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The Anglican Church came for the Roman Catholic Church about when the Reformation was starting, so they are several hundred years old.

Today, how is the Anglican Church different from the Catholic Church that distinguishes them as a separate denomination from Catholicism?

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Google is a wonderful resource for conjecture. – The Freemason Aug 21 '14 at 16:52
Note: this question is in the same format as this one, so it should be answered in much the same way: with a comprehensive and thorough answer that touches on the main differences. – El'endia Starman Aug 24 '14 at 2:25
On the Nullity of Anglican Orders – FMS Aug 24 '14 at 5:24
Baptism – FMS Aug 28 '14 at 8:15

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The 39 Articles are the foundational document of Anglicanism (though not all Anglicans accept them now). The major points of difference with Catholicism which are explained in the Articles are:

  1. Anglicanism does not accept the books of the Apocrypha as inspired. (Article 6)
  2. Anglicanism says that our righteousness before God is based only on the merit of Christ, and not on the basis of our works. (Article 11)
  3. Anglicanism rejects the Catholic idea of supererogation, that we can perform works above and beyond what God requires. (Article 14)
  4. Article 20 essentially states that the Church is subservient to scripture, rather than its traditions being of equal authority to scripture.
  5. Article 22 rejects purgatory.
  6. Article 24 says that the liturgy of a church must be in the language of the people. Catholicism has varied about this over the years, but there have been many times when the mass must be performed in Latin.
  7. Anglicans believe in only 2 of the 7 sacraments which Catholicism recognises (though this isn't universal, and Anglo-Catholics recognise all 7.) (Article 25)
  8. Anglicans reject the concept of transubstantiation, that communion is in any way a sacrifice, or that the cup can be denied to the laity. (Articles 28, 30, 31)
  9. Anglican ministers are allowed to be married. (Article 32)
  10. And for what really started the English reformation off, Anglicans say that the Bishop of Rome has no authority in England. (Article 37)

In addition, I would add that

  1. Devotion to Mary is generally uncommon in Anglicanism, at least compared to the extent of Catholocism.
  2. Many dioceses ordain women as deacons, priests and even bishops.
  3. As a result of the distributed authority structures of Anglicanism, there is a much greater diversity of beliefs than in Catholicism. Some dioceses for example endorse homosexuality, while others do not. This is a major issue in the Anglican Communion today, and will most likely result in a broken communion in the next few years.
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Women priests and bishops? Dropping Satan from baptismal promises? – FMS Aug 24 '14 at 5:25
Female priests is a good point. I don't really know anything about the second, and I wouldn't call it major if I did. – curiousdannii Aug 24 '14 at 5:29
'Anglicans Set to Remove Satan from Baptismal Rite' actually hasn't happened yet. Please see my comment on 'Nullity of Order' in OP. – FMS Aug 24 '14 at 5:38
Re works/faith and the relationship to salvation (your point 2, and perhaps point 3): see this question – Andrew Leach Aug 24 '14 at 7:08
@AndrewLeach it is very complicated as both sides like to use the same words but with different meanings! There are also big differences between what the official churches teach and their regular members. Mike's answer on the process vs stative nature of justification is a better in depth look at the issues. – curiousdannii Aug 24 '14 at 8:11

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