chrome hearts

What are the differences

What are the differences

Many people are quite confused over the differences and similarities between Anglicans, Episcopalians, and Roman Catholics. Here is a very short, succinct explanation!In order to really get this, you have to know a bit about the history. In the sixth century the Catholic Church arrived in England through missionaries from Rome and Ireland. This church grew and spread and was an integral part of the wider Catholic communion. In the sixteenth century the church in England declared itself independent from Rome under Henry VIII and then in 1570 Pope Pius V excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I. The church in England then became The Church of England and later was referred to simply as the Anglican Church from the word Anglo.

Anglicans settled in many countries throughout the world and were among the first to settle in North America shortly after the Puritans arrived. declared its independence from England and American Anglicans quickly changed their name to Episcopalians in order to avoid persecution and obvious ties to England. Episcopal simply means to have bishops.

Today the Anglican Communion consists of churches on every continent. In order to be a member of the Anglican Communion, a Church must be in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury, England. There are currently many Anglicans in countries where the British established conlonies and focused missionary efforts including Africa particularly the Sudan and Nigeria, India, and China, but Anglicans can be found in just about every country.

Anglicans and Roman Catholics

Many people are also confused by the similarities they see between Anglicans and Roman Catholics. Obviously these similarites are due to their common roots and heritage as they used to be the same church, but Anglicanism was heavily influenced by the Protestant Reformation and this accounts for some significant differences. An Anglican worship service or mass is almost identical to a Roman Catholic service except for a few minor differences. The most obvious difference is the fact that most Episcopalians ordain women to the Diaconate, Episcopate, and Priesthood, unlike the Roman Catholic Church. But many other differences exist between Roman Catholics and Anglicans as well. For example, all Anglicans allow their clergy to marry and celibacy is never mandated for clergy unless they are under Religious vows as a monk or nun. Many Episcopal Dioceses not all ordain homosexuals and bless homosexual unions. Anglicans allow for family planning among their members and encourage the use of contraceptives. Divorce and remarriage is also allowed in the Episcopal Church with the counsel and consent of ones priest or Bishop.

Heritage and Tradition

At the same time, Anglicans treasure their heritage and tradition and are very strong believers in maintaining those ancient traditions, particularly in the areas of worship, liturgy, sacraments, architecture, and patristic theology. If you really want to upset most Anglicans, tell them that the Eucharist is merely a symbol and not really the Body and Blood of Christ! Anglicans also insist on maintaining Apostolic Succession: the direct lineage of ordination that can be traced back to the apostles. Anglicans continue to work with other churches and denominations in many ecumenical efforts to bring unity to the world wide Church. Anglicans are also at the forefront of interfaith dialogue and seek to work together in unity with people of other religions rather than oppose them.

Our Beliefs

To get a sense of the fundamental beliefs of the Episcopal Church, check out our Book of Common Prayer or read our Catechism:

The Episcopal Church is the official name of the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States.1234 The Church was organized shortly after the American Revolution when it was forced to break with the Church of England on penalty of treason 5 and became the first autonomous Anglican province outside the British Isles. Today it is divided into nine provinces and has extraterritorial dioceses in Taiwan, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe.

The Episcopal Church considers itself a via media, or middle way, between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.6

The Episcopal Church was active in the Social Gospel movement of the late nineteenth century and since the 1960s and 1970s has played a leading role in the progressive and liberal movements in church and secular politics. For example, in its resolutions on secular issues the Episcopal Church has taken both sides on the abortion debate, opposed the death penalty, and supported affirmative action and the civil rights movement. In some dioceses, openly homosexual men and women can be ordained; in others, samesex unions are celebrated.7

In most dioceses, women are ordained to the priesthood and episcopate, as well as the diaconate. The current Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first female primate in the Anglican Communion.

The Anglican Communion is a worldwide affiliation of Anglican Churches. As the name suggests, the Anglican Communion is an association of these churches in full communion with the Church of England which may be regarded as the mother church of the worldwide communion, and specifically with its primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury. With over seventyseven million members, the Anglican Communion is the third largest communion in the world, after the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. 1

The status of full communion means that all rites conducted in one church are recognised by the other. Some of these churches are known as Anglican, explicitly recognising the link to England Ecclesia Anglicana means Church of England; others, such as the American and Scottish Episcopal churches, or the Church of Ireland, prefer a separate name. Each church has its own doctrine and liturgy, based in most cases on that of the Church of England; and each church has its own legislative process and overall episcopal polity, under the leadership of a local primate. Among the other primates, he is primus inter pares, or first among equals. He has no jurisdiction outside his own province. Nonetheless, churches are not considered to be in the Anglican Communion unless they are in full communion with him 2.

The Anglican Communion considers itself to be part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church and as being both Catholic and Reformed. For some adherents it represents a nonpapal Catholicism, for others a form of Protestantism though without a dominant guiding figure such as Luther, Knox, Calvin, Zwingli or Wesley.3 For others, their selfidentity represents some combination of the two. The communion encompasses a wide spectrum of belief and practice including evangelical, liberal, and catholic.