Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Episcopalian and Catholic

Difference Between Episcopalian and Catholic

Episcopalian vs. Catholic

Episcopalians and Catholics are very much alike and sometimes hard to distinguish from each other. As some of you may know, the word “Catholic” means “found everywhere” or, to be exact, “universal”. We can see some Catholic practices and beliefs in almost every religion. This makes it difficult to distinguish Roman Catholic churches from Episcopal ones. We can tell the two apart by paying attention to how they conduct their masses and other practices.

One of the major differences between Episcopalians and Catholics is the fact that Episcopalians allow women in some – but not all – provinces to be ordained as priests; unlike Catholicism, where only men are allowed to become priests. However, both wear very similar clothing while preaching. Furthermore, priests and bishops in the Episcopal religion are allowed to marry if they want to. Another difference is that the Episcopal Church – unlike the Catholic Church – rejects the idea of the Bishop of Rome — the Pope — having supreme authority over the Universal Church. They also do not have a centralized authority figure like the Pope is for the Catholics; instead, they have bishops and cardinals. Unlike Catholic bishops who are appointed by the Pope, the bishops of the Episcopal religion are elected by the people; this is because, as mentioned earlier, the Episcopalians don’t believe in having Popes.

One of the distinguishing Catholic practices is the confession of sins. Catholics confess to their priest to cleanse their souls of sins and ask the Lord for forgiveness. The Episcopalians, however, do not believe in this; they believe that the only way to ask for forgiveness is to talk to the Lord directly and tell Him your sins.

It is part of a Catholic’s life to pray to the saints and ask for their guidance and protection. Catholics believe that a particular saint is a patron to some of their everyday activities. The Episcopalians also believe in saints; they’ve even named some of their churches after them. But in their point of view, it is not right to worship false idols. They recognize saints as holy people to be honored, but do not pray to them. They do, however, include the saints in their prayers addressed to God in thanks for providing them with good examples which they call saints.

Another major difference between the Episcopal and Catholic Churches is communion. Catholic churches only give communion to those who are members of the Church. This means that one has to be a Catholic first in order to receive the Holy Communion. Conversely, in the Episcopalian Church, anyone can receive communion even if they are not Episcopalian.

Lastly, being separated from the Pope’s authority, Episcopalian married couples have the free will to use birth control, whereas Catholics are under the Pope’s supervision, which prohibits them from using any birth control methods.


  1. Both men and women can be ordained as priests in the Episcopalian Church. They can also get married. But in the Catholic Church, only males are allowed to become priests, and they are not allowed to get married.
  2. Episcopalians don’t surrender to the Pope’s authority; they have bishops and cardinals that are chosen through elections. Meanwhile, Catholics are under the Pope’s authority.
  3. Confession of sins to priests is not practiced in the Episcopal Church, but is an important element of the Catholic Church.
  4. The Episcopalians believe that saints are mere examples of what God wants them to be; in the Catholic’s perspective, saints are to be asked for guidance as well.
  5. One can take part in an Episcopalian Communion whether one is an Episcopal or not, but one cannot participate in a Catholic Communion unless one is Catholic.
  6. Episcopalians are allowed to use birth control; Catholics are not.

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  1. There are a number of elementary mistaken ideas in your article above:
    May I suggest that your writers use the Book of Common Prayer for consultation.

    Under summary (1) – the correct way of speaking of our church is
    The Episcopal Church; People are Episcopalians.

    Under summary (2) – An Episcopal Bishop in each local Diocese is elected by lay delegates that come from each parish and clergy of that Diocese. We don’t have cardinals. (An occasion bird, however.)
    Episcopalians respect the Pope as the Bishop of Rome and see him “as first among equals.”

    Under summary (3) – Confession is a practice of the Episcopal Church.
    It can be done in a number of ways:
    a) most commonly, in a general confession by the congregation each time the
    Eucharist is celebrated and at other times;
    b) much rarer, however,directly to a priest

    Under summary (5) We would say an Episcopal Communion Service (not Episcopalian)

    Under summary (6) not only allowed to use birth control, but encourage to use birth control according to the individuals concerned. We also see it as an important way not to overpopulate.

    • Thank you so much Reverend McCann, for your response to this post. It provided me with much clarification.
      I have been a Catholic my whole life, but the recent news of the Catholic Church fighting full-force against contraception, as well as my life-long frustration with the inequality of women and the unrepresented congregation in decisions regarding the lives of Catholics worldwide…has led me to finding a new place where I can raise my children with my faith, but without the doctrines that I cannot in good conscience follow.
      I have decided to join a wonderful Episcopal Church which has welcomed us with open arms.
      It is pleasing to me to know that the sacrament of reconciliation will still be available to me and that, when I teach my children about the equality of men and women, I will not have to explain why there are no women in authority at church.

      Sharon, I do not know if you belong to a particularly liberal diocese, or if your Priest is more open. I have to say that, after an entire childhood of catechism, and generations of Catholics surrounding me my whole life, I am unfamiliar with a Roman Catholic Church that claims that anyone who is a Protestant is welcome to receive Holy Communion (Eucharist). It is a Sacrament which requires religious education and a Holy blessing.

      • How could you decide to just change religon?? If you just decided to do that then you just didn’t have enough faith.

        • How you worship God is a very personal thing? When we become of age, we all have to decide which is the best fit. Deciding to change to a church that allows you better express you faith and serve God is not an indication of a lack of faith, but rather an indication of a true desire to worship and serve God to best of your ability.

          • Oddly enough, if we look at God through the eyes of the jews of the Old Testament there was a very specific way that one should worship God. Jesus being a Jew didn’t undo the teachings of worship of God, He simply perfected it. We throughout generations have attempted to make God fit us as individuals rather than us fit Him. I challenge you to look at what early Christianity looked like. It’s good to look for new ways to grow in your faith and constantly live the Gospel, but as for what services looked like and the traditions that were taught well those are still evident in at least 2 denominations of the thousands of choices we have today. As for hierarchy of church which one will argue easily in this thread, only one still looks the same.

        • She didn’t “change religions”. she changed the denomination. That’s a HUGE difference. You are acting like she decided not to believe that Jesus is the son of God and her savior.

        • I believe quite the contrary. Changing denominations (or religions) shows a lot of thought. Rather than just accepting the religion in which I was raised I thought of other religions. I was raised Catholic but had trouble with a lot of their tenets. After thinking long and hard I attended an Episcopal service. That was six yeas ago. I felt at home almost immediately. I consider myself an Episcopalian in my religious practices.

          • I was raised Baptist all my life, and only this year I started to attend a local Episcopal church. It was actually a rather difficult decision, but I’ve never been more happy with any of my decisions.

          • Hello Danielle. To my knowledge Jesus didn’t practice any particular religion, albeit he was a Jew, probably of the Nazarene sect. This so called religion was created by Peter and Paul, based loosely on the writings of Mark; not Matthew Luke and others. Throw in Constantine and the various councils, and you have the book that you worship. I prefer to follow Jesus’s teaching thru his understanding of the Cathers and Nazarene, as well as his Far East believes. The New Testament has suppressed this info. As a women, I don’t know why you would follow these paternal beliefs. Women were on an equal basis, based on the Jesus I know and follow.

        • I used to love my catholic church, but the new priest makes me feel like I don’t belong there, very unwelcome and I cannot be going to Boise to attend mass and other classes. I he neighbors who elongated to St. JAMES Episcopal Church and I would love to be part of this church so similar to the román catholic. The visit to the Pope to Chile and the dark part of the church made me take this decision too. I am baptized.

        • Each person seeks his/her own way to the Father.

        • It’s called critical thinking. A change is made because you discovered something, not that you lost something. Faith without question is not faith, but fear.

      • I really appreciate the information you have here. I just wanted to clear up a couple points. We as Episcopalians (high church) do consider ourselves Catholic, just not Roman Catholic. Low church Episcopalians consider themselves protestant. High church Episcopalians do often pray to saints. The Holy Rosary is prayed every Sunday before mass at my episcopal parish.


      • Darlene you are of the same option as I. Now finding out that a cardinal tried numerous times to lure seminarians to his bed.I have fought with the decision. But I am changing to the Episcopalian Church.

        • I feel the same as you. I am so unsure if my soul is safe If I stay with the Roman Catholic Church. It is a great sadness for me because I am a cradle catholic in my 60’s. Our parish is run by money not by faith this is how I perceive it and very into politics which I believe is not a part of worship or interjected into the homilies!

        • Amen, just today I took a leap of Faith, after all the shameful cover-up of the abuses and paying HUSH money, I have decided to leave the Roman Catholic Church. I have been brought up as a cradle Catholic, practice the the religion very personally, I cannot accept in good faith that priest are being sheltered from all these terrible accusation. Worst, re-assigned to another Parish, I simple cannot accept PAPAL infallibility anymore, it’s just downright wrong. I am to search my local Episcopal diocese for an Anglo-catholic communion. But I don’t know where to start here in Singapore

    • Worst article of explainstiin a I have ever heard obviously from an episcopalian

    • Thanks so much for clearing some things up. When they said that the Episcopal Church had Cardinals, I was like, WHAT, we don’t have Cardinals do we, I’ve never met one & I’m a cradle Episcopalian never been involved in any other church & I’m 50 years old. But 1 question, I always thought as an Episcopalian u had to be confirmed first before starting to take communion, but all guest where welcomed to receive communion. Has it changed?

    • I believe that the Catholic Church allows natural family planning as a form of birth control.

  2. Wrong about the Catholic communion service. Protestants are allowed to participate in a Catholic communion service.

    • Sharon Westey, you are incorrect. Only Catholics who have completed their First Holy Communion can partake in Communion at a Catholic Mass. This is because we believe in transubstantiation, which happens when the priest blesses the host and wine. It is also why we don’t take Communion at Protestant services, because they don’t believe in transubstantiation.

      • I am correct. Our priest said all people who are Evangelical are invited to receive the Holy Eucharist in the Catholic Church. It was news to me too.

        • As an Episcopalian, I was as not allowed to take communion in the Catholic Church for my Father in Law’s funeral, nor will I be permitted to at my son’s wedding. All Christians should be welcomed at Jesus’ table.

          • There isn’t a “I am am a Catholic card” to present when receiving Holy Communion. You are free to receive communion in a Catholic Church regardless of denomination or religion. However, if you do not believe in what the host represents than what is the point? Otherwise, it is a bland tasting piece of bread. It’s what is in your heart.

            The same is true with episcopalians requirement to be Christian in order to receive communion. If you’re Hindu and choose to partake in communion without any belief, it is no more than a piece of bread.

      • Actually, it really depends on the church-at my aunt and uncle’s (Catholic) wedding, my Protestant grandmother asked the priest about whether the Protestant half of the family could take Communion, and he replied “Who am I to say you can’t?”
        But there are Catholic (and Lutheran, Baptist, and Episcopalian) churches that will require you to be a member of that denomination before partaking.

    • Only Catholics can received Christ during the mass. My church has a statement up on our video screens asking all non Catholic to respect the laws of our religion and refrain from taking communion. Now we have no idea who is Catholic or not, so you can receive but it would be against Catholic law.

      • One baptism for the remission of sins …Jesus would say feed his sheep…all should be fed his body and blood as he commandrd.

    • Perhaps you’re right, however, at a funeral for a close friends husband, the priest from St. Paul’s in New Bern, NC, asked me ,”Are you Catholic?” after he handed bread & not handing it in my hands “crossed”. I responded, “I am Episcopalian”. He took the bread back, placed it in bowl, where he picked it up from, then shook his head saying, “no, you may not.” I then crossed my arms across my chest for his blessing , he continue an affimative, NO. So hurt, feelings of disappointment, negativity on many levels came through while truest an end of our friends closure was just not in my soul. He gave instructions to those attendees before giving communion. I’d gone to a funeral at this same church for a neighbors wife where there was a line for Catholics to receive and a line for other denominations. Unfortunately my mind was for George Delgrosso, may he rest in peace. I am in need to “let this go”. I went to this priest, after service, explaining I have a brain tumor, can’t hear well, I misunderstand Your words, and I’m sorry.

    • Perhaps you’re right, however, at a funeral for a close friends husband, the priest from St. Paul’s in New Bern, NC, asked me ,”Are you Catholic?” after he handed bread into my crossed hands. I responded, “I am Episcopalian”. He took the bread back, placed it back in bowl where he picked it up from, then, shook his head saying, “no, you may not.” I then crossed my arms across my chest for his blessing , he continue an affimative, NO. Horribly hurt, feelings of disappointment, negativity, a christian rejection on many levels came through my heart, while an end of our friends closure was just not in my soul. He gave instructions to those attendees before giving communion. I’d gone to a funeral at this same church for a neighbors wife where there was a line for Catholics to receive and, a line for other denominations, but I just didn’t reminese this past experience. Unfortunately my mind was for George Delgrosso, may he rest in peace. I am in need to “let this go”. I need to be here strong to help Mary, praying for closure. I went to this priest, after service, explaining I have a brain tumor, can’t hear well, I misunderstand Your words, and I’m sorry. Then, walked out, not saying a word to anyone. I didn’t want my tears to turn for myself, continuing a concentration for all and our loss of George.

      • I arranged a memorial service for my late boyfriend at a local RC church, he being a lapsed Catholic, like many in the neighborhood who are wedding/funeral Catholics (not even C&E – Christmas & Easter – Catholics). The priest announced that only Roman Catholics in good standing who have been faithful in church attendance and have made a recent confession would be allowed to receive communion. When the time came, 30 friends who I know haven’t been to church in years, all went up to receive.

    • No they are not allowed only Christian Orthodox are.

    • Not when the priest announces that all non Catholics should please remain seated during communion.

    • Since when? I attended Catholic Service with my husband for years because he would not attend with me and never received communion, only baptized Catholics were invited to the alter. I am now back in the Episcopal Church and my husband no longer attends any church.

  3. I just wanted to clarify that as it is many times misinterpreted, even by members of the church, Catholics do not pray to the saints, instead they are asking the saints to pray for them, and asking God to let them follow the example of that saint. As many times it is said during the mass “Saint (enter name here) Pray for us.”

    • Yes! Thank you. The Catechism of the Catholic church even defines prayer as raising one’s mind and heart to God… as a church we do not pray to Saints. God bless!

    • In both Roman Catholicism and Anglican Catholicism (Anglicans and Episcopalians), all members of the Communion of Saints may pray to or for one another, living or dead and of course can pray directly to God, the source of all power. To pray is to ask another to use his or her power in a certain way . In both denominations, only God, not even Mary, is to be adored. Believers in both denominations ask the “saints” (all the holy ones, including Jesus and often in Jesus’s name) to pray or intercede to God for them

      Episcopalians have a broader formal definition of saints, respecting as saints anyone who was canonized before the schism of the Anglican branch when Henry VIII refused to pay taxes to the Pope. They also respect as saints many who seem worthy since then, such as Martin Luther King and Hannah Arendt and Pope John XXIII.

      People are “declared” saints by the Anglican / Episcopal Communion (Church, capital C). They are not “canonized” as they are in the Roman Catholic Communion (or capital C Church).

      The only big differences between the two are that Episcopalians practice equality in regard to women and men, do not have cardinals or monsignors (but do have nuns, deacons, monks, priests, bishops, and archbishops), do not see the pope or anyone else as infallible, and believe that during the Eucharist, the process the bread and wine undergo is consubstantiation not transubstantiation. Birth control, not abortion, is fine for Episcopalians, but Episcopalians do not claim to know officially when the soul enters the body.

      Episcopalians take it literally that Jesus’s biological brother was James and that, as the bible says, they had other sisters and brothers.

      Both have seven sacraments, the same ones. The only way I would be sure that I were in a Catholic Mass rather than an Epicopalian one would be if the people said, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you” (or” that you should enter under my roof”); speak but the word and my soul will be healed.” Since the majority of Episcopalians I know are former Roman Catholics, many of them, like me, still say that prayer silently (I say it in Latin, the language of my youth). And I have received absolution in private confession (sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation) from Episcopal priests during my 35 years of being an Epicopalian.

      • Sweet Betsy … pretty fair assessment except for one glaring mistake …”do not see the pope or anyone else as infallible …” . That is a pretty Broad and generalized description of the Pope’s infallibility often perpetuated by non-catholics.

        In the Catholic Church, The Pope is infallible only in matters of church Dogma because he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church. Otherwise, the Pope is a human being and capable of making mistakes.

        Not all Episcopal provinces allow women to be ordained as priests. Just because Catholics and some Episcopal churches do not allow female priest does not mean they do not believe in equality of women. I believe you are getting fast and loose with the definition of equality. When was the last time a male headed NOW or a white the president of the NAACP?

  4. I was baptized in the Church of England and confirmed in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America. In England and the U.S. my whole life has been strongly associated with High Church worship and indeed I am under the banner of Protestant Reformed but only in the name. I am an Anglo-Catholic and many of the Roman Catholic prayers to the saints are definitely used in many High Church and or Anglo-Catholic Episcopal and Anglican Churches. Personally,I pray the rosary of the blessed virgin Mary daily without fail nor shame. Also the Book of Common Prayer is the official book of the Anglican Communion. I may be a rare case and very traditional for my age (22) but I was raised very formal and traditional. Bottomline is that We are Christians and Jesus is the True Answer whether you be Catholic,Orthodox or Protestant. Also King Henry VIII did not really start the Church of England. Pope Gregory in 604 A.D. sent missionaries to Britain. Our Heritage is both orthodox,catholic and apostolic. So for all those ignorant to us please note that we are a very much so valid true church just like that of the Roman one. When you learn the fullness of Church History, you will see the Roman Catholic Church as only one of the most beautiful ancient churhes of Christianity. May God Bless All who Read This And May you be more educated and not so judgmental and harsh to one another for Christ is Love. Remember.

    • Matt, that was beautiful and awesome, Thank You!!

    • Matt, it is great you have such faith where there is very little today. But unfortunately you have put your faith in a church that does not have a beautiful history. In fact the Catholic Church has a very bloody and ugly past. I for one cannot be a part of a religion that has done the things the church has, and saying they did them in the name of Christ. Christ would never have accepted the Catholic Church. Look up the history of the Catholic Church, it is in all encyclopedias for all to read. I have.

      • I agree with Melisa. The Roman Catholic Church is a false Christian denomination. A lot of their teachings and traditions completely contradict the King James Version Bible. The RCC has been notorious for adding and taking away from the their Bible. For example, they changed the 10 commandments by removing the 2nd commandment. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image…” When Catholics pray to the Virgin Mary, they are actually committing idolatry. Secondly, there is no such thing as purgatory. The RCC added extra books to the Bible known as the Apocrypha as their way to validate purgatory. The Catholic mass is also an act of heresy. What Christ did on the cross is enough. There need to be no more sacrifices after that. Infant baptism is also unbiblical. If you do your research and your homework, you will find that Constantine merged ancient Babylonian occultism with Christianity as a way to attract new believers when he first established the RCC. The RCC is not Christian at all or by any means.

        • Ang, the RC church didn’t ‘create’ the Apocrypha, these were parts that had been meticulously deleted from the Bible. In fact, Anglicans and Episcopalians still read from the Apocrypha (usually at Evensong).
          And aside from that, the rector decides the degree of Orthodoxy within his parish. Many churches pray for intercession from saints, many do not. Many have Marian chapels, many do not. At St John the Unfinished in New York, there are Seven chapels, all dedicated to various patron saints. It’s all to taste, and all to Christ.

          In Him,

          HS Slawosky, belonging to Trinity Episcopal, Bend Or.

          • The Apocrypha was never part of the original Hebrew Scriptures, therefore it is unbiblical. The rector is just a man. Man cannot dictate what is right or wrong for his congregation. Only God can. Marian chapels as well as chapels dedicated to saints are considered to be idolatry and is completely forbidden by the Bible.

        • Ang,

          Hail Mary, full of grace, the LORD IS WITH THEE
          Blessed art thou, amongst women
          Holy Mary MOTHER OF GOD PRAY FOR US sinners
          Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

          It’s asking for Mary to pray for us. Saints have done the Lord’s work however are not ever considered equal to him by any standards. If they were they would be called Gods and wouldn’t be Christian.

          You have been very misguided. And every modern Christian religion has formed from Catholicism. North America was found years after the Catholic Church.

      • Melisa,

        Christianity is a religion, Catholicism is a denomination. ALL Christian denominations stem from Catholicism, and though Catholicism has a blood past, that doesn’t mean its future must be overshadowed by this. Your statement indicates that you believe that one cannot be forgiven for ones past transgressions, which is the exact opposite of what Christ stood (and stands) for. Quit being so pretentious and judging others because they don’t practice their faith in the same manner as you.

        • Steph,

          You are incorrect when you claim that ALL Christian denominations stem from Catholicism. There are many Christian denominations that started in North America that have absolutely no background in Catholicism. Take for example non-denomination Evangelical churches or even Seventh-Day Adventism.

          • Very well, I will concede to your point on Evangelicals & SDA. However, please stop spreading your ignorance of the Catholic church when it comes to Mary & the saints. Though you do not agree with our dogma, that doesn’t mean we pray TO anyone but God & Jesus.

          • Ang I think you are wrong. It is a valid assumption that all foxes are red but not apples. You must see the light.

      • When you do that, be sure to look up the persecution committed by Protestants in the name of religion too, including the persecution of Catholics all over the world. Many religions commit wrongs in the name of their faith and it is all wrong.

        • Certainly, the Catholic Church is notorious for executing non-Catholics through the Spanish Inquisition, the Crusades, and the reign of Queen “Bloody” Mary in England. It has been calculated that the Catholic Church has martyred at least 50 million Christians who refuse to bow down to the corrupt authority of the Catholic Church. Read Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. When will the Catholic Church stop burying their bloody crimes? Certainly, they need to step up to the plate and admit their crimes before they can call themselves holy.

          • Much of what we know as historical writings, especially in the areas of the highly charged Inquisition, Crusades and Reformation discussion, are moderately to heavily biased. I like Peter Kreeft’s statement that goes something like this: “The only reason to believe something … is because it’s true.” I suggest, to balance your understanding of history in these areas, that you listen to Matthew Arnold’s Fire & Sword 3 CD set (~$22) that address these topics in a fairly thorough manner. He points out many “biases” and frames what actually happened in history. Is Matthew Arnold without bias – certainly not. But I believe his series is worth a listen, even if to simply bring yourself closer to center on your understanding.

            The summary that follows is not simply an emotional paragraph that lashes out against a differing opinion. It points to an intelligently drawn-out work with much research, content and heart, which, by the way, is somewhat unfamiliar in this age:

            Many have been taught the inaccurate history of the Church…a history shaded by the biases of those who wrote it. How odd is it that in an age where most knowledge is a click away, so many people continue to stubbornly hold stereotypical, incorrect ideas of the Crusades, Inquisition, and Reformation? In this 3-CD set, Matthew Arnold offers a stimulating discourse aimed to dispel such erroneous histories and provide truth.

            And finally, many other thoughts come to mind – Matthew 25, where Jesus rewards those who have served the hungry, thirsty, ill, imprisoned, etc. with eternal life (not sure where the group is that responds to blogs well); John 6 where Jesus says, “… My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink” and then goes on to encourage the people there to “… eat My flesh and drink My blood; A quote attributed to Pope Benedict reshaped as: “… The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort – you were made for Greatness.” … then I remember from scripture a key definition of greatness by Jesus “… to be the servant of all.” But I’ll leave you with the words of Ghandi (attributed or otherwise), in reference to writings that state he read every day from the new testament and often quoted the Bible, responding to the question why he never became a Christian. He answered, “If I had met one, I would have become one.” Now this response has its own issues (i.e. I’m not going to do it if no one else does …) but it makes a point. I should, as a follower of Christ, put my energy into being the great person He has made me to be. Striving against the flesh, which calls out in many ways to satisfy self-aimed cravings, like the those of wanting something for nothing, I must simply, continuously and lovingly serve others – not with loud noises that seek to gain the attention of others – but serve in the power and love of the Holy Spirit that lives in me, ever listening to the voice of Christ who is calling me to Himself – a discipline of serving amidst my “Joe-Joe, the crazy circus monkey” mind. God help me (no, really!). May we all allow Christ to immensely bless others through our lives.

    • Continue to stand strong in faith. God bless.

    • Beautifully written

  5. After feeling very welcomed at a few Episcopal events I’ve attended recently, I have a question. Is weekly attendance at mass mandatory as the catholics are and is communion offered at every mass ?

    • Attending church every Sunday is required in ALL Christian denominations

      • Love is certain. So this is a prime example of chutiagary.

      • Attendance is not required weekly in the United church.

      • Not!! Sin is sin- according to the Bible. Protestants don’t teach that it is a sin to not attend church on Sunday. It is encouraged because Jesus tells us to get together with other Christians.. who by the way are referred to as “saints”. Religions create rules. Jesus provides freedom. No matter how many rules you follow, unless you do what he said, and are born again, you won’t go to heaven (HIS words… not words created by Protestants.) Belonging to a denomination wont get you to heaven, neither will going to “Church”. Going to “church” feeds your soul. – from a former catholic (praise God, the Holy Spirit opened my eyes & heart to the truth of his word, not the “word” of a denomination.)

  6. I have grown up in the Episcopal church my whole life but I have also been to mass at the Catholic church and I can basically do the same thing! I think the only thing we do different in the Episcopal church is we say the whole Lords prayer they don’t, at my friends church they don’t kneel for communion. We do confess our sins just as a congregation. We are more welcoming and less judgmental then the Catholics no offense. Hope this helped!

    • I don’t know where you people get your information from!

      Catholics say the entire Lord’s Prayer. We pause before the last line to allow the priest to say a special blessing then the congregation continues with “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

      Also, like Lauryn stated above, we do not pray TO the Saints. We believe that the dead have the ability to watch over us and pray FOR us. We ask the dead, usually Saints but also friends & family who have passed on, to pray for us just as when we ask a living friend to do the same.

      • A prayer is a type of communication with one of three types of subjects:
        1. Giving Thanks
        2. Asking for forgiveness
        3. Asking for some form of help

        Therefore, asking the saints to pray for you falls under #3, which is a form of prayer. And besides, the Bible plainly states that the only spirits you should communicate with are the Holy Trinity. Jesus is living, you should never ask the dead for anything.

        • By your interpretation of these criteria, it is blasphemous to ask anyone (dead or alive) for help. Asking for prayers is not a direct request for help, so I respectfully disagree with you.

          • With all the discussion about asking for intervention in prayer, as Christians we believe in life after death through our Lord Jesus Christ. So how how is it different from asking a friend living here on earth to pray for you then asking a friend in heaven to pray for you?
            If you believe the dead are just dead, what’s the point?

      • The dead cannot hear your prayers because they have already passed on. Jesus can hear your prayers because He is the one true living God.

      • Perfect, well said Steph.

  7. The differences between the two religions seems silly and some of the comments, self righteous. I just don’t understand how all of you (who are probably very intelligent) can actually keep a straight face believing in this stuff?

    The one thing that is the same in the two religions is that you damage many children by telling them they will burn in hell if they do not believe in this god/ghost or that god/ghost.

    I was raised orthodox Christian and believe me, I had nightmares about the devil. I will never forgive my patents for subjecting me to that at such a young age when I could not understand or choose for myself. Shame on them and all if you if you do the same to your children.

    With that said I wish you all the best.

  8. The differences between the two religions seems silly and some of the comments, self righteous and petty. I just don’t understand how all of you (who are probably very intelligent) can actually keep a straight face believing in this stuff?

    The one thing that is the same in the two religions is that you damage many children by telling them they will burn in hell if they do not believe in this god/ghost or that god/ghost.

    I was raised orthodox Christian and believe me, I had nightmares about the devil. I will never forgive my patents for subjecting me to that at such a young age when I could not understand or choose for myself. Shame on them and all if you if you do the same to your children.

    With that said I wish you all the best.

  9. Do Episcopalians believe in transubstantiation? In other words, when they take communion, do they believe that they are taking the literal blood and body of Christ like Catholics do? Or do they take it symbolically like how Protestants do?

  10. To clarify no church has female priests because that would be impossible by definition… the word priest is male and the word priestess is female. There is no such thing as a female priest anymore than there is a female father. There is no such thing as a priestess in the Jewish or Christian religion. There are important female roles in the Bible but they are not priestess, they are prophets or disciples of God. Blessings!

    • The definition of Priest is “one authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion especially as a mediatory agent between humans and God; specifically : an Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, or Roman Catholic clergyman ranking below a bishop and above a deacon”
      Websters dictionary
      Middle English preist, from Old English prēost, ultimately from Late Latin presbyter
      First Known Use: before 12th century
      a member of the governing body of an early Christian church
      a member of the order of priests in churches having episcopal hierarchies that include bishops, priests, and deacons

  11. This is an interesting point really. What kind of differences are postulative? also isn’t this chutiyagiri? think abt it


  12. Another major difference of the Episcopal Church to The Catholic Church is their open communion. Catholic churches only give communions to those who are members of the church. It means, you have to be a Catholic first in order to receive the Holy Communion. But in the Episcopalian Church, anyone can receive communion even if they are not Episcopalian.

    So does this mean in an ‘Episcopalian’ church that anyone can receive communion who’s been baptized by ANY church, or anyone at all regardless if they are baptized or NOT BAPTIZED BY ANY CHURCH WHATSOEVER, can receive communion.

  13. On 1/9/2009 Pope Benedict XVI named Seamus Cunningham Bishop-elect of the Hexham and Newcastle Diocese. Thereafter, Bishop Cunningham was ordained as an Episcopalian priest on 3/20/2009. (Wikipedia) I am familiar with certain dioceses accepting former Protestant, and sometimes married, priests but I’ve never heard of it going the other way. This appears to mean that an Episcopalian priest is conducting Catholic services and answering to the Pope after being ordained Episcopalian.

    What am I missing? All Christian religions followed the same path until Rome created Roman Catholicism. Since that time there have been some significant moves away from RC but I think the Episcopalian move was not terribly significant. Still, there is a reason people choose one faith over another.

    I guess my bottom line question is whether Episcopalian priests can remain Episcopalian while still answering to the Pope. Moreover, it would seem that by doing so the priest would have to denounce his Protestant faith first rather than being ordained Episcopalian afterwards.

    Thanks from Confused

    • The Wikipedia entry says, “He received his episcopal consecration on 20 March 2009…” This is “Catholic speak” for he became bishop. He is not, and never was, Episcopalian. The Pope appointed him Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle on January 2, 2009 & took office on March 20, 2009.

  14. I’m Episcopalian and my wife is Catholic. Most of the time we GI to the Catholic church because it is nearby and it is the Church my wife is a member of. I always wondered if I can recieve communion there, since I have been confirmed and baptized in a Episcopal Church. So one morning I decided to go up to the alter and receive communion without knowing you have to be Catholic to receive communion. Anyway I received communion and stepped away from the alter and headed towards the aisle to bow and right before I can do it, a man from the congregation grabbed my arm in front of everyone and told me to go up to the alter and bow! I felt very uncomfortable because of his judgemental demeanor towards me. So now when I go to church with my wife I feel kind of uptight and I don’t want to feel that way. So next Sunday we are going to attend the Episcopal Church, and see how my wife’s vibe is about the Episcopal Church To me I don’t care what denomination you are, as long as you bekieve in Jesus Christ and mean well, then you are a Christian in my book!

    • Derek,

      I’m sorry that parishioner did that to you. It was rude of him to behave like that. Not all Catholics bow at the alter, so I’m not sure why he was so forceful towards you. However, you should not have received communion since you are not Catholic. This is just one area that protestants & Catholics differ. While I am welcome to partake in communion at my husband’s church (he is Presbyterian), I do not participate because I do not believe it is the Eucharist, and it would be blasphemous for me to take it as such. This is why Catholic communion is not offered to all Christians present. You should ask yourself what you believe, and perhaps speak to a Catholic priest to get more answers.

      • I went to a Roman Catholic college and the nuns there told us that this widespread belief that only Roman Catholics could receive Communion in a Catholic church was in fact false. Anyone who is baptized with water in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who believes that transubstantiation occurs at the consecration, can receive the Eucharist in a Roman Catholic Church. My wife is Roman Catholic and I am Episcopalian and we both receive in both churches. My daughter attends a Catholic grade school and she made her first Eucharist with her class, though she had been taking Communion in the Episcopal Church since she was a child. These distinctions are having less and less meaning these days, I’m surprised people pay attention to them.

  15. Transubstantiation and acceptance of Papal rule are the essential differences between the religions.
    Science makes it difficult to accept transubstantiation … you must accept it on faith. Henry VIII decided that the Church’s teaching on divorce was inconvenient so the Pope had to go.

    • Science has proved the Eucharist is in fact the body and blood of Christ. The book The Eucharistic Miracles of the World details this on many occasions. You are correct that Henry VIII wanted a divorce. When researching this I found it interesting and convicting that he wanted a divorce because his wife could not have an heir (son) for him. So he wanted a new wife to give him a son. It’s convicting because two thousand years later science proves men are responsible for the sex of the baby. Pricing to me that Henry VIII’s religion was based on misunderstanding. Thus we have 33K denominations as a result that also Pick and choose what they want to follow orbit follow just as he did. The Bible says to trust Him beyond our understanding.

      I was raised Baptist and believed that the Catholic Church was rigid and frankly a stick in the mud, not changing with the times. Once I went to classes to learn what the Catholic Church truly believes, not what misinformed people spread about it, I understand that it appears rigid and unchanging because they are trying desperately, thank God, to preserve the teachings God/Jesus gave us.
      The Catholic Church will never be perfect but Satan has capitalized on human nature to create the division which works against God’s desire for one body. Sad. If you criticize the Catholic achurch first learn what it truly teaches. Even people in their responses here that are Catholic misrepresent it’s teachings. I truly believe it pains God to see the 33K divisions of His church body and the criticisms. I have found that at this point with so many divisions to focus on our common beliefs and forget fighting about the others. It’s so convoluted and most people don’t even know what the history on why their religion split.
      May you live as Christ lived and please God in doing so. Oh and lastly, love. That’s all He asks if you sum it up in one word: love. Graham Cooke has a wonderful teaching on it that is easy to apply to our everyday life called The Fruit Of the Spirit that you can find on YouTube. Enjoy!

  16. I’m a new Episcopalian, I was just recently Baptized in the church and am loving every second of it. My fiancé who was Baptized Catholic also converted to Episcopalian, to us the Catholic faith is doing allot of things we don’t agree with, for example praying to the saints or virgin Marry is Idolatry, even if its just for them to interpret our prayers to God, the only person who can do that is our lord Jesus Christ. However with the Communion you must be a Baptized Christian, now if you where Baptized Mormon or Jehovah witness you aren’t supposed to take communion since their Baptisms aren’t considered Authentic in mostly all other churches.

  17. The Episcopal Church does, in fact, believe in transubstantiation. Big misconception here! And, there are some Catholic churches (and schools) that do allow non-Catholics to receive Holy Communion. Times are changing, but I recognize there are still some Catholic churches that restrict participation to Catholics, only.

  18. There is so much confusion and misguided comments here. I assure you, it’s a sacrilege to receive the body, blood, soul and divinity of Our Lord Christ Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. The Church requires that one makes his/her Holy Communion before we partake and receive Holy Communion. Only an Ordained Catholic Priest can consecrate the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. THAT’S WHAT WE BELIEVE AS CATHOLICS!! We’re not being uninclusive to our noncatholic brothers. THE HOLY EUCHARIST IS ONLY AVAILABLE IN Our Lords HOLY Catholic Church. I don’t say this to brag or boast, but only pointing out the TRUTH!! YOU WANT TO KNOW OUR CATHOLIC FAITH ?? READ THE CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH!!

    • I really hate to burst your bubble but where does it say in the Bible that “Only an Ordained Catholic Priest can consecrate the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ?” You will not find the words “Catholic” or “Priest” anywhere in the Bible. What you believe as Catholics completely contradicts what’s in the Scriptures. Catechism is entirely made up by man and is found nowhere in the Bible. If you believe in Catechism, you’re placing your faith in man, not the Bible. The Catholic Church is a false, Christian denomination which traps its believers into believing that you have to take the Eucharist and that only their church can offer. No church, priest, or Eucharist can authorize salvation. Only the Lord Jesus Christ can authorize salvation.

      • The Catholic Church is one of the ORIGINAL early Christian churches founded by the first Christians about 2,000 years ago along with the Eastern Orthodox, Coptic, Armenian, Church of the East and several others. This is important because these churches actually put the Bible together. They were there when the various books were translated and when many of the languages in which the Bible was written were still spoken. These churches know how to interpret the scriptures.

        The problem with most Protestants is that they “threw out the baby with the bathwater”. They took the Bible out of context and by itself without hundreds of years of tradition and interpretation that went along with it. Only a couple of the Protestant denominations, namely the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, WELS Lutherans and some more traditional ELCA and Episcopalian Churches (not the denomination as a whole) use some context and traditions when interpreting the Bible.

        During the years I attended a Baptist Church I would always ask my pastor where does it say in the Bible that you needed to accept Jesus a your “personal” Saviour. I searched almost every single version of the Bible for the word “personal” and it was nowhere to be found. I also asked my pastor where did it say in the Bible that you would be saved in the exact moment that you accepted Jesus as your personal Saviour. Faith does not simply go from non-existence to instant existence. There were other issues as well such as nowhere in the Bible did it say babies could not be baptized and Jesus himself said divorce was sin yet all Protestant churches allow divorce.

        For me, Salvation has to do with belief in Jesus and that he died for our sins. However, I do not believe that at 1:04pm you can be not saved, at 1:05pm you profess Jesus as your “personal Saviour” and then at 1:06pm you are now saved. That is not Biblical at all. And it is also rather selfish. I mean, your whole belief in Jesus is just based on saving yourself and that’s it. Although I am not Greek Orthodox, the best book I read about salvation is called “Are You Saved? The Orthodox Christian PROCESS of Salvation” published by the Orthodox Church.

        So, if I believe that Salvation by belief in Jesus Christ is not instantaneous or even permanent (if you lose your faith or change your mind) then what better church to help you become saved and to help you stay saved than one of the original Christian Churches founded shortly after Jesus’ death that one of the Protestant Churches dating from the 1500’s or later that does not know how to interpret the Bible within the context in which it was written.

      • So your book of fairy tales is different than the Catholic one, what’s the big deal? You’re very bitter towards the Catholic Church Ang. Believe what you want and let others believe what you want. Your guess at which version of the Bible is “correct” is no different than anyone else’s. You weren’t there, so you don’t know the actual truth. To a normal free thinking Catholic like myself you sound like you have a cult like devotion to your religion.

  19. Actually, you are not correct. The Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican teaching is that the Body and Blood of Christ are received in the Mass, Divine Liturgy, or Eucharist (interchangeable terms). This is the teaching of the historic Catholic Church in whom we all believe. We disagree about the infallibility of the Pope and the historical importance of the different ancient patriarchates.
    My MDiv is from a graduate consortium which included schools from all three of the above denominations.

  20. Two errors in this article… the Episcopal Church DOES have sacramental confession… its called “Reconciliation of a Penitent” and its in the prayer book, I don’t recall the exact page number, but its in the 440’s or 450’s. There are two forms for making sacramental confession, one is more Roman Catholic in style, the other is more in the Orthodox style. The difference is that sacramental confession is not required in order to recieve Communion in the Episcopal Church. Many churches still encourage their members to make confessions during Lent and Advent, if not more frequently. Some have designated times where clergy hear confessions.
    Also, the assertion that Episcopalians don’t believe in Transubstantiation is not entirely true. A more accurate statement would be that SOME Episcopalians do not believe in transubstantiation. Others do. Making blanket statements about what Episcopalians believe is rather dangerous. There is always an exception.

  21. You do not have to be Catholic to receive communion in the Catholic Church. This is a common misconception. The requirement is that you have to be from a church with valid sacraments, which according to the Catholic Church are the churches that have apostolic succession.

    This leaves out all Protestants although Episcopalians do claim apostolic succession the Catholic Church does not recognize it. Eastern Orthodox, Polish National Catholic, Church of the East and several others may receive communion in the Catholic church if their church allows them to as well.

  22. What are the requirements for a catholic priest to become episcopalian priest?

    • “What are the requirements for a catholic priest to become episcopalian priest?”

      Lol. He has to become a Christian first..

  23. Catholics do not worship saints. They pray to them asking for their prayers to God as an intersession on their behalf. The same way they do to the Blessed Virgin. We ask for their prayers. No worship is involved. We only worship Our Lord.

    • How can someone who has passed away pray for you? Especially when Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life no one comes to the Father but by me

  24. Jesus said I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but by me. When Jesus died the veil was rent in two. Therefore we have acess to the Father ONLY through Jesus! Definitely not thru any saints. Religious zealots were denounced by Jesus.I am a God called minister with no denominational ties. God’s word is final authority not the pope, any bishop or any other religious office. Jesus is high priest therefore no man can forgive you of your sins nor can any man present your sins to the Father on your behalf. Accept Jesus as saviour, live for Him by his commands and your soul will be satisfied

  25. Episcopalian Church (Anglican) was created because the king of England wanted a divorce and to be remarried in the church. The Catholic Church said no, so he started his own church and kicked the Catholics out of most of the English churches. More small changes have taken place throughout the years, but Episcopalians are basically Catholics with divorce.

  26. Disclaimer: We as Catholics do not pray to the saints but rather ask them to pray for us to the Lord in our prayers. We also do not believe in worshiping false gods and we are not doing so when asking the saints to pray for us. We believe that the Saints will pray to the Lord just as we do and it is very different than praying directly to the Saints

    • That’s not biblical. When Jesus died and rose again the curtain was torn down, allowing us to go straight to him. We don’t need a priest or so called “saints” to intercede on our behalf.

  27. With love, respect and sincerity to all believers of the faith in Yeshua (Jesus). The brethren ( man & woman) were indeed created for His divine purpose and position. This Holy ordinance cannot be thwarted or disregarded by human will no matter what. As for the churches at large, within this earthly realm the man is the head (leader – under Christ of course). Women, although very capable, no doubt, are not suitable for this particular role. In known biblical history, was there a woman ever named or chosen as a Disciple? Considered as one of the tribes of Jacob? (Even though he had 1 daughter) Several women followed the Messiah and were highly esteemed but none, not even mother Miryam (Mary) was chosen to lead. Men, like it or not, personify strength, power, lineage and dominance. Women, equally blessed with His breath, are man’s reinforced personification. In that his strength, power, and lineage is amplified by her existence and balance. Neither can exist without the other. Let’s support and respect our God-given positions and not take them for granted. And most of all follow the Greatest Leader our Creator Lord and Saviour.

    • Men, like it or not, have proven themselves horribly, woefully inept.

      The so-called ‘stronger’ sex is LAUGHABLY too weak-willed in terms of resistance to the pleasures of the flesh, and are powerLESS–not powerFUL–in terms of resisting their ego-driven endless greed for MORE POWER (fame/fortune/hero-worship).
      FEMALES are the PURER and more HOLY of the sexes–that is why we shed blood from within, nurture from within and without and literally bring forth SACRED LIFE from our blessed WOMBS.

      Far more men revel in sin than women, and committ infinitely more atrocious and heinous sins– adultery (70% of married men REPORT having done so), pornography, sexual assault/harass-ment, rape, trafficking, white-collar crime, cult leadership, cavalier (non self-defense) murder–you name it–the VAST majority of evil masterminds behind it all are always MALES–rarely females.

      Lust, Selfishness & Greed are not synonomous with the more noble-sounding qualities (Strength, Power, Dominance) you list and equate with being male.

      STRENGTH?! POWER?! DOMINANCE?! Ha!!! Are you seriously suggesting that men have SUCCEEDED in wielding these attributes in a way that comes even remotely close to PLEASING GOD ?!?!

      Perhaps it’s time to give RESPECT and CREEDENCE to the ‘Kinder, Gentler’ (dare I proclaim POTENTIALLY MORE SPIRITUALLY POWERFUL?!) sex.

  28. And all this is why people don’t want to go to church.

  29. After 67 years a good Catholic, the recent priest sex reports and systematic church cover up in Pennsylvania, and certainly very widely spread, have for the first time in my life caused me to question my respect for the Catholic Church and do some research on the Episcopal Church as an alternative Christian denomination.

    • Go to Catholic League For Religious and Civil Rights (CatholicLeague.org) and read some of the information about your concerns especially “Open Letter To Attorneys General In All 50 States”.

  30. It’s great to see such a lively discussion. Most of you seem to be very well informed. I appreciate it.

  31. I will tell you as a victim of sexual abuse in the Episcopal Church that is just as rampant as a Catholic church if not worse because it is being hidden completely there are over 400 victims in the Diocese of Arizona alone of the Episcopal Church very sad

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