Difference between Episcopal and Catholic

The main difference between Episcopal and Catholic individuals is their belief and recognition of the office of papacy. Unlike Catholics, Episcopals scorn the authority of the Pope and belief in direct communication with the God. Apart from this, there are also many other factors that make the two denominations different from each other.

We will be looking at these factors in detail below. But before that let’s have a look at the two major faith systems under Christianity.

Who is an Episcopal?

Like Lutheranism, Episcopalianism is another dividend under Protestantism and the individuals who follow this faith system are known to be Episcopals. The term by itself suggests a government run by bishops and therefore unlike the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church, elected Bishops are tasked to maintain peace and uniformity and educate the masses under the Anglican Communion.

Initially formed in the year 1534, following King Henry VIII’s split from the Roman Catholic Church, Episcopalianism is now followed by around 85 million people all around the world. And while some of the practices herein may seem similar to the Catholics, there are subtle points that lead to the rise of difference between Episcopal and Catholic.

For instance, apart from disowning the authority of the Pope, these individuals also allow marriage amongst priests and bishops. Episcopalianism offers freedom to the God serving community, and therefore if interested priests and bishops can perform marriage whenever they want. Moreover, unlike most Christianit denominations, Episcopals are also fairly open to women being ordained as priests. However this may vary between the provinces.

Who is a Catholic?

On the other hand, a Catholic is an individual who follows Catholicism, one of the largest denominations under Christianity. They are individuals who believe in the authority of the Pope and also pray to the Virgin Mary, twelve Apostles and other divine figures.

Catholics believe that good work and faith are the only two ways through which salvation can be attained. Although they refer to the Holy Trinity as the God, Catholicism revolves around the recognition and ordinance of all divine figures, saints, and such.

They are also rather strict about priesthood and who can attain religious study. While the denomination allows women to follow the path of Christ, they are only recognised as nuns. Only men are allowed to join the various ranks of priesthood, which includes abstinence from marriage and sexual behaviors. All of these acts are governed by the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope and any ignorance or rule breaking is dealt with likewise.

What is the difference between Episcopal and Catholic?

Two sides of the same coin, the main difference between Episcopal and Catholic includes:

Belief System

While both the communions believe and follow the teachings and the life of Christ closely, there are a few differences which separates them. 

In Episcopalianism, only the Holy Trinity are recognised as the true Gods and therefore Epsicopals only believe in praying to the Holy Trinity. While they do recognize the divine figures and Mother Mary, they don’t believe in praying to the ‘false Gods’. Therefore, depictions of the apostles and Mother Mary may not be seen in the Episcopal Church.

However, under Catholicism, Catholics believe and pray to all godly beings. This includes the Holy Trinity, Mother Mary, saints, archangels and so much more. They consider each of the figures to be serving as essential patrons in their everyday lives and therefore praying to them ensures guidance and protection.


Formed by King Henry VIII, the first official records of Episcopalianism was in the year 1534. This was after the king split from under the Roman Catholic Church after he was denied annulment by the Pope.

But when it comes to Catholicism, the denomination originated during the early periods of the Roman occupation in the early 30s. Many scriptures also point out that the communion was formed by Jesus Christ himself which later was spread throughout the world by his loyal followers.


A major difference between Episcopal and Catholic is how they determine their priesthood. Now, as stated above, Episcopals recognize both male and female priests, whereas according to Catholics, women are only confined to the position of nuns and nothing more.

Similarly, Episcopal bishops and cardinals are free to marry both before and after priesthood, which is unlikely for Catholic priests. In their cases, they are needed to maintain absolute abstinence from marriage and other intimacies all their lives.

Now here is a tabular form of the difference between Episcopal and Catholic communities.

DenominationEpiscopalianism, under ProtestantismCatholicism, under Christianity
Founded byKing Henry VIII in the year 1534Jesus Christ in the early 30s of the Common Era
Belief SystemThe Holy TrinityThe Holy Trinity, Mother Mary, Apostles, the Pope, and other divine figures
Regulated byElected council of Bishops and CardinalsThe Pope
Office of the PapacySeverely condemnedAbsolute devotion and following
PriesthoodWomen are allowed. Priests can marry.Only men with complete abstinence from marriage and sexual behaviors all their lives are allowed
ConfessionNot importantMandatory
ClergyHoly order of Deacons, Priests and BishopsHoly order of Deacons, Monks, Nuns, Priests, Bishops, Archbishops, Cardinal and Pope
VirtueLove and grace of GodGood work and love towards God
Mother MaryMother of ChristQueen of all Saints
Freedom to ReformationsYesStrictly condemned

So, this was all about the difference between Episcopal and Catholic.

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