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An introduction to the comparison of anglicanism and roman catholicism

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.

Origins The Anglican Church came into being during the Reformation. During the time of Elizabeth I, the Anglican Church was formalized.

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.

  • The Roman Catholic Church has over the centuries steadily increased the power and prestige of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome;
  • At the lowest rung are the parish priests, then the bishops, arch-bishops, cardinals, and finally the Pope himself;
  • Some Anglicans are mystic; others are intensely concerned with social justice.

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.

How Each Religion is Defined

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. Catholic priests must take a vow of celibacy. The same holds true for monks and nuns.

Difference Between Anglican and Catholic

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.

Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism Differences

The Anglican Church is in danger of an irrevocable split. The Anglican Church eschews hierarchy while the Catholic Church embraces it.

  1. Leadership in the Church The Church of England does not necessarily recognize a hierarchy that places one main church or priests above the rest.
  2. The Catholic church started when the apostles of Jesus Christ began to preach his words after his name. Some Anglicans are mystic; others are intensely concerned with social justice.
  3. This is my theory of how it happened, anyway.
  4. These differences flow from one central issue. By the time communication was re-established in the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries, Rome had gone through Popes like Nicholas I, a tyrant who was the first to declare that Rome owned both the spiritual and temporal swords that could control the whole world.
  5. Some Anglicans are mystic; others are intensely concerned with social justice. By the time of Leo in the mid-5th century, Rome was claiming even more extraordinary things.

Much of the mass is the same, but Catholics believe the bread and wine is actually the body and blood of Christ. Both Churches have been weathering their own storm of controversy in recent years.

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