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Difference Between Anglican and Catholic

anglican_churchAnglican vs Catholic
Though they came from the same Christian roots founded by Jesus Christ in Judea 2000 years ago, Anglicans and Catholics have diverged to become two separate forms of Christianity.

Definition
Anglican refers to the Church of England and its related branches throughout the world.
Catholic comes from the Greek for universal. It was the first form of Christianity and claims to have kept apostolic leadership unbroken since the time of St. Peter.

Origins
The Anglican Church came into being during the Reformation. It was the brainchild of Henry VIII. He couldn’t secure a sanctioned divorce from the Catholic Church and therefore broke off to form his own sect. During the time of Elizabeth I, the Anglican Church was formalized.
The Catholic Church began as soon as Christ’s apostles began to preach after his death. In the 4th century AD, Catholicism was made the official religion of the Roman Empire. Just prior to that, the Council of Nicene codified Catholic beliefs.

Leadership
The Anglican Church does not recognize any central hierarchy that places one church or priest over all the others. This gives each individual church and region a lot of freedom to decide on policy. All Anglican churches are part of the Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury is considered the first among equals but this does not give him authority over churches outside his region.
The Catholic Church has a fully entrenched hierarchy. At the lowest rung are the parish priests, then the bishops, arch-bishops, cardinals, and finally the Pope himself. Each level has authority over more congregations. The Pope is chosen by the cardinals and is thought to be the successor of the apostle Peter. The Pope is also thought to be infallible on matters of church doctrine.

Beliefs and Practices
Anglican priests can marry. Parishioners take communion, but believe it to be a symbolic act. The mass entails a lot of ‘smells and bells,’ as one cheeky parishioner put it.
Catholic priests must take a vow of celibacy. The same holds true for monks and nuns. Communion is believed to be accompanied by the miracle of transubstantiation. There is liberal use of incense and bell ringing in the mass.

Controversy
In recent years, the autonomy of the Anglican Church has led to conflict between more liberal branches who want to include gays and lesbians as members of the clergy and conservation branches who feel this is wrong. The Anglican Church is in danger of an irrevocable split.

Summary:
1. Anglicans and Catholics were one in the same until Henry VIII broke from the Church.
2. The Anglican Church eschews hierarchy while the Catholic Church embraces it.
3. Much of the mass is the same, but Catholics believe the bread and wine is actually the body and blood of Christ.
4. Both Churches have been weathering their own storm of controversy in recent years.


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23 Comments

  1. This was alright i suppose. However, in the Anglican church, we also beleive that the true Body and Blood of christ is present at communion. The Wine and bread transforms into the other elements.

  2. What are the differences doctrine between the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic doctrine Church?

    • “What are the differences doctrine between the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic doctrine Church?”

      There is very little difference between Anglican & Roman Catholics. Most enthusiasts on both sides trot out minor differences I.E. Transubstantiation, Immaculate Conception Marianism in General. But in fact these are minor differences and rely simply on wishful thinking! In fact on Transubstantiation ? This is a relatively new idea, being a product of the first millenium, whilst the British Church teaches the Biblical Doctrine of the Real Presence, both claim Christ is present at the Eucharist, the Romanists tell us how it is managed, whilst the Anglicans say they haven’t a clue, but accept Christ at His word! I.E. “This is my Body,.” As for the Immaculate Conception, the British Church denies it, but accepts the Doctrine of the Councils that Mary was Ever Virgin,and All Holy and Immaculate!

      The main difference between the two are the complimentary doctrines of Papal Jurisdiction and Papal Infallibility! As there is nothing in either Christ’s Revelation, Scripture or The Seven Ecumenical Councils how can we accept these preposterous doctrines.
      There is another wedge between us, at one time it assumed enormous proportions, but now seems to have lost it’s attraction and that is the Council of Trent.

      This was a ‘Robber Council,’ held in 1545/1564. It was here that a small number of Catholic Bishops surrendered their responsibilities on to the shoulders of the Papacy and brought out an illegal creed,. It was here that the pope acheived his dream of Papal Jurisdiction.

      • Re: the Immaculate Conception. I am afraid that the above poster has it confused with the Virgin Birth. The Immaculate Conception means that Mary was conceived and was born without original sin on her soul. The theory of the Virgin Birth means that Mary conceived her son, Jesus Christ, without having had intercourse. Many people get these mixed up. However, if you want to argue a point of religious belief, it would be advisable to make certain you have your facts correct.

        • Stasia.
          I find the above poster’s contribution and comments interesting, how-and-ever, where is her proof?
          The Immaculate Conception of Mary is an addition to the Faith of the ,One, Holy and Apostolic Catholic Church. It goes against the Biblical Injunction of the great Apostle, S.Paul.
          Catholic teaching on the lady Mary tells us that she is the ‘Mother of God,’ and defined as the ‘Theotokos’. (1st, Eph. 431 AD.)
          The Second Ephesus defined the Lady Mary as ,’Spotless and Immaculate’ (787 AD. )
          whilst the Second Council of Constantinople,(381 AD. referred to her as, ‘Mary, Ever Virgin.’
          This is the belief of the Catholic Church through the medium of her bench of Bishops , world wide, guided by the Holy Ghost in Council.

      • LOL You sound like a vicar who still uses terms like “popish.” I imagine you think all these similar doctrines just popped out whole at the birthday of the Church.

  3. hello
    thanks very much for this difference between anglican and catholic.this is a concept that i have always been disturbing me.i am now very clear about it.i can go and explain it to others.thanks; i am very grateful.

  4. Thank you so much for posting this. totally informative :)

  5. I’m an Anglican and we believe that Christ is present in the Eucharist similarly in the same way Greek Orthodox believe. I resent the idea that one would think we’d believe it is just a “symbol.”
    We do not believe in Transubstantiation but we believe that Christ’s body is present in the communion. In other words, Catholic’s believe that the bread becomes Jesus, Anglicans sort of believe that Jesus becomes bread. ha-ha
    You can find just as much adoration of the sacrament in the Anglican church, especially in certain dioceses within the Episcopal Church USA.

    Baptists believe in symbolism/ memorialism
    Catholics believe in transubstantiation
    Lutherans believe in the real presence (some might say consubstantiation)

  6. The bias in this article is far too obvious. This piece should be taken with a grain of salt. This piece doesn’t address competing views of the nature of primacy in the church, the evolution of the papacy during the middle ages, the issues that the Orthodox also had with the papacy and the Bishop of Rome’s claims to universal jurisdiction. This article argues the Roman view that assumes the early church believed in papal infallibility, the universal jurisidiction of the Bishop of Rome, etc. These beliefs were evolved and developed by those who would come to be called “Roman Catholics”, a form of Christianity revolving around the absolute temporal power acquired by the Bishop of Rome over time, beliefs developed long after the apostles and early Christians were dead and gone. Both Anglicans and Orthodox have taken the more traditional views of primacy in the church, where primacy was more organic and based on recognition by locally autonomous churches, and didn’t revolve around a cult of personality surrounding the Bishop of Rome (again, a novelty of the notoriously corrupt papacy of the middle ages which was frighteningly concerned with temporal power). The See of Rome was not the only See of Christianity, there were also other patriarchates (that the Orthodox remained loyal to after the break with the Romanists), which exercised their own authority in governing the Christian church. Of course, this article leaves all of this, an enormous part of Christian history, out of the picture, so as to put up some illusion that the Roman Catholic model of church governance was always the Christian model of governance, when in fact, it wasn’t and is an invention of the Ultramontanists of the middle ages.

  7. In the above article,”Anglican and Catholic Differences,” there is a great deal of misunderstanding. The Catholic Church is the Body of Christ! To become a member we must receive a valid baptism, i.e. by water and by words. It is this, right belief, ,( the complete apostolic succession,) that enables us to become ,”Members of Christ and Children of God and thus Catholics. It is this right belief through the Revelation of Christ once made to the Saints, Recorded in Scripture and completed , interpreted and explained by the Holy Fathers through the Seven Ecumenical Councils, that cause the Church in England to remain Catholic after a history of some two thousand years . I should imagine that those people who reject Christ’s revelation or indeed add to it, (See Paul’s Epistles,) make up the protestant Element, but, Anglicans hold to the ancient faith, if they don’t surely they are no longer Anglican!

  8. well, Anglican also believe that the bread and wine represent the body and blood of the Jesus Christ. We do this in remembrance of Jesus. It is not only catholic believe in this, but so do we.

  9. Another couple of differences that occurred to me are:
    - the RCC is distributed worldwide, and has several millions adherents everywhere (with the exception of Orthodox Easter Europe and Islamic Countries in Asia and Africa), while the Anglican Community is – for obvious reasons – concentrated in former colonies of the current UK.
    The RCC appears to be, in this regard, way much more universal (i.e. “catholic”) than its ‘Anglo-’ counterpart.
    - The mother church of the Anglican Community, the Church of England, is simply the former Church in England, tamed by a monarch that, despite being granted the title of Fidei Defensor by a Pope, decided that he was better off with a docile and obedient religious tool instead of one taking orders from far away Rome. Ever since, the CoE has been ‘Established’, that is, a state church ruled by the central government (be it the Monarch or the Parliament). Let’s not forget that the CoE is the one of the few state churches left in the western world (elsewhere no one has heard of bishops sitting in the parliament since the Middle Ages), and – according to statistics on mass attendance in the UK – exists mainly for the purpose of providing pageantry.

    Ps. The primacy of the See of Rome is accepted by virtually all the other major denominations (Orthodox, Anglican…, much less by real Protestants), while the only ones pushing for a plenitude of jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome on the whole Christendom are the Roman Catholics.

  10. To start with the article, ‘The difference between Anglican & Catholic, is based on a false premise. Anglicans are Catholics and arguably of an earlier provenance than Rome! To be a Catholic, we must have under gone Triune Baptism, that is by water and by word and have been taught the Revelation of Christ once made to the saints, entered in to scripture, explained ,interpreted and completed by the Holy Fathers in the Seven Ecumenical Councils. Our faith is based on this, can Rome claim more than this? Can it even claim this? In fact the Roman position is based on the Council of Trent, where Catholic Bishops from Northern Europe abandoned their traditional teachings and adopted the new teachings of that Council and the new creed it brought out inspite of the prohibitions of Niceae!

    The claim that the Church in England came in to being during the Reformation, is rubbish. The Catholic Church has been present in Britain since Roman times, our bishops were present at the Council of Nice,(325 AD.). The Celts, (Albanicus the Wise, the well known Historian,) claimed that the Church was here in 37 Ad. The Roman ,or Latin Councils of the West, gave pre-eminence to the English Church on account of its provenance at the hand of S.Joseph of Arimathea. There are reports from several worthies of the early church on the intervention of apostles in this country! In, or around, 607AD, the British bishops rebuked Augustine the Monk, for interfering in Church matters in this country! In 750 AD, (App.) Baeda the Monk, in his History referred to the Ecclesia Anglicana, which is usually translated, Church of the English. In 1215 at Runnymede, in the Great Charter the scribes again named the Church in England as Ecclesia Anglicana. During the middle ages, in correspondence with the continental churches, the term was ,
    ‘Sainte Eglise,d’angleterre, which according to scholars was interpreted as, ‘The Holy Church of the English.” The name of the Roman Church at this time was the Suburbicarian Church of Rome, at the Council of Trent to reflect its new status it was changed to, ‘The Holy Roman Church’. Note the papal letter or proclamations put out by Rome even as late as last year.

    Regarding ,‘Establishment,’? The writer has either not thought the matter out, or his study is of a shallow nature. For some 800 years the Bishop of Rome was the monarch, or overlord of most of Northern Italy. He was also a Prelate within the catholic Church, are we to understand that he as monarch and ruler played no part in the religious life of his subjects? In fact, the Catholic Church had played a major role in English Politics for about a thousand years, with joint Synods, between the Laity and Clerics well in to the Saxon times.

    Authority in the Anglican Church is based on Revelation, Scripture and Councils just as it is in Orthodoxy. Whilst the Roman Church reset itself at the Council of Trent and its Bishops renounced their responsibilities and abandoned their duties on to the shoulders of the Bishop of Rome, assumed the name ,’Holy Roman Church,’ and became a catholic sect!

    The Primacy of the See of Rome?

    This ,‘Primacy,” was given by the Church to two prelates within the Church at that time; in the West, given to the Bishop of Rome because, being the parish priest of the Emperor he had become a virtual civil servant, serving in that position, the pope at one time repossessed two houses at the instigation of the Roman State. When the Capitol of the Empire moved east to Constantinople, the Bishop of that See was was promoted to Primate of the East! They were political moves to please the Emperors!
    As for the papal claims of Jurisdiction and Infallibility. It is to be noted that papal jurisdiction was not achieved till the Council of Trent and then only by very suspect methods, in fact the eastern part of the Church separated in 1054 after strong protests against this claim. All during the middle ages, there was a vicious struggle between the Councilist, or traditionalists and the supporters of the Vatican. In theory it could be claimed that the former triumphed at the various councils, unfortunately, they had no power to enforce their position relying on the various monarchs, who were reluctant to interfere with another ruler, lest they destablised the principle of kingship.

  11. Difference with respect to Holy Eucharist described in article is wrong…Anglicans don’t believe in transubstantiation, but do believe in “Real Pressence.” HE is not just a symbolic act, as in most Protestant churches.

  12. You’r in error friend, a Vicar is a territorial position and I’m a simple parish priest and a retired one at that!

    The term ,’popish,’ is perfectly apposite in this usage because it is concerning the pope! I can well see why the Roman Church dislikes this, because it highlights a terrible failing in that Communion, but that is not my concern. In the Roman Church everything is subject to the will of the Bishop of Rome! Is that not so? The Revelation of Christ, Scripture and Holy Tradition are ignored, to say the least, by the Roman, (Trentist,) Church in their pursuit of this doctrine. How-and-ever, the power and authority claimed by Rome is not Catholic, it has no place in Christ’s Revelation and is simply an addition to Catholic Doctrine. Rejecting S.Paul’s injunctions I might add.

  13. The Roman Catholic church has done a fabulous job of masquerading as the Church that Jesus founded upon the apostles. It is not. It contains elements of it, but it is clear that much of its doctrines and dogmas have no root in early Christian history.

  14. I see here a lot of bias and misunderstanding of the office of the papacy. I think a good place to start is to read John Henry Newmans writings on the development of christian doctrine. Someone in a post earlier made a statement that did not make sense that the catholic church contains only elements of the early church. This is true of all of us. Whether we like it or not doctrine, liturgy, and teaching develops. Are understanding of events places or dogma can deepen or increase the mystery. The Catholic Church and the orthodox have been around in various developed forms depending on the need of the age. What makes a church historical is rooted in apostolic succession, teaching, church father’s, proper leadership of the three fold office, following the scripture canon put together in the 4th century, truly catholic or universal, and administering the sacraments and a healthy believe in the real presence.

    • The Catholic Church is the Body of Christ, here on earth and we enter by baptism.I agree!
      However, Christ brought us the Gospel by means of His Revelation (Ep., Jude.) Which we are to contend for! (Jude.) For Catholics, this doesn’t mean the question is thrown open for interested folk to ‘have ago,’ as it were! The major components of the Gospel or Revelation were decided by the Holy fathers, of the first Centuries,Revealed by Christ and interpreted by the Bishop’s of the Seven Councils.
      Within the Church Catholique, there has been a steady tradition from the beginning that the first ideas were the best, Tertullian, Vincent of Lerins, we’re talking about Holy Tradition.The basic thread of catholicism has been woven, it is the modern errors that need putting aright.

      The strength of the Church is that it is guided by the Holy Ghost the Comforter, as S. James, the Brother of Christ finished the Jerusalem Council, ‘It has seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us’. Apostolic Succession is not just a matter of mechanical succession of Orders, it is also a matter of the Succession of the Apostolic Faith, revealed by Christ to the Apostles, written in to scripture and interpreted,explained and completed by the Bishops with the help of the Comforter.

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