The worldwide affiliation of Anglican and Episcopal churches. Each national church, although in communion with the archbishop of Canterbury, is independent. The archbishop holds a place of honor among the member churches but does not have authority such as the pope has within Roman Catholicism. The U.S. church is called the Episcopal Church. The Church of England is an established state church. It split from the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century over the authority of the pope. Anglicanism embraces a wide range of belief and practice, from low-church evangelicalism to High Church Anglo-Catholicism. See Episcopal Church.
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