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In: Religion Topics

Submitted By doskey13
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For the final essay I choose to compare and contrast the difference between the two different Christian faiths, Roman Catholicism and Episcopalian. Although both churches are practicing the Christian faith they have different origins, development of denomination, primary teachings, doctrines, worship, spirituality, and moral precepts. When researching how the Roman Catholics and Episcopalians are distinctly different I can across the quote “All the ceremony and half the guilt”( ), meaning the Roman Catholic Church have a very distinct chain of command including the Pope and bishops, while on the other hand Episcopalians do not have figure head who represents the church as a whole. The difference between the Roman Catholics and Episcopalians traditions and practices seems to stem from the desire to have the freedom to choose ones own governmental and religious leadership.
Since Episcopalian Church began the has always been a connection to the Roman Catholic Church as stated, “During the 16th century Protestant Reformation. The Episcopal Church organized itself independently from the Church of England around the time of the American Revolutionary War, and chose a form of government similar to that of the new nation. ” ()

The entire reason the Episcopalian Church was formed was to decide who its own political and spiritual leaders would be, completely separate from The Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church.
The differences between the Roman Catholic and Episcopalians development of denomination are can be seen in the organization of each church leadership.

The Episcopalian are governed by:
“In an established, self-sustaining congregation, or "parish", day-to-day matters are handled by a panel of elected lay people called a "vestry." The head priest, or "rector", handles spiritual and worship-related matters, and usually serves in an advisory capacity on church committees.”

The Roman Catholic Church’s political and religious governance are organized in this way. This order goes the highest-ranking authority to the lowest: The Pope, the Roman Curia and the college of Cardinals, the college of bishops, ecumenical councils and the priesthood. The Vatican is the Roman Catholic capital and is responsible for churches leadership across the world.
As stated before the major difference in between the Roman Catholic and the Episcopalian churches is how they view the religious leaders in the church. An example of this is that Ministers who are ordained in the Catholic or Orthodox churches do not have to re-ordained in Episcopalian if they wish to convert religions Roman Catholic do not allow the same if the Minister was ordained in the Episcopalian church. Another interesting fact is that women are allowed to be ordained as bishops, priests, and deacons, in the Episcopalian Church, in the Roman Catholic Church women can ministers, but doesn’t allow women to be ordained.
Like most Christian religions, Roman Catholics and Episcopalians perform a tradition know as the communion ceremony where bread is eaten and wine is drunk and in the same way Jesus did at the last supper. The bread represents the body of Christ and the wine represents his blood. The tradition is perform in order to devotion to Jesus and the sacrifice he made for mankind to save us from our sins. The Episcopal Church allow anyone to participate in communion, no matter the region they practice. The Roman Catholic Church only allows non-Catholics to participate in communion in only certain situations.
As far as what disguises the Episcopalians and the Roman Catholic development of the each churches beliefs they isn’t very much. For the most part each of these church’s philosophies are based on the same principles and scripture. Both study and share these doctrines from the Christian faith perspectives. Rome Catholic and Episcopalian church’s both practice the seven sacraments: Confirmation, Eucharist, Penance, Anointing of the sick, Holy orders, and Matrimony. Although both Roman Catholics share the majority of scripture and Episcopalians the two differ in what bible they use in ministries. The Roman Catholic Church uses the Holy Bible, which is a collection of 73 canonical, books in two parts, 46 in the Old Testament, and 27 in the New Testament. The Episcopalian Church prepares the King James Version of the bible.
The rituals between the two churches are very similar. Rituals include spoken prayers, singing hymns and receiving communion. The Roman Catholic Church and the Episcopalian church perform baptisms for their members. Both churches believe in the power of prayer but major difference between the two churches is the urgency of prayer. Episcopalians do not believe in purgatory, meaning that prayer is used by and for those are living, creating a sense of urgency to pray for yourself or others now. The Roman Catholic Church does believe in purgatory, meaning that if someone is stuck there the power of prayer can help ascend them to heaven. Another major difference in the way Roman Catholics and Episcopalians practice traditions is the confession of the sins. Roman Catholics confess their sins to the priest in order to be forgiven for their sins and receive forgiveness from God. On the other hand Episcopalians do not believe in confession, and that the only way to receive forgiveness for your sins is to speak to God yourself.
The Roman Catholics and Episcopalians view the Virgin Mary and Jesus disciples very differently. Roman Catholics pray to and look for guidance from the Virgin Mary. They also read the works of Jesus disciples to find spiritual guidance as well. Episcopalians do not place the Virgin Mary or the disciples as any importance when it comes spiritual and religious knowledge, however they do view the disciples as examples of how to live life in Gods grace.

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