Differences between Anglican and Roman Catholicism

Discussion in 'Navigating Through Church Life' started by Scottish Monk, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    I am interested in a list of the major differences between Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism. I know we get into a lot of discussion about the differences on this forum. However, what I am looking for is a general list of the differences.

    Thank you.

    ...Scottish Monk
     
  2. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Dear Cousin,

    There are two major differences between Rome and Anglicanism,to my mind at least the latter, despite failings and fumbling, holds to the old ways of scripture and tradition, whilst Rome does not! Anglicanism follows the injunctions of the Pauline Epistles and endevours to Hold the Deposit, whilst Rome has added to that Deposit of Faith! It has proclaimed without any base or proof, the Universal Jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome as well as proclaimed the Infallibility of the same prelate thus creating a schism.

    Rome is the main source of schism and heresy within the Church Catholic and is no more than a gigantic sect within the Body of Christ.

    There are other errors stemming from this, a positive surfeit of medievalism.
    The supposed Immaculate Conception of the Lady Mary,
    Transubstantiation & the restriction of the Cup at the Housling,
    Additions to the Creed of Niceae.
    The Calling of a General Council without recourse to traditional methods, i.e. Trent!

    These latter are injurious to Church and faith, but the vexed question of Authority is paramount to my idea, all the others are of minor importance when compared to the business of the papacy!
     
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  3. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Before setting out on this path, we must recognise the danger of contention in it. One may say what Roman Catholicism consists of, but the moment he proposes the opposite tenet held by "Anglicanism", he is open to being told that such a tenet isn't "binding" or "defined" or "officially Anglican". The only response he could make is: "oh, well - just read our history!"

    Roman Catholicism, firstly and most egregiously, teaches that traditions supposedly passed down orally by popes, bishops, fathers, and doctors of the church, are infallible and binding on all Christians. Anglicanism expressly forbids this, saying that Scripture alone contains all truths worthy for salvation.

    Roman Catholicism teaches that Christ's infinitely-meritorious passion built up an infinite storehouse or treasury of grace from which the faithful draw for heavenly life. The good works, prayers, and penances of "the saints" are super-added to Christ's merits. From these, via the sacraments, the faithful receive graces and merits. Anglicanism completely denies the addition of works by mortal, finite men and women to be drawn upon in addition to the Cross of our Lord & Saviour.

    Roman Catholicism teaches that, in drawing on the wealth of graces, the faithful may use the sacraments, prayers, and certain works for the benefit of others who are not participating in these sacraments, prayers, and works. The dead may be freed from purgatorial cleansing prematurely if certain prayers, Masses for the dead, and good works are attended to for that purpose.

    Roman Catholicism teaches that Holy Communion can be received for any purpose by the faithful. Even the living and the dead may benefit by the faithful man's reception of Communion, if that man directs the grace that he would have received, to the person he wishes to receive it. Anglicanism does not claim that Communion can be received 'for' someone else, but says that the Communicant alone receives the Lord in the Eucharist.

    Roman Catholicism insists that Body & Blood are present in the Host/Wafer/Bread of the Eucharist, and that Body & Blood are present in the Cup/Chalice/Wine of the Eucharist. To receive one is to receive both. Anglicanism flatly denies this, obliging the communicant to receive Bread and Wine at once.

    There's so much else: let alone the claim that one man can speak infallibly when he so chooses.
     
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  4. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Most prescient thinking. But in this business of looking back to antiquity ,or as my niece has just put it, 'everywhere, everybody and all time', what else have we to look to? I know it is a generalisation, but for well over a millenium we have accepted the 'Lerins' canon and as recently as the Anglo / Orthodox discussions in Dublin the stance was affirmed. Or so I am told by one of the participants. What other scheme is there, or are we all allowed our own private involvement! We are Anglicans and have a historic perspective![/quote]
     
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  5. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    For whatever reason, Christians care about the souls of other Christians. It's difficult not to be emotional when you think you detect a corruption of the faith which may lead to the damnation of millions of souls.

    Thank God for ignorance: a blessing in every denomination (especially for simple Christ-centered Roman Catholics).
     
  6. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    Scottish Monk,
    highchurchman went right to the heart of the major difference between Anglicanism and Catholicism--the authority claimed by the Pope and the infallibility claim of Ex Cathedra teachings. Catholics believe The Pope is the successor of St. Peter, the chief pastor of the whole Church, and the Vicar of Christ on earth.

    There are actually very few Ex Cathedra doctrines. Surprisingly (at least to me,) The Immaculate Conception of Mary was infallibly defined Ex Cathedra by Pope Pius IX in 1854. Mary's Assumption into Heaven was infallibly defined by Pius XII in 1950. A Catholic must hold these beliefs without question.

    According to DOGMATIC CONSTITUTION ON THE CHURCH LUMEN GENTIUM SOLEMNLY PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI ON NOVEMBER 21, 1964, Catholics must submit religious mind and will to the Roman Pontiff even when he is not speaking Ex Cathedra.

    Keep in mind that East and West view history very differently, especially when it comes to the "universal primacy" of the Bishop of Rome. Catholics claim the Pope always held this primacy. Some Orthodox claim the East was unaware of this "ecclesiological development" in the West, until it was too late to stop it. I highly recommend the book: The Primacy of Peter, Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church, John Meyendorff, Editor. This book is excellent and is written from the Eastern Orthodox perspective.

    The Primacy of Peter, Essays in Ecclesiology and the Early Church, John Meyendorff, Editor, Chapter 3, St. Peter in Byzantine Theology, John Meyendorff, Page 77:

    "Historians have more than once described the disastrous effect of the Crusades upon the relations between Christians of the East and West. The mutual accusations turned into a real uprising of hatred after the capture of Constantinople by the Westerners in 1204. As is known, Innocent III began by solemnly protesting against the violence of the Crusaders, but finally he decided to profit from the given situation and to act in the same way in which his predecessors had acted in other eastern territories reconquered from the Moslems. He appointed a Latin Patriarch to Constantinople. This action appeared to the whole Christian East not only as a religious sanction of conquest, but as a sort of theological justification of aggression. The election of a Latin Emperor in Byzantium could still be interpreted as being in conformity with the laws of war, but by virtue of what right or custom was the Patriarch of the West appointing his own candidate, the Venetian Thomas Morosini to the See of St. John Chrysostom?

    In all the anti-Latin documents of that period we see mention of this so-called "right" of the Pope, a right of which the Eastern Church had no knowledge. All of a sudden the East became more fully aware of an ecclesiological development which had taken place in the West and which it was much too late to stop."
    _______________

    I would say the issue of Papal infallibility is the first and most important consideration in comparing Anglicanism and Catholicism.

    Blue type contains links throughout the above.
     
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  7. nkygreg

    nkygreg Member

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    I must say I'm impressed with the responses! I am a Roman Catholic and you guys hit out of the park!
    I will make on correction/addition in Consular's statement.
    "Roman Catholicism insists that Body & Blood (and Divinity)are present in the Host/Wafer/Bread of the Eucharist, and that Body & Blood (and Divinity)are present in the Cup/Chalice/Wine of the Eucharist. To receive one is to receive both"
     
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  8. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Thank you brother. The reason I only mention Body & Blood is that it is the distinctive dogma of Rome on the issue. Though Rome claims only to have 2 or 3 infallible dogmas (as defined by Papal statements), it also has many many many dogmatic statements in its "ecumenical" councils, such as Trent. Not only does Trent rightly declare that Christ's soul & divinity are in the consecrated Eucharist, but it says that the bread and wine disappear entirely, and are replaced with Christ's flesh and blood. We commit a sort of holy cannibalism in Roman Eucharistic philosophy - so although soul & divinity are part of Rome's definition, they are part of our definition too, and so the only difference is that Rome believes literal flesh and blood, while Anglicanism believes flesh and blood of a spiritual, holy, grace-filled nature (see John 6:63).
     
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  9. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    That is the most important quote you've ever shown us, Anna! You've hit the button plain in the center with that post.

    There is an historical theory about what happened to delude Rome into its current dreams of infallibility. We can see shades of it in the 2nd century with Victor of Rome trying to excommunicate the entire eastern Church, but was rebuked by eastern and western bishops because he did not have that jurisdiction. Cyprian of Carthage and Firmilian of Caesarea, eminent bishops, condemned Stephen of Rome as having abandoned the very faith by not re-baptizing people who had been baptized by heretics; though Cyprian, Firmilian, and their supporters were eventually declared to be wrong by the Church, this incident shows that they did not consider Rome to be infallible or central to the faith.

    Nicaea says that Alexandria has authority over Egypt, Libya, and Tripoli; Antioch over the near East, and Rome over her customary (i.e. western) territories. Each area had a patriarch by that time, and Rome has no right to contradict that Council - which she has the gall to claim as one of her very own ecumenical councils! The Council of Ephesus declares that any bishop attempting to ordain presbyters and consecrate bishops in a local church or province outside his own, shall cease this arrogant attack on "our Christian liberties" immediately. This is exactly what Rome started to do a few hundred years later, as history can show.

    We can see Roman claims increase over the years. With Victor, it was only an assumption of legal authority to declare ecclesiastical sentence. By the time of Leo in the mid-5th century, Rome was claiming even more extraordinary things. The first place of honour and respect was warped by Rome to mean the first place in authority and jurisdiction over the whole world. The East was still around to stick up to any Pope Victors though, and it didn't become a big problem - until the catastrophe of the Muslim invasions of the 7th century.

    The worldwide picture of Christendom was very bleak from 630-750 or so. You must see the map of Europe from an eagle's eye view - Islam totally conquered the entire eastern Christian world, including all of Africa and the complete span of the Mediterranean. Only Constantinople was left by A.D. 710. Northern Greece, Macedonia, the Balkans, Romania, and Bulgaria were overrun by slavs, arian tribes, and assorted peoples. If you can see the map in your mind, you will realise how easily communication was cut off from East to West. With the invasion of Spain in 711, and the total devastation of southern France in 732, the entire Christian world was cut apart. Bishops, priests, and laity were killed or at least separated from each other. The sea was Muslim and 90% of the eastern Church was under Muslim control.

    The real sea-change in the papacy begins in the Muslim domination era. Because the Battle of Tours had exhausted western Europe's last resources in 732, the only see that had been relatively untouched was Rome. Milan was strong enough, but by this time she was already under sway of Roman theologians. With Arians in the north, Muslims in the south, east, and west (and even raiding the shores of Italy), Rome was literally all that was left in terms of population centers for orthodox bishops to come from. Charlemagne himself was the catalyst of the great change, because he offered tons of land to Rome in northern Italy if the Pope would crown him emperor of Gaul (France). This was where it started, my friends.

    As the Muslim tide receded under Carolingian swords, the novelty doctrine about Roman supremacy was spread along with the armies. Who was left to stand up to the Roman message? The German churches were hopelessly divided localities, France was devastated, Spain was 90% Muslim-occupied, and Britain was somewhat ambivalent and isolated. Roman doctors and theologians had no trouble from the East, which was totally silenced. Everywhere we look before the invasions, we see the East standing up to various Popes' claims - but now, the Popes had free reign for the first time in centuries, to make their horrid declarations. By the time communication was re-established in the 9th, 10th, and 11th centuries, Rome had gone through Popes like Nicholas I, a tyrant who was the first to declare that Rome owned both the spiritual and temporal swords that could control the whole world: church and state. From Nicholas I in the 860s to Gregory VII in the 1070s, the true modern papacy was born.

    England was the sole holdout of the old orthodox episcopal way, due to her relative isolation from continental devastation and invasion. It is remarkable that many Archbishops of Canterbury up to 1066 were very saucy and naughty, often refusing Papal declarations, decrees, and orders. The Norman Conquest wasn't just an assertion of William's supposed right to the English throne - I think it was also a way for the newly-Romanized continent to squelch all remaining dissenters of the new Imperial doctrine. It is a tragedy that so ancient and orthodox a Church would fall so far from its ministry of humble orthodoxy, to this despicable level of arrogance.

    This is my theory of how it happened, anyway.
     
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  10. highchurchman

    highchurchman Well-Known Member Anglican

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    So do Anglicans as it happens, our objections are that Rome ,,'again,' goes against Catholic Tradition, in this instance as in others.: Our First prayer Book firmly insists that Christ is received whole and to receive one is to receive both.
    Regarding the,' Real Presence',
    Q. What is the outward part or sign in the Lords Supper?
    A. Bread & Wine , which the Lord has commanded to be received.

    Q. What is the inward part, or thing signified?
    A. The Body & Blood of Christ which are verily and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper.
    Church Catechism.

    Both you and I agree in this , that ii the Sacrament is the very true and natural Body and Blood of Christ, even that which was born of the Virgin Mary.
    Fox's Acts& Monuments. Quoted by Laud, in Conference with Fisher pg.35.

    These Holy Mysteries ,received in due manner, due instrumentally both both make us partakers of the grace of that Body and Blood, which were given for the life of the world and beside also impart in true and real though mystical manner, the very Person of of our Lord Himself,, whole perfect and entire, as hath been shewn.
    Hooker Eccles. Polity. 67.There are many more testimonies of the the Traditional Postion, such as Bishop' s Overhall, Montague, Cosin,Taylor,Beveridge, Forbes and the Non Juring Bishops in their discussions with the orthodox Eastern Church.
     
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  11. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Of course! I thank God that many Roman Catholics may be ignorant of the full blasphemy that is their own Church's teachings, so that, by a pure belief in Christ, the Creeds, and divine charity, they may be saved even in that Church which has taken so many errors on itself. Ignorance of Christ in barbarians and savages can save them, if they follow the law that is written in their hearts. Ignorance can save you if you honestly didn't know a moral law, but lived virtuously according to what your conscience did know. In this estimation, we can have no doubt that Roman Catholics can and will be granted entrance to the Kingdom.
     
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  12. Scottish Monk

    Scottish Monk Well-Known Member

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    I want to thank everyone for their comments. And please--do not hesitate to post other differences between Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism.

    ...Scottish Monk
     
  13. historyb

    historyb Active Member

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    I am still a Catholic technically and I have to say I have not observed a lot of differences between the two though I maybe the odd man out and more on the Anglo Catholic side.
     
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  14. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    Hi Scottish Monk - those differences aside IMHO if you Love God with all your heart and with your soul, and with all your strength and you love your neighbour as yourself. Then I don't think it matters what method you use to live the life of a righteous Christian person, or any other faith system for that matter.

    Blessings, Gordon

    PS... regarding your question I think we have better looking churches and our sacred music can't be beaten.... :)
     
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  15. Anna Scott

    Anna Scott Well-Known Member

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    historyb,
    You are not alone. There are a few of us Anglo Catholics on the forums. There are (how should I put this) very lively discussions between those leaning more towards Protestantism and those leaning more towards Catholicism. Things are never dull.

    Anna
     
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  16. Gordon

    Gordon Well-Known Member

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    I really have no idea what an anglo catholic is, I see myself as a Franciscan first and an Anglican second because I love the rich liturgy of the Anglican Church... :)

    If you ever really want to visit a uplifting service go to a Buddhist ceremony that is being chanted in Mandarin... I have no idea what they were saying but it made me feel very peaceful... :)
     
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  17. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    Gordon, you're something else... :p
     
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  18. Dave

    Dave Active Member

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    From a practical everyday point of view (at least in my neck of the woods --- Dallas) and I am generalizing based on my experiences:
    • Anglicans are more of a community while Catholics are more of an identity.
    • Catholics tend to be more about getting in, getting the eucharist, and getting out.
    • Anglicans want to greet you and get to know you.
    • Catholic music is horrible for the vast majority of churches in this area. I find this truly sad since many of the catholic parishes number in 10 to 20X the size of the Anglican parishes, i.e. the must larger parishes should have the population and means to draw upon.
    • Catholics don't allow women priests.
    • Anglicans tend to have Sunday school and Bible study more often than not, whereas in Catholic parishes it is the rare exception.
    • Catholic churches rely on foreign priests to help out at parishes because of the lack of native-born priests. The issue I take with this is that English is not their primary language (and it can be difficult to understand them) and they preach for 8-10 minutes on very basic terms that may be well for 3rd world pagans but isn't enough meat for 1st world affluent American who need to be challenged.
    • The local bishop is the highest level of authority in the Anglican church.
    I am currently in between the RC and Anglican churches. Trying not to be bitter about the RC church...just truthful.
     
  19. Adam Warlock

    Adam Warlock Well-Known Member

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    We do have much better music.
     
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  20. Toma

    Toma Well-Known Member Anglican

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    The Catholics have a treasure-chest: from Gregorian chant to Palestrina, through Vivaldi and hundreds of 18th and 19th century composers. Josef Rheinberger in the 1880s was a sort of Catholic Stanford: lots of simple choir and organ. I think the choral traditions of Rome and Anglicanism are equal in high beauty; the former just tend not to use their own anymore... :(
     
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