Anglicans verses Catholics


Hi all! We were vacationing in a rural part of Canada last weekend, and missed the Catholic mass. The only Catholic mass on the penninsula was a 4 pm Saturday mass housed in a different denomination’s church. (There aren’t very many Catholics on this penninsula, if you can’t tell! :slight_smile: )

Anyway, so we went to an Anglican mass instead, which was nice. It was so similiar to the Catholic masses I’m used to that I almost didn’t need to follow along in the misselette as I knew most of the prayers & order of the mass! I was shocked.

I have two questions.

I took communion there, as did my 8 year old son, as they stated that all people of faith are welcome to do so. By Anglican rules, was he too young to do so? The pastor looked at me strangely when I brought him forward and asked me if he was able to take communion. I said yes, because he made his first communion, but I wonder if I did something wrong in their church.

Secondly, what is the difference between Anglicans and Catholics? Are Anglicans part of the Catholic Church? Or are they completely seperate? If they are seperate, what are their differences?

  1. Anglicans are NOT part of the Catholic Church. They broke off from Rome when Henry VIII of England wanted a divorce and was not granted one. So… he broke off from the pope, declared himself the head of the church, and got divorced anyway.

  2. The Catholic Church does not recognize their Apostolic Succession, meaning that from the Catholic perspective, their priests have no ability to consecrate the Eucharist. So, from a Catholic viewpoint, you did not, in fact, receive the Body and Blood of Christ. Further, although some Anglicans believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist, others do not. This is non-negotiable in Catholicism.

  3. Catholics are forbidden from receiving communion at an Anglican service, as they are not in communion with us. You did not commit a sin because of your ignorance, but it would not be permitted for you to do so again.

  4. The Anglican Communion (including Episcopalians, as they are known in the US) embrace a much wider toleration of views considered non-negotiable in the Catholic Church. For example, birth control is permitted, they have an openly homosexual bishop, and permit women to be ordained. The problems regarding this liberalism are threatening to create a major schism right now, as conservative and liberal elements of the denomination are greatly at odds right now.

  5. You are correct in that the Anglican Church is physically very similar to the Catholic Church in its services. In fact, it is probably one of the most similar among the various denominations. A few Anglican priests have recently converted back to Catholicism due to the various problems mentioned above. They are allowed to remain married if they are already, and their particular version of the liturgy may be retained in what’s known as the “Anglican Use” Mass (with minor adjustments to ensure it fits with Catholic doctrine).


I don’t know much and I’m by no means a professional apologist but from what I know you probably should not have taken communion as they are completely separate from the Catholic Church and by taking communion you are showing that you are in communion with them. The only non-catholic church’s that we have permission from Rome to recieve communion from are the Orthodox church’s however only with the permission of the priest of that church. Because Rome and the Orthodox church’s have the exact same belief with regards to the Eucharist and because I believe they do have apostolic succession their Eucharist is properly consecrated.



Just out of curiousity what penninsula?


We were on the Bruce Penninsula…at the very tip…Tobermory. Are you from that area by any chance? Ever been there? It was absolutely beautiful, and one of the nicest vacations I’ve ever taken! :slight_smile:

Thanks, guys, for your thoughtful answers.


As Charles Colson recently noted the Anglicans now allow non-Christian clergy. [There was a recent news item on one of their female clergy is a part time Muslim.] :rolleyes:


has to be the most beautiful place we have ever visited. memories of a wonderful childhood vacation, so we went back their when our own kids were younger. still beautiful and unspoiled at that time. I remember lady’s slippers growing wild like dandelions, including a yellow one, which I have never seen since.

we stayed in that area more than a week, and I know we went to Mass because both my dad and my DH would have insisted, but don’t recall where.

no Catholics may not receive communion in a non-Catholic church because it would imply that they believe those clergy are actually confecting the Eucharist, which they are not, since they have rejected the authority by which the sacraments derive their grace and action.


Those are called lady’s slippers? I was wondering! They were so incredibly beautiful! Sigh.

Yes, there was a mass there, but I missed it as we got into town at 4:30-5 pm and mass was at 4.

I hope my kids have the wonderful childhood memories of the Bruce as you have!


I had not heard of this, so I went out to look it up. She has been a priest for 20 years and for the last 15 months has also been a practicing Sunni Muslim. She considers herself 100% both, not part-time.

Note that this is the Episcopal Church rather than Anglican. The Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion, but is definitely not necessarily in the mainstream of worldwide Anglican thought, action or teaching. I would have to say that this particular situation is unique even for the Episopal Church.

I find it interesting that she took this path at a point of crisis in her life–laid off, mother died–and that she had been struggling with orthodox (small o) Christianity for a number of years.

Based on the quotes from her in her article, I am rather surprised her bishop is okay with it.

I have to admit that when I reached the point of fully understanding and accepting that I did not believe in the divinity of Jesus and never really had that I quit trying to force myself into a Christian mold rather than trying to meld it with something entirely different.


The Episcopal Church is certainly at the cutting edge of Anglican apostasy, but the other official Anglican Churches in the developed world are not far behind. The remaining orthodox Anglicans in the Communion are concentrated in the developing countries. And even these are not orthodox enough for us traditionalists.


posterus traditus Anglicanus


Catholics may **NOT **take Communion in other denominations’ services, regardless of whether that denomination has “open communion”. See Ecclesia de Eucharistia.

I suggest you discuss this with your priest.

Anglican rules are not relevant. You are a Catholic, and bound by Catholic Canon Law.

Anglicans are part of the worldwide Anglican Communion-- including the Church of England, Episcopalians, etc. They are schismatic at best and heretical at worst.

They are not part of the Catholic Church. The separation goes back to Henry VIII’s split with the Catholic Church. Some Anglicans claim to have valid Holy Orders, but the Catholic Church has declared that they do not.

There is no one answer to that, as under the umbrella of the Anglican Communion the belief spans the spectrum. There are those who appear to be very close to Catholicism theologically, and other branches are practically unrecognizable as Christian.


This is not true. All baptized Christians may commune at an Anglican or Episcopal Church; it means you are in communion with the Body of Christ, not the Anglican Church. This is the case in most mainline Protestant Churches. The table is Christ’s not a communion’s.



Depends on the Anglicans. Amongst some, the rule is baptised Christian, confirmed by a bishop in apostolic succession, (or, as the 1928 BCP says, desirous of being confirmed), and affirming the Real Presence. That’s the hardliners, to be sure.



Anglicans/Episcopalians may invite everyone to receive communion. Catholics are obligated to turn down the invitation.


I can agree with that statement. But taking communion at most any mainline Prot. church does not mean you are in communion with their church; it means you are in communion with the Body of Christ.


That is not the understanding that Catholics have. In fact, our take on the situation is exactly the opposite. Hence Catholics may not receive communion in other churches, and members of other churches may not receive communion in a Catholic church.

Perhaps one day the kind of unity you speak of will be a reality. Unfortunately, right now it is not and our separation at communion is a sign of that.


I am most painfully aware of the differences. And yes, our separation at the Eucharist is a sign of that.


This is not accurate. Roman Catholics may receive communion from Orthodox Priests and from Polish National Catholic Priests where necessity dictates (ie RCC sacraments are not available). Similarly, Orthodox and PNCC may receive communion in RCC Churches.

Not sure if you were aware and just were thinking Protestants when you said “Other” or did not know. But thought I would note the detail in case anyone else was confused.

Rev North


I was trying not to complicate things any more than necessary, but thanks for clarifying for anyone else.


:thumbsup: You are correct, Reverand.

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