How to Address a Roman Catholic Archbishop

How to Address a Roman Catholic Archbishop

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or email.

—–The Most Reverend
—–(Full Name)
—–Archbishop of (diocese)

Letter salutation:
—–Dear Archbishop (Surname):

How to Address a Roman Catholic Archbishop

Is an Archbishop Addressed as Your Grace?

Your site says archbishops are addressed in conversation as ‘Archbishop (Name)’.  Archbishops are NEVER addressed in conversation as ‘Archbishop So-and-So’. They are properly addressed as ‘Your Excellency’ or simply ‘Excellency’.

In Ireland, according to their custom, Bishops are addressed as ‘Your Grace’; however, even in this case, ‘Bishop’ is not used in conversation. Your book states only nuncios are referred to and addressed as ‘Excellency’. This is not the case.
—————–– SM in California


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

Dear SM in California:

‘Archbishops’ are ‘bishops’. Archbishops preside over an archdiocese. Bishops preside over a diocese. It’s a different type of bishop, but it’s still a bishop. The forms of address rules that apply to a ‘bishop’ are mirrored when addressing an ‘archbishop’. The next level up – Cardinal  – does have a different form of address.

—-#1) Your Grace

—-—-Addressing the ranks of bishop as ‘Your Grace’ is a British form of address. In the Church of England all bishops are granted the precedence of a Duke … and dukes and thus by courtesy – Anglican bishops – are addressed as ‘Your Grace’.  In the United States, the American branch of the church – the Episcopal Church in the USA doesn’t have an ‘archbishop’ – but addresses its Presiding Bishop as ‘the Most Reverend (Full Name)’ and other bishops as ‘the Right Reverend (Full Name)’. All bishops are addressed in conversation and in a salutation as ‘Bishop’ or ‘Bishop (Surname)’.

—-#2) Excellency

—-—-‘His/Her/Your Excellency’ is a courtesy title used by accredited diplomats who have presented their credentials to a foreign head-of-state as the single designated representative from another head-of-state. The Papal Nuncio (who always has the rank of bishop) is addressed as ‘Your Excellency’ … but other bishops are not.

—-#3) The Most Reverend

—-—-The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says U.S. Catholic bishops are correctly addressed as ‘the Most Reverend (Full Name)’ and ‘Bishop (Surname)’.

– Robert Hickey

See also other Roman Catholic clergy:
—-Mother Superior


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.
___What I don’t cover on this site are many things I do cover in my book: all the rules of forms of address, about names, international titles, precedence, complimentary closes, details on invitations, place cards, all sorts of introductions, etc. I hope you’ll get a copy of the book if you’d like the further detail.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”