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
Birth of Jesus Virgin Birth, through God. Virgin Birth
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. Episcopalians follow the teachings of Jesus Christ through various traditions of high church, low church, Anglo-Catholic, Liberal, etc.
Scriptures Holy Bible, a collection of 73 canonical books in two parts, 46 in the Old Testament, and 27 in the New Testament. King James Bible traditional, but newer translations popular now
Founder Jesus Christ, St. Peter the Apostle. King Henry VIII broke with Rome officially. Anglican religious reformers such as Thomas Cranmer, Nicholas Ridley, John Jewel, and Hugh Latimer reformed church liturgy and doctrine.
Death of Jesus Death by Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascent to Hevean Death by Crucifixion followed by Resurrection on the 3rd day.
Literal Meaning catholic - from the Greek adjective καθολικός, (katholikos) meaning "general" or "universal". Episcopal -meaning 'of the Bishop's'
Resurrection of Jesus Affirmed Affirmed
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) Traditionally only deacons, priests, and bishops. Since the Anglo-Catholic revival of the 19th century there have also been nuns and monks.
Second coming 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 wing of the Anglican Church).
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. Sacraments. Low Church tradition accepts only two: Baptism and the Lord's supper. The other five traditional sacraments are "not to be counted for sacraments of the Gospel". In Anglo-Catholic tradition, all 7 sacraments are counted.
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 can be ordained.
Branches Latin rite & Eastern rite and as of 2008 the Anglo-Catholic derivative of Latin Rite. Episcopalianism is part of Anglicanism.
Definition Universal. of the Bishop's
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.
Goal of religion To give glory to God and share Eternal Life in Him. To gain Eternal Salvation
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.
Confessing sins Confess to priests for absolution from sins in the name of Christ (John 20:22-23). Prayer to the Saints. Not recognized as a Sacrament.
Legislation Canon Law, diocesan Law, Papal Decree. Follows the Anglican Church
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.
Belief of God One God: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit Apostle's Creed, Nicene Creed
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.
Holy days/Official Holidays Sunday (The Lord's Day), Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Pentecost. Sunday(The Lord's Day), Advent, Christmas and New Years, Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Whitsun, Saints'Feast Days.
View of other Oriental religions N/A. N/A
Identity of Jesus God Incarnate. Son of the Father. The Messiah saviour of mankind sole mediator between God and man. The Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
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.
View of Animistic religions Pagan Idolatrous. Pagan.
Three Jewels Faith, Hope and Charity Christ, Grace and Virtue
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. Low church tradition avoids or condemns images as a distraction to true devotion, as in the Anglican Homily on the Peril of Idolatry. Anglo-Catholicism accepts images as useful to devotion.
Authority of Pope Successor of St. Peter. The pope is the bishop of Rome, and his jurisdiction ends there.
Concept of Deity Believe in the Trinity. Three persons in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. God is trinity in unity.
Life after death Eternal Salvation in Heaven; Eternal Damnation in Hell; Temporal third state before Heaven for those who desire purification, known as Purgatory. Heaven is the final home of the elect.
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. Marriage is a state of life which may be enjoyed by all.
Purgatory Affirmed Historically rejected. "The Romish Doctrine concerning Purgatory... is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture"
Religious Law 10 Commandments, Canon law , Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), papal decrees and orders. 10 Commandments. Christ's Summary of the Law. The Beatitudes.
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 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."
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. Faith in the merit of Christ and denial of self-righteousness.
Offshoot religions Protestant denominations and many others. Puritan Separatists, including Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists. Also the Quakers and Methodists.
Direction of Prayer Facing the Blessed Sacrament (when in Church). No special direction
Virtue on which religion is based upon Love. Grace
Belief of God God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Trinitarian
Time of origin Approx. 33 AD. 16th century
Clothes Clergy dresses in robes, and many other garments depending on rite and season. Clergy have different garments depending on various traditional branches of Anglicanism. Choir dress is typical for Low Church tradition. Roman Catholic vestments are popular in High and Broad church traditions.
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 Mother of Christ. The "handmaid" of the Lord. Revered as a role model but not a mediatrix.
Praying to Saints, Mary, and Angel Allowed. They can intercede with God on your behalf. "Invocation of Saints is a fond thing, vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God."
Denomination of which religion Christianity Christianity
Presence of Christ in Eucharist Yes. Christ is present with the faithful receiver of the sacrament, not in the elements.

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