Anglican vs Catholic: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Denominational Differences: Anglicanism and Catholicism are two distinct Christian denominations with historical and theological differences. The main difference lies in their beliefs about the authority of the Pope. Catholics recognize the Pope as the supreme spiritual leader and head of the Church, while Anglicans do not.
  2. Hierarchy and Governance: The Catholic Church has a highly centralized hierarchical structure with the Pope at the top, followed by bishops and priests. Anglicanism, on the other hand, has a more decentralized structure, with varying degrees of autonomy among national churches. Anglicans may have bishops, but they do not acknowledge the Pope’s authority in the same way Catholics do.
  3. Worship and Liturgy: Both denominations share many aspects of worship, including the celebration of the Eucharist (Holy Communion). However, there are variations in liturgical practices. Anglican liturgy can vary significantly from one church to another, while the Catholic Mass generally follows a more standardized liturgical form.

What is Anglican?

Anglicanism, originating within the 16th century at some stage in the English Reformation, is a Christian culture with ancient ties to the Church of England. It emerged when King Henry VIII broke far away from the authority of the Pope and established the Church of England, making himself its splendid head. Anglicanism combines elements of Catholicism and Protestantism with various ideas and practices among its contributors.

The Book of Common Prayer introduced in the sixteenth century, primarily functions in Anglican worship and liturgy. Unlike Catholicism, Anglican clergy can be married, and the subculture allows for a degree of theological flexibility, resulting in a broad spectrum of beliefs on sacraments, the Eucharist, and other doctrinal subjects.

Anglicanism has a global presence via the Anglican Communion, which includes various church buildings in various countries, with the Archbishop of Canterbury serving as its non-secular chief.

What is Catholic?

Catholicism, one of the most crucial Christian denominations globally, traces its origins to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the early Christian Church. It is characterized by its hierarchical shape, with the Pope in Vatican City as the non-secular leader of the global Catholic Church.

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Catholics consider the seven sacraments: Baptism, Holy Communion, Confirmation, etc. The Catholic Church has a wealthy way of life of saints and Marian devotion, with adoration and intercession practices. Clerical celibacy is a notable function amongst clergy men and bishops, even though some exceptions exist in unique rites.

Catholicism has a robust moral and ethical framework, with teachings on problems inclusive of abortion, birth manage, and divorce. It has a long document of theological scholarship, social justice activism, and charitable artwork via businesses like Caritas Internationalis.

Difference Between Anglican and Catholic

  1. The founder of Anglican has its deep roots in the 16th century during the Reformation in England. At the same time, the founder of Catholicism is based on the various teachings of Jesus Christ.
  2. The religious leader of Anglican is said to be Archbishop of Canterbury. While on the other hand, the religious leader of Catholics is the Pope, who lives in Vatican City.
  3. There is no central authority in Anglican, similar to Catholicism, and even they have autonomous churches and synods. On the other hand, in Catholicism, the Pope is the ultimate religious leader or authority in faith.
  4. In Anglican, clergy have both choices of being married or following celibacy. This can be based on the specific Anglican region or denomination. On the other hand, in Catholicism, the clergy are generally celibate. Although there can be exceptions, like bishops and deacons can be married only if they were already married before ordination.
  5. In Anglican, there are two main sacraments – Eucharist and Baptism. At the same time, in Catholicism, there are seven sacraments – Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion, Confession, Holy Orders, Marriage, and Anointing of the Sick.

Comparison Between Anglican and Catholic

Parameter of ComparisonAnglicanCatholic
FounderIt has its deep roots in the 16th century during the Reformation in EnglandIt is based on the various teachings of Jesus Christ
Religious LeaderArchbishop of CanterburyThe Pope, who lives in Vatican City
AuthorityThere is no central authority similar to that of the CatholicThe Pope is the ultimate authority
ClergyThey have both choices of being married or following celibacy. This can be based on the specific Anglican region or denominationThey are generally celibate. Although there can be exceptions like bishops and deacons can be married only if they were already married before ordination
SacramentsTwoSeven
References
  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17531055.2014.987509
  2. https://repository.divinity.edu.au/divinityserver/api/core/bitstreams/235fae6f-5216-4504-afab-344fb16b877d/content
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