What’s the difference between Episcopal and Protestant?


A question from a reader: Are they the same or no?

I’m Episcopalian.

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14 Responses to “What’s the difference between Episcopal and Protestant?”

  • David M says:

    The difference between Audis and cars.

    Episcopalians are a kind of Protestant, albeit ones that normally retain some Catholic trappings and generally high church leanings.

  • CorruptedSpirit,VT, AM Associate says:

    episcopal is a protestant denomination of christianity

  • Eiliat says:

    Episcopalians are Protestants. Protestant refers to the group of Christians who broke off of the Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation. Episcopalians are one of those groups, along with Lutherans, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and basically any Christian group without Orthodox, Catholic or Coptic in their name.

  • KMAB says:

    Episcopal:

    Of or relating to a bishop.

    Of, relating to, or involving church government by bishops.

    Episcopal Of or relating to the Episcopal Church.

    Protestant:

    A member of a Western Christian church whose faith and practice are founded on the principles of the Reformation, especially in the acceptance of the Bible as the sole source of revelation, in justification by faith alone, and in the universal priesthood of all the believers.

    A member of a Western Christian church adhering to the theologies of Luther, Calvin, or Zwingli.

    One of the German princes and cities that supported the doctrines of Luther and protested against the decision of the second Diet of Speyer (1529) to enforce the Edict of Worms (1521) and deny toleration to Lutherans.
    protestant (also pr-tstnt) One who makes a declaration or avowal.

  • Robert S says:

    Episcopalian is the Anglican church, created by the King of England when he could not produce a male hier. That was the Ann Boelin mess. The anglican church is not the “catholic church” but it is the church of England. It is thus technically a protestant church. However, it was not technically a part of the protestant reformation.

  • Karen H says:

    Protestant means “to protest” and the protestant church, the episcopal church being one, protests that the bread and wine (eucharist) is actually the body and blood of Jesus Christ and that the pope is infallible. The protestant church believes that the body and blood are symbols of His body and blood and that since the pope is still only human can make mistakes.

  • Andrew K says:

    David nailed it. The Episcopal church is an American offshoot of the Church of England, which was set up closely mirroring the Catholic church but with the English king at its head.

  • arklatexrat says:

    The Episcopal Church is the American version of the Anglican Church, or Church of England, which is a Protestant denomination.

    Any Christian denomination that is not Catholic is considered Protestant, but there are lots of variations between the Protestant denominations. Some of them are very liturgical in worship style and quite similar to Catholicism, while others are more contemporary and charismatic in their style of worship and beliefs.

    You’d really have to visit a church of a different “flavor” to truly understand the differences.

  • Leon M says:

    An Episcopalian is a type of Protestant. Protestants are those who are part of the churches that rebelled against the Catholic church in the 1500s, as well as any churches that branched out from Protestant groups. One of those groups were the Anglicans. The Anglican church in America is called the Episcopalian church.

  • Eric R says:

    Hey I found this on the web for you. Seems to be a good answer. I hope it helps.

    Protestant is a general term that refers to Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists and a few others. So the basic differences lie between the Protestants and the Catholics.

    The Catholic church is the original Christian church that was started by Jesus. The Apostle Peter was the first Pope.(Back then they called the position Bishop of Rome.) In the middle ages there was a lot of corruption in the Catholic Church causing a monk named Martin Luther to nail a thesis containing a list of 95 acts of heresy committed by the Catholic church, onto the church door, becoming a Protest-ant. Amazingly Luther was able to escape the wrath of the Bishops and went into hiding for a year with an outstanding order for his arrest hanging over his head, where he translated what’s now the Lutheran Bible. So Martin Luther was the first Protestant.

    Ass it now stands:

    Protestants believe that we are saved through faith in Christ alone. Catholics believe in Jesus, but they also trust in Mary as the co-redeemer, assigning her a place nearly equal to God.

    Protestants believe in the authority of the Bible over that of any man. Catholics believe that the Pope has the final authority that dictates the word of God.

    Catholics believe that babies must be baptized to go to heaven. Protestants practice baptism, however they believe you have to be old enough to make your own choice, believing that unbaptized babies will go to heaven.

    Catholics believe they can confess their sins to the priest and be forgiven. Protestants believe they must confess their sins to God alone.

    As far as social issues go, the Protestants and Catholics generally both disagree with abortion and homosexuality, although many of the Protestant churches, such as Episcopal, Presbyterians, many Methodist churches have gone liberal, and no longer hold to those values. The more evangelical churches tend to agree with the Catholics on social issues.

    I hope this helps.

  • elyon says:

    Here is a concise commentary on what episcopal is.
    http://www.britannica.com/bps/search?query=episcopal&source=MWTEXT

    Protestant is a general term that does include baptists and other denominational categories. Use same web site for a look at who they are.

  • ishiesfriend says:

    Protestant is a term to include most Christian groups which are not Catholic or Orthodox. Episcopalians are a Protestant group, as are Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians and many others. The Episcopal church in the US is closely related to the Anglican church of Britain (also known as the Church of England). The Church of England came about during the reign of King Henry VIII. He was a Roman Catholic but, when he divorced a wife he was subject to excommunication by the pope–a pretty big deal in those days. Reacting to that, he formed this new church which tolerates divorce and allows priests to marry but maintains many of the practices of the Roman Catholic church. As English settlers came to this country, they brought their religious practices with them and adapted them to this new land, forming what is now known as the Episcopal Church.

    For more details about your church’s history, see this link:

    http://www.infoplease.com/ce6/society/A0858019.html

  • June smiles says:

    The Episcopal church is a branch, or break off of the Church of England, The Anglican Church. and Yes, they are protestant Christians.

  • Dr. Zoom Zoom 3.0 says:

    The Episcopal Church, sometimes called The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, is the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States.

    The Church was organized shortly after the American Revolution when it was forced to break with the Church of England on penalty of treason as Church of England clergy were required to swear allegiance to the British monarch, and became, in the words of the 1990 report of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Group on the Episcopate, “the first Anglican Province outside the British Isles”. Today it is divided into nine provinces and has dioceses outside the U.S. in Taiwan, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. The Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands encompasses both American and British territory.

    In keeping with Anglican tradition and theology, the Episcopal Church considers itself a via media, or middle way, between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

    The Episcopal Church was active in the Social Gospel movement of the late nineteenth century and since the 1960s and 1970s has played a leading role in the progressive movement and on related political issues. For example, in its resolutions on state issues the Episcopal Church has opposed the death penalty, and supported the civil rights movement and affirmative action. Some of its leaders and priests marched with civil rights demonstrators. Most dioceses ordain openly gay men and women; in some, same-sex unions are celebrated. However, on other issues such as abortion, the church has taken both sides of the debate.

    In most dioceses, women are ordained to the priesthood and episcopate, as well as the diaconate. The current Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first female primate in the Anglican Communion (although the title “Primate” is not used by the Episcopal Church for their presiding bishop).

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