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Are Catholics And Episcopal The Same?

Are Catholics And Episcopal The Same?

Religion makes up a series of beliefs that many people in society engage and live their lives in accordance with. Religion has always had an essential role in human beliefs and interactions, and many people place the significance of religions in their sense of identity. Christianity is one of the most practiced religions in the world. However, religion is also often mistaken for Episcopalian beliefs. Therefore, the question arises, are these belief systems the same?

No, Episcopalian beliefs and Catholic Christianity beliefs are not the same. In fact, Episcopal beliefs differ significantly in several ways, such as allowing women to become priests, not believing in the Pope’s authority, and allowing priests to marry. Aside from this, Episcopal beliefs allow for the use of birth control and consider sacramental confessions optional. 

As you can see, there is a significant difference between the beliefs of a Catholic and Episcopal. If you are interested in learning more about the two religious beliefs we are discussing, please keep reading this article!

The Difference Between Episcopalianism And Catholic Beliefs

The core difference between the Episcopalian and Catholic systems is various beliefs and practices. While the two are part of Christianity, they are significantly different in several ways. Here are some of the salient differences, in the form of a table:

Authority of the PopeRecognize itDo not recognize it
Belief in purgatoryBelieveDo not believe
Homosexual marriageDo not recognize itRecognize it
Women as clergyDo not allowAllow it
Use of birth controlNot allowedAllowed
View on divorceNot allowedAllowed
Marriage of PriestsNot allowedAllowed
Comparison of Episcopalianism and Catholicism

Authority Of The Pope

The Pope’s authority is not believed in the Episcopalian belief system. The belief system is de-centralized towards the bishops instead. On the other hand, there is a centralized and hierarchal belief system in Catholic belief systems that views the Pope’s authority as legitimate.

Belief In Purgatory

The Episcopalian belief incorporates both Protestant and Catholic ideologies. However, when it comes to the belief in the idea of purgatory, Episcopalian beliefs lend towards Protestantism. 

This is because the Episcopal Church does not ascribe to any doctrines that the Church believes are not supported in the bible. Therefore, the Church does not stand with this idea, as it believes that no Christain would have to suffer in the afterlife in order to enter the gates of heaven.

Homosexual Marriage

While the Catholic Church rejects the idea of legitimized homosexual marriage, the Episcopal Church allows for the action. The Church stands by the LGBTQ community and believes that marriage between members of the same sex is validIt allows people with all gender expressions and identities to have full access to the ministry of their Church. 

Women In Clergy

According to the Episcopalian belief, women can become part of the Church clergy as deacons. On the other hand, the Catholic Church does not allow women to become priests, and any such ceremony is invalid according to the Church. All such female priests are immediately excommunicated. 

Use Of Birth Control

The Catholic belief does not advocate for the use of birth control or artificial contraception. However, on the other hand, the Episcopalian Church has changed its policy and allows for the use of birth control and artificial conception. 

Views On Divorce

According to Catholic views, civil divorce is not recognizable. The only grounds on which a marriage can be dissolved is through an annulment. Contrary to this, the Episcopalian belief is that civil divorce is a way to end the marriage, and the Church recognizes that divorce is valid and remarriage is possible. 

Marriage Of Priests

One of the central tenents of the Catholic Church is that a priest must remain celibate and cannot marry under any considerations. However, priests who are already married can remain married after becoming a part of the clergy – the Church views their vow of celibacy as a form of discipline. Episcopal priests are allowed to marry, and often, their partners also support them in their duties. However, some clergy positions within the Church require a vow of celibacy still. 

What Is the Episcopalian Church?

The Episcopalian belief system is an Anglican one, and the belief system combines Protestant and Catholic views. The Catholic understanding that comes into play is because of the belief in traditional older Churches, whereas Protestant views incorporate as an openness to reformation. 

You can trace the evolution of Episcopalian beliefs to all the way back to the 16th century when the Church of England broke from the Roman Catholic system. The Episcopalian Church has no Pope, and the Bishops and Priests are free to marry, as celibacy is generally not in practice with these members of the clergy. 

Related: Are Lutherans Catholic, Reformed, Calvinist, or Something Else?

What is the Catholic Church?

Catholicism, like Episcopalianism, is a branch of Christianity. It is one of the longest and largest belief systems within the Christian religion. Catholics believe that they represent the original followers of Jesus. They also believe that the Catholics are the group who have been responsible for preserving the Bible from the very beginning. Catholics have a heavy involvement in the recording of religious literature in the form of monasteries and libraries. Much of the knowledge is still available today because of this preservation. 

Sacramental confession is one of the core ideologies of the Catholic Church. The belief is that Jesus himself has brought this practice into being and that the Bible mentions and encourages it. Catholicism also lends power to the Pope and follows a centralized structure in the Church. There is a deep focus in place on looking to the Saints and asking them for help, protection, and knowledge. 

The idea is that the patron saints can provide guidance to Catholics looking to lead lives of virtue. It is also important to note that Catholic Churches will only give communion to those within the Church, so if you want to join your Church, you will need to become baptized or be Catholic already. 


There is no doubt that both Episcopalianism and Catholicism are part of the more considerable umbrella of Christianity. However, the two systems have different beliefs regarding topics such as the inclusion of women in the clergy, marriage, divorce, or birth control. In either case, the core belief in God, the role of humanity, and the meaning of life is one that both of the Churches share.