decided to end the practice of naming priests working in the trenches – monsignors.

The Vatican announcement is really no surprise to those who’ve been following the reforms being put forth by the new Pope.

Rocco Palmo is a Catholic journalist who follows the Vatican and the papacy.

“For Francis, he sees titles like these that come from the Renaissance period as an obstacle to proclaiming the Gospel today.”

Palmo says those who hold the honorary title won’t lose it.

“All monsignors as previously made keep their ranks, their clothing, etcetera.”

Palmo says the move is a way the new pope is trying to bring the clergy closer to the people of God, showing them a priest is a true servant not a bureaucratic official.

The title won’t go away altogether, he adds, but reserved for extraordinary priests over the age of 65 who have given outstanding service in their vocation.


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