4 Differences Between Catholicism and The Church of England


While both Catholicism and the Church of England stemmed from the same Christian foundation, they have developed their own separate forms of religion. While the difference between the religions is rather personal than doctrinal, there is one major exception.

Here is the difference between Catholicism and the Church of England. 2

How Each Religion is Defined

Catholic comes from the Greek word for “universal.” As the first form of Christianity, Catholicism was claimed as the Apostolic leadership since St. Peter’s time. The Church of England is also referred to as Anglican, which branches located across the world.

Origins of the Religion

During the 16th century, King Henry VIII declared independence from the Roman Catholic Church with the Church of England. This was due to his choice of a sanctioned divorce from wife, Catharine of Aragon, who could not bear a male heir. As a result, the king reformed from the Catholic Church and set his own form. However, it was only until the time of Elizabeth I that the Anglican church was established.

The Catholic church started when the apostles of Jesus Christ began to preach his words after his name. During the 4th century AD, the Roman Empire adopted Catholicism as the official religion.


Beliefs & Traditions

Catholic priests must follow the vow of celibacy, which stands for the monks and nuns. As communication is followed by the tradition of Jesus turning water into wine, there is also the use of incense and bells ringing to proceed. Meanwhile, Anglican priests are allowed to marry. However, parishioners share the same symbolic act of communication with the fragrance and bells.

Leadership in the Church

The Church of England does not necessarily recognize a hierarchy that places one main church or priests above the rest. This means that each individual church has the freedom to decide on their policy. For the Catholic Church, the parish priests are at the bottom of the hierarchy with the bishops, archbishops, cardinals, and the Pope at the highest.


While both Anglican and Catholic churches share practical terms, the Communion is far from Catholic orthodoxy. However, the personal traditions may prevent the unification between the churches.