(From mon , "my" and seigneur , ("elder" or "lord," like Latin senior )
A French honorific appellation, etymologically corresponding to the English "my lord," and the Italian monsignore . It is, after all, nothing but the French monsieur ; but, while the latter has become current as applied to every man who is in good society, Monseigneur has retained its honorific force. In ecclesiastical usage it is reserved for bishops and archbishops, and is chiefly employed when speaking or writing to them. It is used before the name (thus abridged: Msgr. Dupanloup). Formerly it was not prefixed to the title of dignity, but it is now, as "Mgr l'évêque N. . . ." The term Monseigneur is also used as the equivalent of the Italian Monsignore , and as the latter title is given to Roman prelates, some confusion results; in Italy, however, no inconvenience arises from this usage as in that country bishops have the title of Eccellenza , i.e., Excellency. In France, only the Archbishop of Reims, as legatus natus , has the title of Excellency (See M ONSIGNOR ).
The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed in fifteen hardcopy volumes.
Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.
No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.
Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912
Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online