Why is "Cardinal" in the middle of a cardinal's name?


Why is that a cardinal’s title is shown in the middle of the cardinal’s name instead of the beginning of his name like other titles? Is this the way all cardinals are addressed?

For example, Francis Cardinal George instead of Cardinal Francis George.


It’s intended to be a sign of humility that the cardinal is addressed by his Christian name first (“Francis”), then by his station within the Church (“Cardinal George”). Although a comma is not used in writing it out, one is really saying “Francis” (pause) “Cardinal George.” It is a pious custom however; writing it the other way (“Cardinal Francis George”) is also legitimate.

Such customary marks of humility by those in the ecclesial hierarchy are not uncommon within the Church. Another example is the custom of some priests, particularly within religious orders, to lowercase the title in their signature. Written out it might look like “fr. John Smith” and is an acknowledgment that the priest’s spiritual fatherhood is based on God’s own Fatherhood from which all spiritual fatherhood is derived (cf. Matt. 23:9).

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.