World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

His Eminence

Article Id: WHEBN0001704861
Reproduction Date:

Title: His Eminence  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Gianfranco Ravasi, Giuseppe Bertello, Henry Edward Manning, Vincent Nichols, Highness
Collection: College of Cardinals, Ecclesiastical Titles, Styles (Manners of Address)
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

His Eminence

"His Eminence" is the commonly accepted style of reference to refer to a cardinal.
(Portrait of Roman Catholic Cardinal Bernardino Spada by Guido Reni, c. 1631.)

His Eminence is a historical style of reference for high nobility, still in use in various religious contexts.


  • Catholicism 1
  • Orthodox Christianity 2
  • Other religions 3
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • References 6


The style remains in use as the official style or standard of address in reference to a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church, reflecting his status as a Prince of the Church.

A longer, and more formal, title is "His (or Your when addressing the cardinal directly) Most Reverend Eminence".[a]

Patriarchs of Eastern Catholic Churches who are also cardinals may be addressed as "His Eminence" or by the style particular to Eastern Catholic patriarchs, His Beatitude.

When the Grand Master of the Military Order of the Knights of Malta, the head of state of their sovereign territorial state comprising the island of Malta until 1797, who had already been made a Reichsfürst (i.e., prince of the Holy Roman Empire) in 1607, became (in terms of honorary order of precedence, not in the actual church hierarchy of ordained ministers) the most senior official after the most junior member of the Cardinals in 1630, he was also awarded the hybrid style His Most Eminent Highness, to recognize his status as a type of prince of the Church.[1]

While the term is shunned by many individuals of other faiths or denominations of Christianity, the title is officially maintained in international diplomacy without regard for its doctrinal, philosophical and theological origins.

Orthodox Christianity

Serbian, Bulgarian and Russian Patriarchs are referred to as "His Holiness", while Rumanian Patriarchs are referred to as "His Beatitude". The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is styled "His All-Holiness", and so is, exceptionally, the Metropolitan Bishop of Thessaloniki. In Oriental Orthodoxy clergy holding the rank of Metropolitan are referred to as "His Eminence". Also, the archbishops of Ohrid and Macedonia are addressed with "His Beatitude".

Other religions

It is also used, informally (perhaps as a rendering of an oriental style), in Islam for highly honorable religious leaders. For example, an Imam of the Sunni Barelwi school of thought, Moulana Syed Madani Mia, is often addressed with this title, along with individuals such as Moulana Khushtar Siddiqi of Mauritius, although these titles are, in essence, unofficial. Beyond this, the traditional rulers of the sub-national states of the Fulani, Hausa, Nupe and Kanuri peoples of Nigeria use the style as an alternative to the HRH style that is usually used by the country's royal monarchs, highlighting by so doing their positions as spiritual as well as temporal leaders.

Tsem Tulku Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist tulku of the Gelugpa monastic order who presides over a dharma center in Malaysia, styles himself "H.E." (cf. "H.H." the Dalai Lama).

See also


  1. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia recommends using this form for ending a formal letter to an Italian cardinal: "Embracing the purple of His Most Reverend Eminence, I am His Eminence's very humble and obedient servant."[2]


  1. ^ "History of the Order 1099-1999". Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Grand Priory of England. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
  2. ^ Battandier, Albert (1907). "Ecclesiastical Addresses". The Catholic Encyclopedia 1. Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved 2007-05-06. 
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.