Pope strikes `monsignor’ title for most priests in keeping with humble aims
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has done away with the honorific title “monsignor” for all but a few priests, further evidence of his desire for priests to be simple, humble servants.
The Vatican’s Secretary of State sent a letter to its embassies asking them to inform bishops’ conferences of the change. From now on, the Vatican says only diocesan priests who are “chaplains of the Holy Father,” can use the honorific, and then only after they turn 65.
Bishops, vicars and archbishops still get to be called “monsignor” and Holy See officials will have the title if their office warrants it.
Coroner: Priest beaten to death with stake, pipe
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - An autopsy shows a priest who was killed on New Year’s Day in the Northern California city of Eureka was beaten to death with a wooden stake and a metal gutter pipe.
A coroner declined to release further details about the beating death of Rev. Eric Freed because the investigation has not concluded.
But at his arraignment, Gary Lee Bullock, was charged with murder with a special allegation of torture. He is also charged with burglary, arson and auto theft. Bullock pleaded not guilty and bail was set at $1.2 million.
Freed Pa. monsignor told to report weekly
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A judge in Philadelphia has told a Roman Catholic church official convicted in a sex-abuse scandal that she already has signed an arrest warrant that she would issue if he violates the term of his release.
Monsignor William Lynn’s conviction was overturned last week and he was released from prison on Friday after serving 18 months of a three- to six-year prison term for felony child endangerment.
Lynn was the first U.S. church official ever convicted in the handling of abuse complaints. But a state appeals court ruled Dec. 26 that the state’s child-endangerment law in the late 1990s did not apply to supervisors like Lynn.