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Cardinal (Catholicism)/Title and reference style

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Part of the series on
Cardinal (Catholicism)
CardinalCoA PioM
Coat of Arms
The coat of arms of a cardinal are indicated by a red galero (wide-brimmed hat) with 15 tassels on each side (the motto and escutcheon are proper to the individual cardinal).
College and orders of cardinalate
Titular church
Title and reference style
Orders
Special types of cardinals
Cardinals in pectore or secret cardinals
Vesture and privileges
Cardinals in popular culture
Article discussion

Title and reference style

Since 1630, cardinals have taken the style Eminence. In accordance with Latin tradition, they sign by placing the title Cardinalis (abbreviated Card.) after their personal name and before their surname as, for instance, "John Cardinal Doe". Similarly, the official signature of popes inserts the Latin title Papa (abbreviated Pp. immediately after the personal name, as "Benedictus Pp. XVI" for Pope Benedict XVI. Some writers, such as James-Charles Noonan,[1] hold that, in the case of cardinals, the form used for signatures should be used also when referring to them, even in English; and this is the usual but not the only way of referring to cardinals in Latin.[2] However, influential stylebooks indicate that the correct form for referring to a cardinal in English is as "Cardinal <Name> <Surname>.[3] This is also the usual style on ecclesiastical websites.[4]

A well-known instance of the usual Latin order is that in the proclamation, in Latin, of the election of a new pope by the cardinal protodeacon: "Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum; habemus Papam: Eminentissimum ac Reverendissimum Dominum, Dominum (first name) Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae Cardinalem (last name), ..."[5] (Meaning: "I announce to you a great joy; we have a Pope: The Most Eminent and Most Reverend Lord, Lord (first name) Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church (last name), ...")


  1. Noonan, The Church Visible, p. 205
  2. An Internet search will uncover some hundreds of examples of "Cardinalis Ioannes <surname>", examples modern and centuries-old (such as this from 1620), and the phrase "dominus cardinalis Petrus Caputius" is found in a [http://regesten.regesta-imperii.de/anzeige.php?pk=&bandanzeige=&begriffe=&q=&offset=&uri=1250-00-00_1_0_5_1_2_1798_5014a&rpk=&i=&band=&nr= document of 1250.}
  3. "At first reference Cardinal John Doe. At subsequent references the cardinal or Doe" (Reuters Handbook of Journalism). The Associated Press stylebook, quoted by Douglas LeBlanc on Anglicanism out of AP style at the Times? agrees fully: "The preferred form for first reference is to use Cardinal, Archbishop or Bishop before the individual's name: Cardinal Timothy Manning, archbishop of Los Angeles. On second reference, Manning or the cardinal." The religious Publications Style Book of the Franciscan Holy Name Province likewise lays down: "Use the form 'Cardinal John Smith' instead of the older 'John Cardinal Smith'."
  4. The websites of the Holy See (except for signatures), and of the Episcopal Conferences in the United States, England and Wales, Ireland and the Australia agree with the stylebooks. The Bishops' Conference of Scotland uses both the usual Latin and English forms side by side. The usual Latin order is found on diocesan sites of Boston, Chicago, Dublin, New York, Toronto, Washington; the usual English order on those of Armagh,Los Angeles, Philadelphia, St Andrews and Edinburgh, Wellington, Westminster.
  5. Benedict XVI, 19 April 2005

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