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7 years ago  ::  Feb 01, 2008 - 8:54PM #1
Jpeelz
Posts: 1
Hello distinguished members of the church...I am contacting you to get some information and learn the differences between the two religions...I grew up in a Roman Catholic household ...My wife attended an Episcopalian church during the visits when she would go to see her Grandparents around two hours from her house...During the time when she was at home, her family would attend the Christian church in town...I've asked what denomination that church was and either she did not know or it was nondenominational...I have asked her if she was ever baptized, had her first communion or confirmed and she was baptized but none of the rest...I have had all three sacrements and thought about becoming a eucharistic minister dpending on time...my question is when we go to have/raise kids I feel that it is very important to have a uniform religion with no confusion. I know there are not many differences in the two religions but there are some that are rather large, I would like for you to please tell me what/how they are & work.
I feel that there are some when it comes to baptism, first communion, confirmation, intercommunion and so on.
Please tell me if there are any exclusions or inclusions for her family or mine? Is there any "conversion" for either of us? what are the steps? Is there still catechism in the epicopalian faith? I appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to answer these very important questions for me. Thank you once again.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 02, 2008 - 9:19PM #2
angpuppy
Posts: 520
First off you need to understand that Catholicism does not view itself as one among many equally valid denominations.  It does not consider itself even a denomination.  It considers itself the true Church Christ founded where as there are Protestant denominations, schismatic churches and schismatic groups.

It should be noted that Christianity can be divided into 4 groups:  Catholicism, the Eastern Orthodox churches, Protestantism and Anglicanism known as the Episcopal church in the United States.  Those are the big ones unless you want to talk about recently created schismatic groups from the Catholic Church.

Prior to the 16th century, Christianity existed in just two forms:  Catholic and Orthodox.  Both are liturgically centered, have very similar theologies, and they both have a hierachy.  The Catholic Church recognizes the Orthodox as valid churches where Protestants communities because they are formed by laity and lack apostolic succession, the ministerial priesthood and most importantly a valid Eucharist.

Anglicanism (the Episcopal church in the US) is unique because it separated from the Catholic Church really strangely, and while it separated as a church, its done a poor job of keeping its apostolic succession.  It separated from the Church primarily because the Church would not grant King Henry VII an annulment for his first marriage, so that he'd be free to marry Anne Boleyn.  Thus through a declaration through Parliament, Henry declared himself the rightful ruler of the Church of England and not the Pope. 

It is believed that most of the apostolic succession is gone in the Anglican churches due to changes that would invalidate ordinations in the ordination rites.  Though there is some confusion as some priests have been ordained by Orthodox bishops which just lends the whole thing confusing.  In regards to doctrinal differences, the big ones I'm aware of is that the ordain women.  The Catholic Church teaches that it is impossible to ordain a woman.  Even if you  had a Catholic bishop use the correct ordination rites, a woman simply cannot be ordained. 

The other of course pertains to marriage, divorce and contraceptives.  They are more lax on the divorce issue and unlike the Catholic Church, since 1920 they decreed that contraceptives can be morally licit if there is a grave reason to postpone pregnancy.  Prior to this, all of Christianity taught that contraceptive acts were gravely immoral.  And while the Anglican Church has not officially made a statement that contraceptives are the norm and that you can use them for whatever reason you want, no one is emphasizing that point that even the Catholic Church would teach again.

Its good you're concerned about raising your kids in a unified faith, but I'd investigate further with your wife about what her beliefs actually are.  Does she believe in sacramental theology or does she believe that faith alone saves?  Does she believe in the existance of Sacred Tradition or does she believe in Bible alone?  I think what has occurred recently is that a lot of Protestant notions get mixed in with Catholic and Anglican ones so for the most part people don't understand the origins of these faiths and don't know what to believe. 

Thus what's important is not so much just making compromises here and there to teach your kids some compromised theology.  What matters is to teach them what you discover to be the truth and to conform your lives to the truth.  If you believe in the sacraments, that they distribute grace and help a person on their faith journey toward Heaven, than make sure you have reason to believe that the sacraments they receive will indeed be valid.  Its not just about what you believe, but also how you you practice your faith together as a family.

It should also be noted that the Catholic Church does require Catholics to marry within the Catholic Church.  If they marry outside of it they need a dispensation and to marry a non-Catholic requires permission that requires both parties to agree to raise their children Catholic.  If you married in a Catholic Church, than this issue should have come up before you were married.  If it didn't, I would be very angry with your priest.
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2008 - 9:10AM #3
Shaner
Posts: 1,596

Jpeelz wrote:

Hello distinguished members of the church...I am contacting you to get some information and learn the differences between the two religions...I grew up in a Roman Catholic household ...My wife attended an Episcopalian church during the visits when she would go to see her Grandparents around two hours from her house...During the time when she was at home, her family would attend the Christian church in town...I've asked what denomination that church was and either she did not know or it was nondenominational...I have asked her if she was ever baptized, had her first communion or confirmed and she was baptized but none of the rest...I have had all three sacrements and thought about becoming a eucharistic minister dpending on time...my question is when we go to have/raise kids I feel that it is very important to have a uniform religion with no confusion. I know there are not many differences in the two religions but there are some that are rather large, I would like for you to please tell me what/how they are & work.
I feel that there are some when it comes to baptism, first communion, confirmation, intercommunion and so on.
Please tell me if there are any exclusions or inclusions for her family or mine? Is there any "conversion" for either of us? what are the steps? Is there still catechism in the epicopalian faith? I appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to answer these very important questions for me. Thank you once again.



Just to expand on what angpuppy said, if your wife was Baptized in the Trinitarian way, her Baptism is considered valid in the Catholic Church.  Catholics cannot receive the Eucharist in any other Church, faith, because we believe it to be the Real Presence of Jesus.
As well, non-Catholics are not permitted to partake of the Eucharist.  Its not meant to be 'exclusionary', its just that other Christian faiths don't hold to the same teaching of the Eucharist as we do (believing Christ present in the Eucharist).

If you have any other questions, or there is something that you're not clear on, please post again!

Peace,
Sandy

"Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the Words of Eternal Life"
"Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
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7 years ago  ::  Feb 03, 2008 - 9:10AM #4
Shaner
Posts: 1,596

Jpeelz wrote:

Hello distinguished members of the church...I am contacting you to get some information and learn the differences between the two religions...I grew up in a Roman Catholic household ...My wife attended an Episcopalian church during the visits when she would go to see her Grandparents around two hours from her house...During the time when she was at home, her family would attend the Christian church in town...I've asked what denomination that church was and either she did not know or it was nondenominational...I have asked her if she was ever baptized, had her first communion or confirmed and she was baptized but none of the rest...I have had all three sacrements and thought about becoming a eucharistic minister dpending on time...my question is when we go to have/raise kids I feel that it is very important to have a uniform religion with no confusion. I know there are not many differences in the two religions but there are some that are rather large, I would like for you to please tell me what/how they are & work.
I feel that there are some when it comes to baptism, first communion, confirmation, intercommunion and so on.
Please tell me if there are any exclusions or inclusions for her family or mine? Is there any "conversion" for either of us? what are the steps? Is there still catechism in the epicopalian faith? I appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to answer these very important questions for me. Thank you once again.



Just to expand on what angpuppy said, if your wife was Baptized in the Trinitarian way, her Baptism is considered valid in the Catholic Church.  Catholics cannot receive the Eucharist in any other Church, faith, because we believe it to be the Real Presence of Jesus.
As well, non-Catholics are not permitted to partake of the Eucharist.  Its not meant to be 'exclusionary', its just that other Christian faiths don't hold to the same teaching of the Eucharist as we do (believing Christ present in the Eucharist).

If you have any other questions, or there is something that you're not clear on, please post again!

Peace,
Sandy

"Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the Words of Eternal Life"
"Philippians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
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6 years ago  ::  Jul 25, 2008 - 5:24AM #5
genesis_9_6
Posts: 39
Angpuppy, I think you are mistaken on a few things.

First off Christianity is divided into the following groups: Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Protestant.

Protestantism is divided into the following subgroups: Anglican, Lutheran, Calvinist, and Anabaptist.

Catholicism is divided into two Rites: Latin and Byzantine

Eastern Orthodox is divided into various Patriarchs which stem from either the Greek or Russian but there is also Antioch, Alexanderia and Jerusalum .

Oriental Orthodox is primarily the Church in Egypt.

Anglicans can be viewed in three distinct groups: The Church of England, the Episcopal, and the High Anglican Church. The Church of England, as one may expect is centered in England while the Episcopal Church is primarily in the U.S. but is found in any place where Anglicanism is outside of England. The High Anglican Church is the Church which survives from the days of Henry XIII, they are Catholic in all but name; they only reject Papal Supremacy. In the time after the split from Rome, the Church of England underwent three changes. The first was the Henry XIII Church where he named himself the Supreme Head of the Church with the Archbishop of Cantebury as his chief Bishop.

The second change came when Elizabeth I took the throne and began to allow Presbyterian, or English Calvinism, to enter the Church. The final step came with the rise of James I when the Church began to accept more Presbyterian ways into the religion, this it the Church which remains today. In the late 1700's the Anglican Church in America officially changed its name to the Episcopal Church in order to remove any direct ties with England (due to popular hatred of the English at the time.)

During the last 40 years the Episcopal Church has seen a number of changes like the Catholic Church has. Many Episcopals in the 1960's would be almost identical to a Catholic in their means of worship and what not. However, today the offical Episcopal Church recognizes homosexual rights, allows women to be ordained Priests (common throughout all of Anglicanism for the most part.) They also accept divorce.

If, Jp, your wife was a member of and is still Episcopal then there are many differences in the faiths. They reject Transubstantiation, they reject the Immaculate Conception, Papal Supremacy, Papal Infallibility, they believe in Sola Scriptura, and Sola Fide, they reject the doctrine of Purgatory, and like other Protestant sects they believe we are incapable of using our freedom. Each individual church and Priest in the Episcopal community may differ between being more Anglo-Catholic or Evangelical.

It is important to note that your wife, if baptized by the Episcopal Church has received a trinitarian baptism and is considered authentic. I encourage you to find more information about how your wife was raised and what her church taught. She will have to go through the RCIA program in order to receive membership in the Catholic Church almost no matter what.
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6 years ago  ::  Aug 13, 2008 - 7:03AM #6
Logismos
Posts: 36
I tried to embrace the Episcopal church, but came away with the conclusion that they don't seem to believe in anything. Everything is optional. I thought Baptists were big on personal polity, but Episcopalians take the cake. I've met those who accept Buddha and Muhammad as significant contributors to faith.
In pomp, the traditional (high church) services are moving, but in belief, they might as well be Universal Unitarians.
IMO there are many sincerely Christ-centered Episcopalians and Anglicans, but on the whole, the organization doesn't represent the Christ of Scripture and Tradition.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2009 - 11:26PM #7
Justly
Posts: 186
[QUOTE=Logismos;687512]I tried to embrace the Episcopal church, but came away with the conclusion that they don't seem to believe in anything. Everything is optional. I thought Baptists were big on personal polity, but Episcopalians take the cake. I've met those who accept Buddha and Muhammad as significant contributors to faith.
In pomp, the traditional (high church) services are moving, but in belief, they might as well be Universal Unitarians.
IMO there are many sincerely Christ-centered Episcopalians and Anglicans, but on the whole, the organization doesn't represent the Christ of Scripture and Tradition.[/QUOTE]

Sorry to bring this thread back up but I just found it interesting in coming across it.  Not to debate at all as I know this is not the place.  But as a non practicing Catholic I'm actually toying with the idea of checking out the ECUSA myself.  I personally find their openness to anyone wherever they are on their path/walk with Jesus to be refreshingly Christ-like.  Just as a for instance, I understand why the RCC denies the Eucharist to others based on its meaning to Catholics.  But part of me would say it is Christ-like how Episcopalians allow all baptized Christians to come to the table, rather than keeping them from our Lord.  The official ECUSA belief on the Eucharist is a real presence as well.  They just don't  get into the details of trying to explain how it is so as the RCC does with transubstantiation.  Perhaps leaving it more to a mystery of faith.  (I have to check into it more)  :)  And of course not everything about the Catholic Church has been exactly representative of the Christ of Scripture either.  Just IMHO.  :)  Peace.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2009 - 11:26PM #8
Justly
Posts: 186
[QUOTE=Logismos;687512]I tried to embrace the Episcopal church, but came away with the conclusion that they don't seem to believe in anything. Everything is optional. I thought Baptists were big on personal polity, but Episcopalians take the cake. I've met those who accept Buddha and Muhammad as significant contributors to faith.
In pomp, the traditional (high church) services are moving, but in belief, they might as well be Universal Unitarians.
IMO there are many sincerely Christ-centered Episcopalians and Anglicans, but on the whole, the organization doesn't represent the Christ of Scripture and Tradition.[/QUOTE]

Sorry to bring this thread back up but I just found it interesting in coming across it.  Not to debate at all as I know this is not the place.  But as a non practicing Catholic I'm actually toying with the idea of checking out the ECUSA myself.  I personally find their openness to anyone wherever they are on their path/walk with Jesus to be refreshingly Christ-like.  Just as a for instance, I understand why the RCC denies the Eucharist to others based on its meaning to Catholics.  But part of me would say it is Christ-like how Episcopalians allow all baptized Christians to come to the table, rather than keeping them from our Lord.  The official ECUSA belief on the Eucharist is a real presence as well.  They just don't  get into the details of trying to explain how it is so as the RCC does with transubstantiation.  Perhaps leaving it more to a mystery of faith.  (I have to check into it more)  :)  And of course not everything about the Catholic Church has been exactly representative of the Christ of Scripture either.  Just IMHO.  :)  Peace.
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6 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2009 - 2:30AM #9
lil_lamb
Posts: 2,898
well, i'll admit there's something about the catholic exerience that's kinda neuroses inducing. but... i'll put it this way... out of curiosity, i did the beliefnet-o-matic test, entering in "i don't know" and "lukewarm" for every question, to see what i'd get.

i got "mainline protestant."
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