This comparison examines the religious beliefs, traditions and practices of Catholics and Episcopalians — two sects of Christianity.

Comparison chart

Catholicism versus Episcopalianism comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartCatholicismEpiscopalianism
Place of origin Jerusalem England(as the Anglican Church).
Place of worship Church, chapel, cathedral, basilica. Church, chapel, cathedral
Clergy Heirarchial clergy in Holy Orders Deacons, monks, nuns, Priests and Bishops, other ranks are only offices (archibshop, cardinal Pope etc. although several other offices also exist) Heirarchial clergy in 3 Holy Orders of Deacons, Priests and Bishops. Anglican and Episcopal Religious Orders of priests, monks and nuns.
About Belonging to the Church Founded By Christ, when He chose St. Peter as His Rock (first Pope). Apostles creed gives summary of Catholic creed, man fell and Christ came to redeem mankind. Belonging to the Church Founded by Jesus Christ. Nicene and Apostles' Creeds give summary of belief. All included in the Book of Common Prayer.
Belief of God One God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit Trinitarian Doctrine of : Father, Son and Holy spirit. Beliefs included in historic Apostle's and Nicene Creed
Human Nature Man has inherited "original sin" from Adam. Mankind then is inherently evil and is in need of forgiveness of their sin. Man has inherited "original sin" from Adam, and must be baptized to wash away this sin. Then, forgiveness must be sought throughout life for all other sins committed by an individual.
Birth of Jesus Virgin Birth, through God. Virgin Birth, through God.
Use of statues and pictures Crosses, statues and pictures are acceptable in Catholicism. Catholics widely use them as depictions of Christ, Mary, and the Saints. Crucifixes, crosses, statues, icons, pictures depict Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saints. Stations of the Cross in use in some Episcopal Churches.
Holy days/Official Holidays Sunday (The Lord's Day), Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost. Easter, Christmas, All Saints' Day, Pentecost, Epiphany, Trinity Sunday, Ascension Day, Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord.
Second coming of Jesus Affirmed. Affirmed.
Death of Jesus Death by Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascent to Hevean Death by Crucifixion followed by Resurrection on the 3rd day and Ascension to Heaven
Confessing sins Confess to priests for absolution from sins in the name of Christ (John 20:22-23). Prayer to the Saints. Sacramental Rite of Reconciliation (Confession) included in Book of Common Prayer.The Priest offer's God' absolution.
Life after death Eternal Salvation in Heaven; Eternal Damnation in Hell; Temporal third state before Heaven for those who desire purification, known as Purgatory. Eternal Salvation in Heaven is the final home of the elect. No belief in purgatory. No foundation in Holy Scripture for the existence of such a place.
Means of salvation Received at baptism; may be lost by mortal sin; salvation through faith and penance. Belief in Jesus as the sole savior of humanity. Must have a relationship with Jesus. Good Works. Seven Sacraments. Received at Baptism. Faith in the merit of Christ and denial of self-righteousness. The Sacraments of the church.
Legislation Canon Law, diocesan Law, Papal Decree. General Convention of the The Episcopal Church, USA.
Founder Jesus Christ, St. Peter the Apostle. Jesus Christ. St. Augustine (1st Archbishop of Canterbury) converted the English people in the 4th c.
Identity of Jesus God Incarnate. Son of the Father. The Messiah saviour of mankind sole mediator between God and man. Jesus is God Incarnate as the Son of God. The Christ or Messiah. Sole mediator between God and man.
Marriage Marriage is sacrament between one man and one woman. Divorce does not exist in Catholicism, but there is annulment (that the marriage was invalid to begin with) by competent church official. Officially, the Episcopal Church holds that marriage is available to both heterosexual and homosexual couples. Many Episcopalians and the Church of England do not recognize the validity of Sacramental Marriage between same-sex couples.
Literal Meaning catholic - from the Greek adjective καθολικός, (katholikos) meaning "general" or "universal". Episcopal -meaning 'of the Bishop's'
Resurrection of Jesus Affirmed Affirmed
Prophet Moses, Abraham, John the Baptist, many others. Moses, Abraham, John the Baptist, many others
Geographical predominance Catholicism has spread worldwide across all six settled continents, predominantly Europe, North, Central, and South America, Australia, Africa and New Zealand. The United States of America. The Episcopalian Church is the American Province of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.
Virtue on which religion is based upon Love. Love and the grace of God
Rites 7 Sacraments: Baptism, Eucharist, Penance, Confirmation, Marriage, Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick; exorcisms, blessings of objects, dedication of churches sacred garments installation into clerical offices. Roman Missal and eastern rites. 7 Sacraments: 2 "Dominical Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist-(meaning instituted by Christ) Five "Sacramental Rites: Holy Matrimony, Reconciliation (Confession), Holy Orders, Anointing of the Sick.
Offshoot religions Protestant denominations and many others. Puritan Separatists, including Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists. Also the Quakers and Methodists.
God's role in salvation God sent His only Divine Son to save humanity from their sins. "We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, and not for our own works or deservings."
View of Animistic religions Pagan Idolatrous. Pagan and idolatrous.
Belief of God God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Creator is understood through the doctrine of the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit
Status of women Women are Equal to men and have the same dignity as men, but women are not eligible for Ordination in Catholicism.They can be religious (sister, or commonly called "Nun") and can lead many offices assisting the clergy within the church. Women are equal to men in every way; have the same dignity as men and are eligible for ordination to the three orders of : Deacon, Priest and Bishop, unlike the Roman Catholic Church which prohibits women from serving in ordained ministry.
Practices Catholics are expected to participate in the liturgical life, celebrate and revere Jesus' sacrifice on the cross at Mass. The celebration of seven sacraments Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Matrimony, Anointing of Sick, Holy Orders and Confession. Episcopalians witness as the Body of Christ into which they are incorporated through the Baptismal Covenant.
Branches Latin rite & Eastern rite and as of 2008 the Anglo-Catholic derivative of Latin Rite. Episcopal Church, USA is a Province of the Worldwide Anglican Communion and is in a covenanted relationship with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Old Catholic Church and Churches of Eastern Orthodoxy.
Definition Universal. A member of Christ's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church in the line of Apostolic Succession.
Principle Adam and Eve sinned, as have all subsequent human beings because God created us with a free will to make choices. Man was unable to adhere to laws of God, so Christ came as the ultimate sacrifice to reconcile us to God. Because our first parents sinned, all human beings sin. So Christ Came down from Heaven to Save us from our sins.
Position of Mary The Queen of all Saints. View is similar to the Orthodox church - the title 'Mother of God' being used more commonly than Theotokos. In addition, it is claimed that at various points in history, Mary has revealed herself to the world in apparitions. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of God in Christ. The "handmaid" of the Lord.
Time of origin Approx. 33 AD. 16th century
Goal of religion To give glory to God and share Eternal Life in Him. To glorify God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and to seek Eternal Life.
Goal of Philosophy Eternal Salvation. The attainment of the promise of Eternal Life won for us by Christ's crucifixion, death and resurrection.
Promised Holy one. Second Coming of Christ The Lord Jesus is the long-awaited Messiah of Old Testament Prophecy; He Will Come again at the end of time, to Fulfill New Testament Prophecy.
Authority of Dalai Lama N/A. None
Belief Believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah, the King of Heaven, and Saviour of the entire world. Jesus Christ is Messiah who came as a sacrifice for our sins to put us right with God.
View of other Oriental religions N/A. N/A
Status of Muhammad False Prophet. None
Status of Adam Adam was the first man created by God. He fell into temptation and brought sin and death to the human race. Adam was the first man created by God. He fell into temptation and brought sin and death to the human race.
Original Languages Latin and Greek. English.
Three Jewels Faith, Hope and Charity Faith, Hope and Love.
Authority of Pope Successor of St. Peter. Recognized as the Bishop of Rome with no jurisdictional authority over churches of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.
Concept of Deity Believe in the Trinity. Three persons in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is trinity in unity.
Purgatory Affirmed A concept created by the Roman Church without any biblical warrant for its existence.
Religious Law 10 Commandments, Canon law , Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), papal decrees and orders. 10 Commandments. Canon Law, the Catechism in the Book of Common Prayer. Christ's Summary of the Law.
View of other Abrahamic religions According to Catholic doctrine, Catholicism is the original Christian Church. Christianity is the true religion, and Catholicism is true Christianity. "For Holy Scripture doth set out unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved."
Direction of Prayer Facing the Blessed Sacrament (when in Church). No special direction
Day of worship Worship should be a continual process in the lives of Roman Catholics. Sunday is not the only day Catholics can attend Church for Mass. The Principle day of worship is The Lord's Day- Sunday and Vigil mases on Saturday; Holy Days and Eucharist and Daily Offices as scheduled locally.
Clothes Clergy dresses in robes, and many other garments depending on rite and season. Clergy have different robes and vestments depending on rite and Liturgical season in the Church calendar.
Praying to Saints, Mary, and Angel Allowed. They can intercede with God on your behalf. Invocation of the Saints in prayer. Viewed as models of Christian witness. Celebrated in the Calendar of Saints throughout the church year.
Denomination of which religion Christianity Christianity
Presence of Christ in Eucharist Yes. Yes. Through the words of Consecration in the Eucharist- the Real Presence of Christ.
Angels Angels are God's messengers. Spirits seen as immortal and always praising God. They never disobey God except for Lucifer (Satan) and the angels who follow him (demons). Angels are messengers from God.
Religion which atheists may still be adherents of None. Faith is integral to Catholicism, a christian who rejects Christianity altogether is considered an Apostate. Atheism is a sin against Faith. Atheism is the antithesis of faith and religion.
Views on other religions The Catholic Church contains the fullness of Truth and is the only means of salvation. Other faiths have access to that truth and non-Catholics may be saved by a special grace of God. 4 Essential conditions to Christian Unity 1. Holy Scriptures of Old and New Testaments. 2. Nicene Creed; 3. Sacraments of Baptism + Holy Eucharist; 4. The Historic Episcopate

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