Differences Between Episcopal And Catholic

Last Updated on March 19, 2022 by QCity Editorial Stuff

The Episcopal Church and the Catholic Church are two of the largest Christian denominations in America. Both churches use similar symbols, such as crosses, chalices, doves, and fish. However, there are some differences between them that you should know about before joining one or the other. For example, Episcopalians don’t recognize any particular saint; they also allow women to become priests (Catholics don’t). Catholics believe that all sacraments can only be performed by a priest (while Episcopalians feel like lay people can participate in sacraments as well). If you’re wondering which church is right for you then this blog post might help.

The Episcopal Church (EC) and the Catholic Church (CCC) are pretty similar in a lot of ways, but there are some differences between them. One of these differences is their stance on divorce. The EC has more lenient rules for divorces than the CC does, and they grant divorces after completing a waiting period if it was granted by civil authorities. Both churches offer baptism to infants and children- though some sects disagree with this practice. Another difference is that the CC offers communion only as an option whereas the EC makes it obligatory for those who have been baptized into its church. Lastly, both churches believe in Jesus Christ as a savior, but there are different views on how he should be worshiped such as whether or not statues should be used.

Comparison Between Episcopal And Catholic

Parameters of ComparisonEpiscopalCatholic
Belief Episcopalians believe in the priesthood of all believersCatholics do not
Head there is no one leader for EpiscopaliansPope is the head of the Catholic Church
Priests In Episcopalianism, priests can be married before ordinationCatholicism, priests are only allowed to marry once they have been ordained as a priest
Eat Catholics must abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Fridaywhereas Episcopalians don’t observe these practices
Divorce The Catholic Church does not allow divorcethe Episcopal Church allows it

What Is Episcopal?

What Is Episcopal

The word Episcopal can be translated to mean “one who supports a bishop’s authority.” The term is often used in the context of Christian Churches, which are typically headed by a Bishop. In these churches, an Episcopalian would support their church’s Bishop and work towards the goals they have set for their congregation. An Episcopal Church is always overseen by a Bishop, regardless of whether or not there are other clergy members present. 

In some churches that use this system, such as the Anglican Church in America, all clergy members take on titles that reflect their rank within the church hierarchy. For example, priests may become Rector or Priest-in-Charge while ministers may become Associate Minister or Assistant Minister depending on how long they have been serving the church.

The Episcopal Church is a denomination of Christianity with its articles of religion, testaments, and covenants. 

The Episcopal Church is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination in the United States. We are part of the family of churches that make up the worldwide Anglican Communion, which includes about 85 million people around the world. Our church traces its roots to Jesus Christ and his Apostles who established Christianity as we know it today. Today, there are nearly two hundred thousand members in more than 10,000 congregations across North America.

What Is Catholic?

What Is Catholic

The word “Catholic” comes from the Greek adjective meaning “universal.” We are Catholics because we believe in a universal Church, not just a local church. The Catholic Church is made up of all baptized Christians around the world who share one faith and hold to one teaching authority. This makes us different than other Christian denominations that have many beliefs and forms of worship based on their interpretation of Scripture. That’s why there are so many types of Catholics—we follow Jesus Christ in our unique ways.

To be Catholic is to believe in the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. These teachings are found in what is known as The Catechism, which was first published by St. Pope Pius V in 1566 and was later revised after Vatican II (Catechism of the Catholic Church). It contains all that Catholics need to know about their faith, including basic beliefs, practices, prayers, virtues, and sacraments. This blog post will outline some of these key elements for you to better understand what it means to be a member of this religion.

10 Differences Between Episcopal And Catholic

Belief: Episcopalians believe in the “priesthood of all believers” while Catholics do not.

Head: The Pope is the head of the Catholic Church, but there is no one leader for Episcopalians.

Priests: In Catholicism, priests are only allowed to marry once they have been ordained as a priest whereas, in Episcopalianism, priests can be married before ordination.

Baptized: In Catholicism, anyone who has been baptized can become a member of the church and participate in communion services whereas in Episcopalianism anyone can join as long as they accept Jesus Christ as their savior and follow baptism with confirmation by an Anglican minister.

Churches: Wearing crosses on chains or jewelry is frowned upon by both churches because it might lead to idolatry however crosses worn around necks are acceptable under certain circumstances.

Eat: Catholics must abstain from meat on Fridays during Lent and fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday whereas Episcopalians don’t observe these practices.

Mass: Episcopalians are not required to attend Mass on Sunday.

Divorce: The Catholic Church does not allow divorce, but the Episcopal Church allows it.

Transubstantiation: Catholics believe in transubstantiation, while Episcopalians do not.

Sacraments: Catholics have seven sacraments; Episcopalians only have two.

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of Episcopal

1. Episcopal is a Christian denomination.

2. The Episcopal Church has a membership of more than 2 million people in the United States and another 1.5 million members overseas.

3. It was founded by Samuel Seabury in 1789, making it one of the oldest denominations in America.

4. There are about 100,000 churches associated with this church – that’s nearly as many as there are McDonald’s locations.

5. In 2006, they ordained their first female bishop (Vivian Taylor) to serve as Bishop Suffragan for the Diocese of Massachusetts.

6. They have been involved with AIDS relief since 1987 when they established an Office on AIDS and HIV Ministry.

Interesting Statistics Or Facts Of Catholic

1. The Catholic church is the largest Christian church in the world.

2. One in five Americans are Catholic.

3. There are 1,200+ parishes and dioceses in the United States.

4. According to a Gallup poll, Catholics have one of the lowest divorce rates at 16% compared to Protestants at 29%. 

5. In 2016, Pope Francis was named Person of the Year by Time magazine because he “captured our imaginations and redirected our attention” with his humility and compassion for all people who need help. 

6. Catholicism has been around since 33 AD when Jesus Christ died on the cross for us so we could be forgiven for sinning against God’s law (according to Christianity.


The Episcopal Church and the Catholic Church are two different denominations of Christianity that follow many of the same principles. They both believe in Jesus as Savior, they worship together at Mass every Sunday, and they share some rituals such as baptism. However, there are still a few differences between these churches; for example, bishops who lead the church tend to be male-only within Catholicism whereas women can serve as bishops within Episcopalianism. There is also an emphasis on social justice issues like poverty and hunger with Episcopalianism but not so much with Catholicism. These distinctions may seem small but it’s important to understand them before jumping into any relationships or converting from one denomination to another.


Resource 01: https://www.episcopalchurch.org/
Resource 02: https://www.cny.org/

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