St. Catherine of Siena in Royal Wedding homily

I was surprised that St. Catherine of Siena was mentioned in the homily of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

I noticed too, the Anglicans have some similarities with the Catholics…like the belief in the trinity.

I have some questions:

  1. Do Anglicans and Catholics have the same saints?..I think her festival day was mentioned.

  2. How different is Anglicanism witth Roman Catholicism?

  3. Is there are possibility that the Catholics and Anglicans will become one flock one day?

My grandparents were episcopalian,and yes they believe in the same saints as catholics but saints do not take on as much importance as they do in our church,neither do they place a lot of emphasis on Marian devotion…

Anglicans do not all share the same beliefs, within the Anglican religious community in England you have what are called low church and high church, high church tends to be a bit more catholic in appearance having retained many of the practices and appearances of the Catholicism that they split off from under Henry VIII, some Anglicans even pray the Rosary while other Anglicans would consider such a thing an abomination.

Thanks to Pope Benedict a large number of Anglicans in the UK have actually returned to full unity with the Catholic Church just this year

There are also several quite well known Anglican converts for example Blessed John Henry Newman.

I do not think that the two churches will ever merge because of the question of Papal Infallibility,which our church believes.

Put it this way - the Anglicans split from the Catholic Church just under 500 years ago now. That means there is over 1500 years of shared history between us. Just like there is about 1000 years of shared history between us and the Orthodox.

And yes, there are some shared beliefs, and yes, the Anglicans and Catholics honour some of the same pre-Reformation Saints, Catherine of Siena being at least one of them. As a Catholic Franciscan, I know there are Anglicans who profess to follow the rule and spirituality of St Francis as well.

In the same way, Orthodox honour many of the same saints who were recognised before the Catholic/Orthodox schism happened.

High Church Anglicans believe in most of the same major saints that we do, and they even have added some saints of their own: Florence Nightingale, for one, was named an Anglican saint. I don’t know what miracles can be attributed to her heavenly intercession, despite her influence on developing the profession of nursing (which in itself has wrought the near-miraculous and continues to do so, but in quite ordinary and scientifically explainable ways.)

I’m not sure what the process of their canonization is. I was actually surprised that they do venerate some of what we would consider “very Catholic” saints (such as St. Francis of Assisi, St. Augustine, and the rest) because of their split off from Rome. But LilyM’s comment (above) about the length of time of our shared history makes complete sense to me: Do the math!

There are some Episcopal churches in the US that are so “high church” that it would be quite difficult for the observer to determine that they were not at a Roman Catholic Mass. Their churches, while highly decorated, do not generally have three altars, etc. as we are accustomed to, and there is less obvious statuary.

I have had the opportunity to attend some Episcopal communion services for social reasons (without partaking of their communion, obviously,) and other than very slight differences, was quite surprised with how similar their liturgy is to our Mass. Most of the prayers and responses are similar, if not identical. However, in part because their priests are not ordained validly, that is not actually the Body and Blood of Christ that you see there in their liturgy, even though the words of consecration are extremely similar. Their version of sacraments is two–baptism and holy communion, although they celebrate liturgies for matrimony, confirmation, ordination, anointing of the sick, and have a version of confession and absolution. They don’t call the other five sacraments, I don’t know what they call them.

My personal thought is this: I believe Christ weeps more for the smaller but deep cuts in His mystical body (the Anglicans, the Lutherans, and other mainline Protestant sects) than the bigger rifts and actual severances from belief in Him. It is one of my most heartfelt prayers that our “closely separated brethren” will be drawn back to the true Church. Perhaps the prayers of the saints that our two Churches venerate in common will help bring that happy day to realization.

Do Anglicans actually canonize saints, or are their saints just people who most people recognize as saints? Also, I’ve heard of Martin Luther King, Jr. (a Baptist) and Mother Elizabeth of Russia (a convert to Russian Orthodoxy), among other non-Anglicans, being referred to as saints by Anglicans, even though they were not Anglican. What is the reason for this? Ecumenism?

Interesting facts I am learning from some of the answers here. :smiley:


Wouldn’t it be great if this does happen? :slight_smile:

With regards to saints, there are many similarities between Anglicans and Orthodox. We all have the same pre-schism saints and there has even been some adoption by the Anglicans of post-schism Catholic saints. However, Anglicans no longer canonize saints. They did “canonize” King Charles I, but that’s the only example.

However, non-saints have been added to national Anglican churches (such as the Episcopal church) calendars, such that there are feast days for people who are not saints. That’s where people like Martin Luther King, Jr. come in. When I was an Episcopalian, the book was called “Lesser Feasts and Fasts” and now there is a book called “Holy Women, Holy Men” that has hundreds of additions, some of them rather controversial (and even the idea of throwing in hundreds of new people without clear reasons riled up the few remaining conservatives).

With regards to prayer to saints, it really depends. Some Anglicans are much more Reformed in their practice and theology (called “Low Church”), others are much more Catholic (called “High Church” or “Anglo-Catholic”). I was on the Anglo-Catholic side.

So for example, these are both very similar:

[quote=(Episcopalian) Collect for the Feast of St. Dominic]O God of the prophets, you opened the eyes of your servant Dominic to perceive a famine of hearing the word of the Lord, and moved him, and those he drew about him, to satisfy that hunger with sound preaching and fervent devotion: Make your church, dear Lord, in this and every age, attentive to the hungers of the world, and quick to respond in love to those who are perishing; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

[quote=(Catholic - 1962) Collect for the Feast of St. Dominic]O God, Who hast vouchsafed to make Thy Church illustrious by the merits and teaching of blessed Dominic, Thy Confessor: grant that, through his intercession, she may not be deprived of temporal help, and may ever advance in spiritual increase. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.

But notice how the Catholic prayer, even though it is directed to God, mentions the intercession of St. Dominic and his merits – this would not be done in an Anglican prayer. However, some Anglicans pray the Rosary (even including the Fatima Prayer) while others would detest it for Protestant reasons (and, like Catholics, most just kind of ignore it – it’s on the periphery of their spiritual life).

There are as many kinds of Anglicans pretty much as there are Anglicans. It is like a microcosm of the whole denominational battle and its shrinking all the time. There is talk of disestablishing the Church of England – that is, making it not part of the government anymore. Most of the Anglicans coming over to the Catholic Church with Anglicanorum Coetibus are already broken off of the Anglican Communion, although there are even bishops of the CofE and other churches coming over.

Many people just got tired of the liberal nonsense going on with the bishops and such. We realized Anglicanism was a sinking ship and it couldn’t be saved, so we decided to just come back to Rome. The Catholic Church may also be in the midst of a crisis (ultimately the same crisis) but it’s founded on a Rock rather than on sand and that makes a big difference. It means that whereas Anglicanism is collapsing and will become even more irrelevant than it already is, the Catholic Church can never totally collapse and disappear. I am happy to be fully and plentifully Catholic now, rather than “Catholic-lite”. I have no doubts anymore about whether my priest is really ordained and thus if the Eucharist is really Jesus Christ or my sins are really forgiven. I don’t have to justify my existence anymore, I’m just Catholic – as Christ intended.

From the catechism in the '79 Book of Common Prayer:

"Other Sacramental Rites
Q. What other sacramental rites evolved in the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit?
A. Other sacramental rites which evolved in the Church include confirmation, ordination, holy matrimony, reconciliation of a penitent, and unction.

Q. How do they differ from the two sacraments of the Gospel?
A. Although they are means of grace, they are not necessary for all persons in the same way that Baptism and the Eucharist are."

It was also interesting to see the icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help as Kate started her walk down the aisle.

Yes! I also noticed the icons as the bride walked down the aisle! There also seemed to be what looked like an orthodox priest at the wedding. I was wondering what are Kate’s religious beliefs or is she Anglican as is William.

There were also Catholic Bishops present, it is normal to invite various religious leaders to a royal wedding.


When I heard them talk about Westminster Abby being built 1000 years ago I realized it must have originally been a Catholic church till King Henry changed things. It did look different having the large gold/bronze plates on the alter. Were all the churches just seized?


If an Anglican congregation changes to Catholic, with what I’m hearing about the Ordinariate (sp?), shouldn’t we be able to get the church back?

I suppose it depends on how ownership of the various church buildings is organised, which may be different in different places.

If you’re talking Westminster Abbey, of course, fuhgeddaboudit. The Abbey is the mother church of Anglicanism, as St Peters in Rome is of Catholicism. and so is quite different. We won’t be ‘getting it back’ while ever there are Anglicans left in London to worship there.

No. The church buildings are CoE property since the seizure. They will keep the church buildings.

They can choose to give back (unlikely) or share (slightly more likely but not by much) the buildings but I can’t see them handing them over.

They could sell or rent them - let’s face it if a parish is converting to Catholicism en masse then it’s not like the CoE will need 'em, and older ones especially can be very expensive to keep up.

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