Episcopalian Vs. Catholic

Difference Between Episcopalian And  Catholic

Both Episcopalians and Catholics are quite similar and hardly differentiable. As it is known the meaning of Catholic is ‘universal’. In almost all religious convictions the practices and beliefs of the Catholics are manifested. This is why the confusion whether a church is Roman Catholic or Episcopal arises. However they can be differentiated by the way the hold their masses and their practices as well.

In the Episcopalian cult the women in some provinces are allowed to be priests however it is just the men who can be priests in case of Catholics. They wear the same clothes when they preach. According to the Episcopal belief the priests and bishops can marry if they wanted. Unlike the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, do not believe in ultimate power of Pope (Roman Bishop) over the Universal Church. Though there are bishops and cardinals, the Episcopal Church do not have a central authority like the Pope. Unlike the Catholics the Episcopalian Bishops are elected by the people and allotted by the Pope as they refuse to believe in having Popes.

One of the hallmarks of the Catholics is the acknowledgment of sins. In order to purify the sins the Catholics confess and ask for clemency from God. However the Episcopalians neither believe in nor do they have any scope of confession. They believe in the direct communication of people with God and people can ask for forgiveness from God and tell Him about their sins directly.

Apart from God the Catholics pray to the saints and ask for their assistance and fortification. According to them a particular saint supports one of their daily actions. The Episcopalians also have saints and even some of the Episcopalian churches are named after these saints. However the Episcopalians do not support in the worship of fake idols. According to them saints are indeed blessed people who need to be honored. However people need not offer prayer to them. Episcopalians pray about the saints but their prayer is offered to thank Him for providing them with instances which they refer to saints.

The open communion is another factor that makes them different. In an Episcopalian Church, you can receive communion no matter if you are not an Episcopalian unlike the Catholic Church where communions are given only to those who are the church members.

Another point of difference is that the married Episcopalian couples can freely use birth controls as they are not under the authority of the Pope unlike the Catholic community who is under the supervision of Pope and are restricted from making us of any birth control means.


1. According to Episcopalian Church both men and women are allowed to be priests. They could also get married. On the other hand in case of a Catholic church, it is only the males can be priests and cannot get married.

2. Episcopalians don’t believe in Pope’s authority however the Episcopalians have bishops and cardinals who are selected in election unlike the Catholics who are under the power of Pope.

3. In an Episcopal Church there is no scope of confession of sins to priests unlike the Catholic  Church where confession of sins is exercised.

4. According to the Episcopalians the saints are examples of the will of God however from a Catholic’s point of view, they are to be sought for guidance.

5. While Episcopalian communities can use birth control the Catholics cannot.


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  • requirements for joining//attending an episcopal church?

    • MissKitty

      There are no requirements to attending the episcopal church. Just go. As far as requirements you would attend classes to find out about the church and then decide if you want to become a member. Then, you would be confirmed in a special service by the Bishop. Hope that helps.

  • thebearfacts

    very open minded church!

  • Christopher Curzon

    I love the Episcopal Church of which I am now a member. I am 55 yrs old and became confirmed in the Episcopal Church, by my choice, when I was 18 years old. I spent about 30 years in evangelical circles before returning in the last year to the Episcopal Church.

    In the Episcopal Church confession is done every Sunday in preparation for Communion. It is not a specific confession done by an individual in the presence of his or her priest, but it IS a general confessional prayer, spoken by the gathered members. It is the spiritual responsibility of each member to apply the confessional prayer to their specific circumstances and actions.

    As a matter of my own belief, I don’t think that there is any substantial difference between the Catholic confession (which is specific) and Episcopal form (which is general) because both forms require an enlivened conscience for the confession to be real. If a person does not have an enlivened conscience it does not matter one iota whether he or she enters the confessional booth and speaks privately to a priest, or speaks a general confessional prayer during a service. The author here is technically correct about the Episcopal / Catholic distinctives on the matter but I don’t think they actually matter much.

    • Jaime Franco

      The Episcopal Church does allow for and a Episcopalian Priest to do confession, one on one like in the Roman Catholic Church, it however, is not a requirement to be forgive of your sins and to go to communion. I grew up in the Catholic Church and later in life joined the Episcopal Church, I find that the Episcopal Church is more accepting of individuals and less judgmental.
      The Episcopal Church is a Catholic Church, it just is not a Roman Catholic Church.
      I also believe that the because it is more open it is more in line with what Jesus was all about and his teachings of love and compassion. Yes, the Episcopal Church is more liberal in it approach to divorce, communion (only requirement Baptism), women Priest, marriage of Priest and many other things. It is all about Jesus and prayer.
      Each person must find what they are looking for in a Church no matter what their believes and find their way to God. I hope that all who read this, will find their way to God.

  • lois

    what is the belief and practice on divorce and receiving communion