Roman Catholic Bishop

Roman Catholic bishops are addressed in speech within their community as ‘My Lord’ or ‘Your Excellency’, and are styled Right Reverend, except in Ireland where they are styled Most Reverend. In Ireland, the abbreviation ‘Dr’ is included on the envelope before the name, as in ‘The Most Reverend Dr John Frith, Bishop of Kildare’.

In lists compiled by non-Roman Catholic organisations, a Roman Catholic bishop should be mentioned by name, for example: ‘The Right Reverend John Denman’. If the territorial designation is given, and there is a Church of England bishop whose See has the same name, it should be stated, as in ‘Roman Catholic Bishop of Liverpool’.
On retirement from his See or office, a bishop is appointed to a titular See, and addressed by name. Though it is not the usual practice, the titular See may be appended on the envelope after the name if desired.

As with archbishops, Roman Catholic bishops in Britain have no statutory claim to territorial titles or to the use of the salutations ‘Your Grace’ or ‘My Lord’, and such modes of address are not permitted in official documents. However, unofficially and within the Roman Catholic community, these styles are in common usage.

How to Address a Roman Catholic Bishop

The recommended style of address is as follows:

Beginning of letter

My Lord or My Lord Bishop (formal), Right Reverend Sir (officially recognised) or Dear Bishop (Rose) (social)

End of letter

I have the honour to be, Your Lordship’s obedient child (very formal), I remain, my Lord, Yours faithfully (formal) or I have the honour to be, Right Reverend Sir, Your obedient servant (or Most Reverend Sir for an Irish bishop) (officially recognised) or Yours sincerely (social)

Envelope

His Lordship The Bishop of Blank or The Right Reverend John Rose, Bishop of Blank, or The Right Reverend John Rose, Auxiliary Bishop of Blank (formal and social) or The Right Reverend Bishop Rose (officially recognised)

Verbal communication

Verbal: My Lord or My Lord Bishop Conversation: His Lordship or The Bishop

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