How to Address a Cardinal

How to Address a Roman Catholic Cardinal

—-—-His Eminence
—-—-(Given name) Cardinal (surname)
—-—-Archbishop of (place)
—-—-His Eminence
—-—-Cardinal (given name) (surname)
—-—-Archbishop of (place)

—-Letter salutation:
—-—-Your Eminence:

—-Conversation: Address a Cardinal
—-—-Your Eminence

All correspondence to a ‘cardinal’ is done this way. There are not separate social and official forms.


Robert Hickey author of “Honor & Respect”

What is a Cardinal? Address a Cardinal

—-Cardinal is a rank, title, and honorific for a very high official in the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinals are appointed by the Pope and are members of the College of Cardinals, the body that elects the Pope. There are three ranks of cardinal:

—-Cardinal bishops are bishops of sees (a post or church) near Rome.

—-Cardinal priests are bishops outside of the vicinity of Rome. Of the archbishops who lead archdioceses in the United States only some are cardinals. Elevating an archbishop or bishop to the rank of cardinal is at the discretion of the Pope.

—-Cardinal deacons are bishops who hold positions in the curia (the papal government) in Rome.

————  Robert Hickey from Honor & Respect

See These Related Links:
—-—-Mother Superior
—-—-Nun | Sister


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”