respect still occasionally used by Italian politeness may be noted, such as: "All' Ill'mo e Rev'mo Padrone [Pdne] Coltissimo [Colmo] ed Osservantissimo [Ossmo] Signor", titles without equivalent in French or English, now very rarely given, even in Rome, and which belong rather to the archæology of ecclesiastical civility.
France.—The epistolary style of France is more simple. A cardinal should be addressed as "Eminence Révérendissime" (Most Reverend Eminence); not as "Monseigneur le Cardinal", the title "Monseigneur" being below the cardinalitial dignity. Only the kings of France said "Monsieur le Cardinal", the formula which the Pope uses when speaking to them—"Signor Cardinale"—but one of inferior rank should never presume to use this form of address, and will evade the difficulty by writing, "Eminence Révérendissime" at the beginning of a letter, in the body of the letter "Your Eminence" or "His Eminence"; at the end, "I have the honour to be, with profound respect, Your Most Reverend Eminence's very humble and very obedient servant" (J'ai l'honneur d'être, avec un profond respect, de Votre Eminence Révme. le trés humble et trés obéissant serviteur). Bishops in France have the title of "Grandeur"; the envelope would, accordingly, be addressed: "A sa Grandeur, Monseigneur N., évêque de …", and the letter should end: "I have the honour to be Your Grandeur's very humble servant". Prelates, vicars-general, and chamberlains should be called "Monseigneur" and, both in the letter itself and at the end, "Votre Seigneurie" ("Your Lordship"); religious "Reverend Father" or "Very Reverend Father", as the case may be; the words "Paternité" and "Révérence" being but seldom used in France. Benedictines have the title "Dom", so that a religious of that order would be addressed as "The Rev. Father, Dom N.…" an abbot as "The Right Rev. [Revme] Father, Dom N., Abbot of ——". There are, finally, the titles "Monsieur le Chanoine" and Monsieur le Curé", the latter being used for all parish priests.
Spain.—The forms used in Spain are as follows: "Emmo. y Revmo. Sr. Cardenal, Dr. D. N." [Most Eminent and Most Reverend Lord Cardinal Doctor (if he have that title) Don N.] The letter should end with: "I kiss Your Eminence's pastoral ring, of whom I profess myself, with the deepest respect.…" The same formula is used in the case of archbishops and bishops, only that the word "Excellency" takes the place of "Eminence". Vicars-general have the title of "Most Illustrious", shortened into "Muy Iltr. Señor", which is also given to the great dignitaries of the diocese, and to the canons of the cathedral church. In the letter itself, "Your Lordship" should be used, which is abbreviated into "V.S." (Vuestra Señoría), nor must the academic titles of doctor or licentiate, belonging to the person addressed, be omitted, but they must precede the name, thus "Señor Doctor [or Señor Licenciado], Don" [abbreviated, D.], followed by the proper title of his charge. In the case of regulars the rule to be followed is that which has been indicated for Italy. All simple priests have the title of "Don".
Germany.—In writing to a cardinal one should address the envelope, "An seine Eminenz den hochwürdigsten Herrn Kardinal N." ("To His Eminence the most worthy Lord Cardinal"—Herr, of which Herrn is the accusative, meaning "Lord," or "Mister"). In the body of the letter the cardinal should be addressed as "Eminenz", and the ending should be: "Your Eminence's most humble servant" (Eurer Eminenz unterthänigster Diener). A Bishop has the title of "His Episcopal Grace" (Bischöfliche Gnaden), and his letter should be addressed, "An seine bisch flichen Gnaden den hochwürdigsten Herrn" (To His Episcopal Grace the most worthy Lord); in the case of an archbishop, "Erzbischöflichen" (archiepiscopal) is used instead of "Bischöflichen"; in that of a prince bishop, "Fürstbischöflichen". There are several sees in Germany and in Austria whose titulars have the rank of prince-bishops; such are Breslau, Gratz, Gurk, Lavant, Salzburg, and Trent. The letter should end: "Your Episcopal [or Archiepiscopal] Grace's most humble servant." It should be noted that in Germany the title of "Excellency" belongs only to those to whom it has been granted by the Government, so that it is well to ascertain whether the prelate addressed has obtained it. A prelate di mantelletta should be addressed as "hochwürdigster Herr Prälat" (Most worthy Lord Prelate). There is no title in Germany equivalent to that of the Monsignore given to chamberlains and Papal chaplains; it has, therefore become customary to address them as "Monsignore" or, if more respect is to be shown them, "An seine Hochwürden, Monsignore" (His High Worthiness, Monsignore). "Hochwürden" is also commonly used in the case of parish priests, the superlative, "hochwürdigster", being applied to canons and great diocesan dignitaries. Letters so addressed should end, "Your High Worthiness's [Euer Hochwürden] very humble servant."
English-speaking Countries.—"The Catholic Directory" (London, 1906) gives the following brief directions for forms of address, which, with the slight exceptions noted, may be safely taken as representing the best custom of the United States, the British Isles, Canada, Australia, and the British colonies in general:—
"Cardinals. His Eminence Cardinal… If he is also an Archbishop: His Eminence the Cardinal Archbishop of…; or His Eminence Cardinal…, Archbishop of…; [to begin a letter] My Lord Cardinal, or My Lord; Your Eminence.
"Archbishops. His Grace the Archbishop of…; or The Most Reverend the Archbishop of…; My Lord Archbishop, or My Lord; Your Grace.
"Bishops. The Lord Bishop of…; or The Right Reverend the Bishop of…; or His Lordship the Bishop of…; My Lord Bishop, or My Lord; Your Lordship. In Ireland, Bishops are usually addressed as The Most Reverend. [In the United States the titles My Lord and Your Lordship are not usually given to Bishops.] An Archbishop or Bishop of a Titular See may be addressed, 1. by his title alone, as other Archbishops and Bishops; or 2. by his Christian name and surname, followed by the title of his See, or of any office, such as Vicar Apostolic, that he holds, as The Most Rev. (or The Right Rev.) A.B., Archbishop (or Bishop, or Vicar Apostolic) of…; or 3. by his surname only, preceded by Archbishop or Bishop, as The Most Rev. Archbishop (or The Right Rev. Bishop) …. The addition of D.D., or the prefixing of Doctor or Dr., to the names of Catholic Archbishops or Bishops, is not necessary, and is not in conformity with the best usage. [It is, however, the usual custom in the United States.] When an Archbishop or Bishop is mentioned by his surname, it is better to say Archbishop (or Bishop) … than to say Dr.…; for the latter title is common to Doctors of all kinds, and does not of itself indicate any sacred dignity or office.
"Vicars-General, Provosts, Canons.—1. The Very Rev. A. B. (or, if he is such, Provost…, or Canon…), V. G.; or The Very Reverend the Vicar-General. 2. The Very Rev. Provost … (surname). 3. The Very Rev. Canon … (surname); or (Christian name and surname) The Very Rev. A. Canon B. [The various ranks of Domestic Prelates are addressed in English-speaking countries according to rules laid down above under Italy].—Mitred Abbots. The Right Rev. Abbot … (surname). Right Rev. Father.—Provincials. The Very Rev. Father …