Catholic Etiquette: The who’s, what’s, where’s and why’s of polite, respectful Catholicism

TERMS OF ADDRESS

(Key: in formal address, as indicated in the following: (a) direct speech or conversation; (b) correspondence. The abbreviation, add., is for the address on the envelope; sal., the salutation of a letter.)

THE POPE – (a) Your Holiness. (b) Add.: To His Holiness, Pope … Sal.: Most Holy Father.

CARDINALS – (a) Your Eminence. (b) Add.: His Eminence (Christian name) Cardinal (surname). Sal.: My Lord Cardinal.

LATIN PATRIARCHS – (a) Your Excellency. (b) Add.: His Excellency the Patriarch of … Sal.: Your Excellency or Most Reverend Excellency.

EASTERN PATRIARCHS – (a) Your Beatitude. (b) Add.:His Beatitude the Patriarch of … Sal.: Most Reverend Lord.

APOSTOLIC DELEGATES AND NUNCIOS – (a) Your Excellency. (b) Add.: His Excellency Archbishop (or Monsignor) … Sal.: Your Excellency.

ARCHBISHOPS – (a) Your Excellency. (b) Add.: The Most Reverend …, D.D., Archbishop of … Sal.: Your Excellency.

BISHOPS – (a) Your Excellency. (b) Add.: The Most Reverend …, D.D., Bishop of … Sal.: Most Reverend.

ABBOTS – (a) Father Abbot or My Lord Abbot. (b) Add.: The Right Reverend …, Abbot of … Sal.: Right Reverend Abbot.

ABBESSES – (a) Lady Abbess or Mother Abbess. (b) Add.: Lady Abbess …, Abbess of … Sal.: Dear Mother Abbess.

PROTHONOTARIES APOSTOLIC (Domestic Prelates and Vicar-General) – (a) Monsignor. (b) Add.: The Right Reverend Monsignor …, P.A. orV.G. Sal.: Right Reverend and Dear Monsignor.

PROVOSTS AND CANONS – (a) Provost or Canon. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend Provost (or Canon). Sal.: Very Reverend Provost or Dear Canon.

PAPAL CHAMBERLAINS – (a) Monsignor. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend Monsignor … Sal.: Very Reverend Monsignor.

RECTORS OF SEMINARIES – (a) Father (or title). (b) Add.: The Very Reverend … Sal.: Very Reverend and Dear Father (or title).

PROVINCIALS OF RELIGIOUS ORDERS – (a) Father Provincial. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend Father Provincial … Sal.: Very Reverend and Dear Father Provincial.

PRIORS – (a) Father Prior. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend Father Prior … Sal.: Very Reverend and Dear Father Prior.

PRIORESSES – (a) Mother Prioress. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend Mother Prioress … Sal.: Very Reverend and Dear Mother Prioress.

RURAL DEANS – (a) Father. (b) Add.: The Very Reverend … Sal.: Very Reverend and Dear Dean.

PRIESTS, DIOCESAN – (a) Father. (b) Add.: The Reverend … Sal.: Reverend and Dear Father.

PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS – (a) Father. (b) Add.: The Reverend Father … Sal.: Reverend and Dear Father.

CLERICS (BELOW ORDER OF PRIESTHOOD) – (a) no title. (b) Add.: The Reverend Mr. … Sal.: Reverend Sir.

BROTHERS – (a) Brother. (b) Add.: Venerable Brother … Sal.: Venerable and Dear Brother.

SISTERS – (a) Sister. (b) Add.: Venerable Sister … Sal.: Venerable and Dear Sister.

PAPAL KNIGHTS – (a) Sir. (b) Add.: The Honorable …, K.S.G. (or K.H.S.) Sal.: Honorable and Dear Sir.

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