There are two styles of address for members of the Roman
Catholic Church: formal and social. In most circumstances the
social form of address is used - that is a polite but slightly less
deferential style of approach than the very rigid form that was
followed in the last century. The formal styles of address may be
found in the published edition of Debrett's Correct Form.
The Roman Catholic Church is the world's largest Christian church, representing over half the Christians in the world.
The spiritual leader and head of the Roman Catholic Church is the Pope, who governs from the Vatican City in Rome, a sovereign nation of which he is head of state. Each pope is elected for life by the College of Cardinals.
In England, the senior Roman Catholic prelate is the Archibishop of Westminster.
England and Wales is divided into five Metropolitan Archdioceses: Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool, Southwark and Westminster.
The five Metropolitan Archdioceses of the Catholic Church of England and Wales have a total of 17 suffragan dioceses each overseen by a Bishop. These are:
Westminister: Brentwood, East Anglia, Northampton,
Southwark: Arundel and Brighton, Plymouth, Portsmouth
Birmingham: Clifton, Shrewsbury
Liverpool: Hallam, Hexham and Newcastle, Lancaster, Leeds, Middlesbrough, Salford
Cardiff: Menevia, Wrexham
In Scotland there are two Metropolitan Archdioceses with a total of 6 suffragan dioceses:
St Andrews and Edinburgh: Aberdeen, Argyll and The Isles,
Glasgow: Motherwell, Paisley
Ordained clergy form a three-part hierarchy of bishops, priests
and deacons. Only priests and bishops may celebrate the Eucharist
and administer the sacraments of Penance and Anointing the Sick.
Married men may become deacons, but only celibate men are ordained
as priests and bishops.
The territorial designation and the term 'My Lord' are not officially recognised within the United Kingdom, and accordingly are not used in official communications and documents. In such communications Archbishops, Bishops, Abbots and Priors are addressed by name and not by their Province, Diocese, etc.