Faith/Spirituality Forum: Cardinal's title
Cardinal's title QUESTION from John on December 30, 2002 Dear Brother John-Paul
Could you please clarify the proper form of a cardinal's title? I've been under the impression that the ONLY proper form is John Cardinal Doe, but I have seen not only in secular but in Catholic media and even some Church documents references to Cardinal John Doe. Are there situations in which the latter form is correct?
My second question is, who declared, and when, that pronouns referring to the Lord would no longer be capitalized? I always make a point of capitalizing all references to Him and I find it somewhat disturbing that this is no longer done even in official Church documents.
Thank you and God bless you.
ANSWER by John-Paul Ignatius, OLSM on December 31, 2002 Dear John:
The form of address of a Cardinal is only a custom, a matter of etiquette. We do not sin if we refer to a Cardinal in either of the two ways you have listed and both forms may be found in differing contexts.
The usual etiquette, however, for the form of address is John Cardinal Doe.
As for the capitalization of pronouns referring to God, I too tend to capitalize them, but technically the reason why you find Catholic documents and even the approved Bibles not capitalizing these pronouns is because the the biblical writers DID NOT capitalize these pronouns in the original languages from which they wrote.
It is a nice custom, but it is not irreverent or blasphemous to not use capitalization of these pronouns.
Back to Index Page