Difference Between Anglican and Catholic (With Table)

Every person has their beliefs, and one can only respect the other person’s beliefs. Around the world, there are many different beliefs and disciplines that people follow. Each contains a different set of rules that dictate a small part of the discipline in a person’s life. Two of these are Anglicanism and Catholicism.

Anglican vs Catholic

The difference between Anglican and Catholic is that Anglican refers to anything and everything that follows the Church of England, whereas Catholic was the first form of Christianity and is derived from Greek, meaning universal. Anglicans have also been known to not follow any hierarchy as such, whereas Catholics have a strict hierarchy in their system.

Anglicans are those that adhere to Anglicanism. Anglicanism is a branch of the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. They are a blend of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. The Anglicans are seen as owners of groups of historic pieties and procedural loyalties. They have very few firm rules that they follow.

The word Catholic has been derived from the Greek word “Catholics,” meaning universal. It is also referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, and its teachings and beliefs are based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. It follows a hierarchy where all follow the “Pope,” who is seen as their supreme leader.

Comparison Table Between Anglican and Catholic

Parameters of ComparisonAnglicanCatholic
DefinitionAnglicanism refers to the Church of England.It means universal and is derived from a Greek word.
HierarchyIt does not follow any particular hierarchy.It follows a hierarchy. The Bishop of Rome or the Pope is the supreme of all.
ElectionAnglican priests are elected.Catholic priests are appointed.
OriginThe Anglican Church has been in existence since the Reformation.The Catholic Church has been in existence almost as earliest as after Jesus’ death.
CommunionOne can be only a baptized Christian to receive communion.One must be a confirmed Catholic to receive communion.

What is Anglican?

Anglicans are those that follow the rules and disciplines laid down by Anglicanism. Anglicanism is the identity of the Church of England and is a Western Christian tradition. Anything that has been developed and followed by the Church of England can be called Anglican.

They have features that are a blend of Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. In Anglican culture, worship is the center of their life. This communion holds the faith as shown by the early church fathers and the scriptures. The Lambeth Quadrilateral are the four points that define the most basic beliefs of Anglicanism. The four points are the acceptance of the Holy Scripture, the Nicene creeds, Baptism, and the episcopate. It does not submit to the states’ authority but respects it. It also has respect for the freedom of individuals.

Anglicans have a three-tier order of ministry. It contains the Bishop, the priest, and the deacons. Their nominal head is the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Book of Common Prayer is unique to Anglicanism and is used to date in all Anglican churches. The Thirty-Nine articles play an important role in influencing the Anglican doctrines and practices. It is often referred to as common ground between Catholicism and Protestantism.

What is Catholic?

The Catholic Church is a continuation of the community that was established by Jesus and his teachings. The Catholic Church has a hierarchy, and according to it, the Pope or the Bishop of Rome is their supreme leader.

The Church believes that there is only one God that exists as three hypostases or people; God-the Father, God-the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, more commonly known as the Holy Trinity. Jesus is considered the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. The Virgin Mary is held in high regard and is also the Mother of Jesus.

They believe in three sacraments for initiation as a Christian; Baptism, Confirmation, and Eucharist. The Papacy is the Pope’s office, and the Pope is also a Sovereign of the Vatican City. Christ’s mission on earth was to impart his knowledge and set his example, as discussed in the four Gospels.

The Catholic Church is believed to be the pathway to true salvation for the human race. According to the beliefs of Catholics, when a person dies, their soul receives a judgment from God, based on their sins and good deeds. They also believe that there will be another day when Christ will pass a universal judgment over all of mankind. It is known as Final Judgement.

Main Differences Between Anglican and Catholic

  1. The main difference between Anglican and Catholic Churches is that the Catholic Church was first in existence. The Anglican Church, on the other hand, separated from the Catholic Church during the Reformation.
  2. The Anglican Church does not have any hierarchy, while the Catholics follow a hierarchy where the Pope or the Bishop of Rome is the highest rank.
  3. Priests are elected in Anglican culture, whereas Catholic priests are appointed.
  4. Anglicanism refers to the Church of England. In contrast, Catholicism is the belief in the teachings of Jesus.
  5. Anglicans have no Pope, whereas Pope is the highest rank in Catholic culture.
  6. One must be a confirmed Catholic to receive communion in Catholicism; a baptized Christian can receive communion in Anglicanism.


Beliefs are a big part of one’s day-to-day life. Anglicanism was a part of the Catholic Church till before the Reformation. Anglicanism is the middle ground between Protestantism and Catholicism. Although both the customs have their similarities, they also have variants.

As a catholic priest, one cannot marry as one has taken a vow of celibacy while Anglican priests can marry. Anglicans have elected priests while Catholics have appointed priests. Anglicans are the people that follow the teachings of scriptures developed by the Church of England. Catholics are people that follow the teachings laid down in the four Gospels by the Second person of the Holy Trinity or Jesus Christ. Other differences are pretty small, but mostly, these cultures are very similar as one culture was once a part of the other.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17531055.2014.987509
  2. https://iarccum.org/archive/ARCIC3/2018-06-04_arcic-iii_walking-together-on-the-way_commentary_ormond-rush_en.pdf