Episcopalian Church


I have a friend whos talking about leaving Mother Church for the Episcopalian Church… any suggestions as to tracks or books I can give her to help her to understand the differences and mistake that would be.




Your friend obviously doesn’t believe everything the RCC teaches or she wouldn’t be leaving. Maybe she can find a closer relationship with God by going Episcopalian, you can’t know until/if she goes. Cramming tracts and books in her face will probably drive her away rather than bring her home.


Maybe ask her what issues she has with the Church that would make her want to leave. There has to be some reason. I wouldn’t shove tracts in her face or anything, but having a discussion face to face to find out whats going on might be best. Especially if you’re prepared and knowledgeable about the Church. Obviously, she is missing something important to want to leave.


I was Episcopalian for about a decade before joining the Catholic Church. Here are some similarities and differences:

The liturgies are very similar. Both have three levels of clergy: bishops, priests and deacons, and both claim apostolic succession, though the Catholic Church does not recognize apostolic succession in the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal church does not recognize the Pope as having any more authority than any other bishop. Both recognize the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, but instead of defining the mechanism as transsubstantiation, they simply say that how Jesus is present is a mystery known only to God. Episcopalians normally genuflect when leaving the pew to receive Communion and usually kneel to receive.

Some major differences:

Episcopal clergy may be men or women, and they may be married or, in some relatively rare cases, practicing homosexuals.

Episcopalians leave much more (almost everything?) to the believer’s conscience rather than stating what one must believe. There aren’t precepts such as requiring attendance at mass each Sunday, etc.

Most Episcopalians recognize two sacraments and five sacramental rites rather than seven sacraments

IMHO, the English in the Book of Common Prayer is of a somewhat better quality, i.e., more poetic, than that of Catholic English-language missals. I think the Catholic missals may try to translate the Latin more accurately, though.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is not honored as much by Episcopalians as she is by Catholics Some Episcopalians say the rosary, but most do not.

Episcopalians consider themselves the via media or middle way between the Roman Catholic Church and the rest of the Protestants. Unlike the rest of the Protestants, they did not discard Reconciliation of a Penitent, honoring Mary, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, priestly vestments such as the chasuble, prayer for the dead, the calendar of saints, etc.


I’m an ex-Episcopalian myself.

One concern she ought to have is that the Episcopal Church in America is in the opening stages of internal schism. She may want to read up on this first. Regardless of the theological differences, such schisms cause a great deal of pain and ill feeling in the community affected. We should pray for our Episcopalian brothers and sisters, and reflect how we would feel if the church we loved and in which we grew up were suddenly rent into different angry camps.

I cannot imagine willingly jumping into the middle of such a conflict; it can only hurt one’s faith in my opinion.

These are terrible times for the old guard of Protestantism with schism building not only within the Episcopal Church, but also the Presbyterian, the Methodist, and the Baptist. Let’s hope all such wounds to unity are healed before full eruption.

In the meantime, your friend ought to at least study up on the issues so as not to be blindsided.


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