Free Essay

Catholics vs Protestants

In: Religion Topics

Submitted By smitho1984
Words 827
Pages 4
Catholics vs Protestants
Catholicism and Protestantism are two of the largest religions in the world. One rich in tradition and unwaveringness, the other in diversity and innovation. Both have the same basis, but at the same time are vastly different.
Both Catholicism and Protestantism are based on the belief that Jesus Christ, Son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary, died on the cross, rose from the dead, and ascended into heaven where he is now with God the father. They also believe in the holy trinity, that is three persons in one, God the father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit.
` The first, and maybe the most radical, difference between the two religions is the beliefs of the afterlife. Both Protestants and Catholics believe that Jesus died on the cross to enable us to have the chance at eternal life. “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” John 3:16. However, Protestants believe that all one must do is believe in Jesus and you will receive eternal life. Good deeds are not considered meritorious; rather, they are a result of divine grace. This is because, they say, humans are free to do only evil and good acts are inspired by God. Catholics believe that one must also act according to Gods word and his or her good deeds, along with Jesus’ sacrifice, will ensure them eternal life in heaven. Good acts are meritorious because man has freewill to choose good or evil.
A second difference between Catholicism and Protestantism is the structure of the churches. Catholicism is comprised of one holy, Catholic, and apostolic church. Roman Catholicism is considered by most people to be the only Catholic church, but some other churches, such as the Eastern and Russian Orthodox Churches, consider themselves to be Catholic, however, the respective church’s origins and belief systems suggest otherwise. The Roman Catholic Church is headed by the Pope. The church has a set order of leaders, from priests to deacons, bishops and cardinals. On the other hand, the Protestant church is not one church, but many denominations. These denominations have come about from splits within the Protestant church, and have resulted in tens of thousands of separate denominations that are still considered Protestant. The church has no one leader. Instead, each individual church has its own pastor, and the congregation under the guidance of the pastor makes the decisions within the church. In the Catholic Church, the church’s archdiocese makes the decisions.
Another difference between the two faiths is the beliefs they have. Catholics look to both the Bible and to tradition, tradition such as a Pope, sets of rules and guidelines handed down through the ages. Protestants believe in the Bible alone, as the basis of their beliefs.
In Catholicism, the Bible contains the Apocrypha, a set of books that were added by the Church after the completion of the Scriptures because it believed that they would help better guide members of the Church to leading a holy life. Protestants renounce the Apocrypha because they believe it was not divinely inspired, and therefore does not have a place in Bible.
A major difference between Catholicism and Protestantism concerns Saints and Mary, mother of Jesus. Many people mistakenly think that Catholics worship Saints and the Mother Mary the same way they worship Jesus. This is simply not true. Catholics ask the Saints in heaven as well as the Virgin Mary to pray to God for them, to negotiate on their behalf. Catholics also believe that Mary, mother of Jesus, is higher up than any other saint in heaven and is also a virgin. In contrast, Protestants do not believe in having saints, but that only God and Jesus should be asked for help. They also believe that Mary was not a forever-virgin, but only a virgin before the birth of Jesus.
Conversion means the change of the substance of bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Catholics believe in conversion; Protestants believe that the change from bread to body is only figurative and not literal.
The priesthood is a major difference between the Catholic and Protestant religions. Protestantism teaches that the faithful are a “priesthood of believers”, and therefore each congregation is led by a pastor, or spiritual guide to the people. In Catholicism, priests are selected members of the faith who must go through eight or more years of schooling and dedicate their lives solely to God.
In conclusion, Protestantism and Catholicism are based around the same, monotheistic beliefs. They both worship Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and worship him fully and truly. However, since the split in the Church and the creation of the two religions, both faiths have been fighting over their differences and ignoring their similarities. We must learn to put aside these differences and worship together, as one.…...

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Protestant/Cathloic

...Block Compare Protestant and Catholic Churches During the first half of the seventeenth century, Roman Catholic and Protestant churches differed in appearance in their interiors. The interiors reflected the fluctuating theologies and religious practices of both religions by their decorativeness, style and architecture. While the Catholic Churches ornamented entire buildings with statues of saints, paintings, and elaborate designs, the Protestant churches contained no decorations, and exhibited an extremely plain style. The catholic churches décor consisted of many intricate details that can be compared to the complexity of the religion itself. Details carved into the wall to create busy patterns that told stories of the statues of saints positioned around them. This intricacy reflected the catholic belief that in order to be saved one had to do more than have faith, which included several meticulous rituals and sacraments. The protestant churches contained no decorations and strictly provided a building to worship. This also reflected Protestant ideas because they believed in a more simple form of religion. Protestant simplicity could be found in their salvation by faith alone, their religious authority in God, and their structure of their beliefs and church. In addition, the style of both buildings differed and symbolized their religious backgrounds. Just as the décor resembled the ideas of both churches, the fashion of each building did as well. Catholic......

Words: 497 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Protestant Problems

...Protestant Problems When it comes to the Protestant faith, it is extremely hard for me to understand their faith and what they believe in. I was born into a Catholic family and was baptized and confirmed, but I am not practicing at all. I actually did not even believe in the Catholic faith when I was confirmed, which I know was bad at the time but I continued with the sacrament for my family. Although I do not practice any faith, I associate myself with the Catholic Church because I believe it is easier that way and it keeps my family happy. What is really weird is that when I learn about other faiths that do not have the same thoughts or beliefs as the Catholic faith, I become very angry at that faith. I do not understand why I become angry at other religions besides Catholicism when I do not even believe in the Catholic faith. My boyfriend’s family is Lutheran and they are extremely religious. We sometimes have talks about our different faith backgrounds but when we do talk about it, I immediately put up a wall and do not even care what they say. There are a ton of things about the Lutheran faith that I do not like believe in or like. The first, and most important, problem I have with the Lutheran faith is that they believe in scripture alone. I strongly believe that traditions are necessary for any religion because I believe they lay the foundation for a religion. Without tradition, nothing would be passed down from generations that symbolize that faith. I......

Words: 771 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Catholic Religion

...The Roman Catholic Religion * HUM/130 March 17, 2011 * The Roman Catholic Religion As a child, I remember going to Mass every Sunday like clockwork. For the first nine years of my life we followed the Catholic religion, at least that was the way it seemed to me. Seeing my parents standing in line and waiting to receive the body and blood of Christ, listening to the sermon and signing my brothers and I up for communion classes, doing all the things Catholics do in order to make sure they stay within the track the lord wants us on. Sometime around my tenth birth we made the change as a family to become protestant, and until today we are Protestants. In recent years, I asked my mother why we made the change from one religion to another and she told me the reason why was that at some point her and my father stopped believing in some of the rituals that the Catholic Church practice. I agreed with her and with all the reasons she and my father had and why they decided to make the switch, but today I honestly don’t believe on the traditions and rituals that Catholics observe but I find they are interesting and very intriguing. However, while the Catholic doctrine and traditions are very structured, why are there so many inconsistencies? And why is the Roman Catholic Church often in the news? I visited the local Roman Catholic Church in Tracy, California; St. Bernard’s Catholic Church. It is a beautiful facility, from the outside; the building looks like an old......

Words: 1117 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Catholic Church

...Roman Catholicism, Christian church that has been the decisive spiritual force in the history of Western civilization. Along with Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism, it is one of the three major branches of Christianity. The Roman Catholic Church traces its history to Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Over the course of centuries it developed a highly sophisticated theology and an elaborate organizational structure headed by the papacy, the oldest continuing absolute monarchy in the world. The number of Roman Catholics in the world (nearly 1.1 billion) is greater than that of nearly all other religious traditions. There are more Roman Catholics than all other Christians combined and more Roman Catholics than all Buddhists or Hindus. Although there are more Muslims than Roman Catholics, the number of Roman Catholics is greater than that of the individual traditions of Shīʿite and Sunni Islam. These incontestable statistical and historical facts suggest that some understanding of Roman Catholicism—its history, its institutional structure, its beliefs and practices, and its place in the world—is an indispensable component of cultural literacy, regardless of how one may individually answer the ultimate questions of life and death and faith. Without a grasp of what Roman Catholicism is, it is difficult to make historical sense of the Middle Ages, intellectual sense of the works of Thomas Aquinas, literary sense of The Divine Comedy of Dante, artistic sense of the Gothic......

Words: 1257 - Pages: 6

Free Essay

How Important Was the Part Played by the Catholic Rulers of Europe in the Struggle Against Protestant in the Years to 1600

...How important was the part played by the Catholic rulers of Europe in the struggle against Protestant in the years to 1600? It is not unreasonable to state that the Catholic rulers of Europe played an important part in the struggle against Protestantism as rulers like Philip II of Spain can be seen to be fighting against Protestantism very strongly, with events taking place such as the Spanish Armada in 1588. However, whether the most important part in the struggle against Protestantism was played by Catholic rulers is still to be determined as orders such as the Jesuits also contributed. On the one hand, it can be argued that Philip II played a pivotal role in combating Protestantism due to his strong belief in Catholicism. He saw himself as the ‘protector’ of Protestantism and went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that he did this well. This can be seen in his full support of the Spanish Inquisition of 1588. Although his motives for the inquisition may not have been entirely for the good of Catholicism, it is clear that Philip felt that Spain benefited from this and that Catholicism was important to Spain. Philip also ordered the Spanish bishops at the Council of Trent to refuse the Protestants of any accommodation whatsoever which gives an impression of his attitude towards protestants. In this way, Philip II did play an important part in the struggle against Protestantism as through his efforts, Spain remained very Catholic. To add to this, Henry of Navarre of......

Words: 580 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Protestant Reformation

...PAPER 1 (PROTESTANT REFORMATION) DOUGLAS HOLLOWAY STUDENT ID# 23766838 CHHI 302_DO5_201340 FALL 2013 DR. KEITH GOAD LIBERTY UNIVERSITY NOVEMBER 05, 2013 As a result of increased corruption in the Catholic Church, a significant number of priests in the 16th century tried to transform Christianity back to its previous Biblical basis and simplicity. Initially, priests channeled much of their efforts in reforming the church, but they discovered that it was very challenging, and the only viable solution was to split completely from the Catholic Church. There were four movements as a result of the reformation events. They include the Anglicans, Lutherans, Reformed Tradition (Calvin), and the Anabaptists. Key figures in the Protestants or protesters included John Knox, John Calvin, Zwingli, and Martin Luther. More doctrinal distinctions became obvious, and the previously integrated Christianity split into numerous warring groups. Between the 16th and 17th centuries, thousands of individuals were murdered as a result of Christian religion. In the current world, Protestants and Catholics in the spirit of ecumenism regard themselves as “brothers in Christ”. Martin Luther was in charge of Lutheranism and Anglicanism, Ulrich Zwingli for Reformed Churches, and Anabaptist and John Calvin broke with the beliefs of the Lutherans. The prominent figures in the reformed movement are discussed in details in this paper. Martin Luther (1843-1546) Martin Luther, a German......

Words: 1698 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Protestant and Catholic Reformation

...Protestant & Catholic Reformation On October 31st 1517, Martin Luther started the beginning of the Protestant Revolution by posting his 95 theses at Wittenberg’s castle. These 95 theses argued on the power and efficacy of indulgences and explained the fundamentals of justification by faith. Thus opened the eyes of the people who had begun to question centuries of Catholic beliefs. Luther and his supporters believed that the Church had been corrupted by power and wealth and therefore it needed to change for the better, however, the Church held strong to their own beliefs. With the constant attacks from the Protestants they fought back in what is known as the Counter-Reformation, also known as the Catholic Reformation. The goal of both reformations was to change the same basic cores of the Church that had been lost. The Protestant Revolution depicts the church as ruled in a totalitarian and authoritarian way by corrupt popes. They viewed the selling of indulgences, which had been initially given to people who went on the crusades, as a commercial exploitation to raise funds for non-religious purposes. The Catholic Church on the other hand, viewed this practice as a way of salvation for the community of Christian believers. Most of the funds raised by the selling of indulgences were used to build St. Peter’s Church. Luther’s followers and other Protestants believed that this was not a religious cause but a way to please the pope’s desire to show his superiority. Luther’s......

Words: 580 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Protestant Reformation

...Social and Political Consequences of the Protestant Reformation The Catholic Church had become increasingly corrupt due to the selling of indulgences, clerical ignorance, pluralism and absenteeism. In desperate need of improvement and restructuring, a man named Martin Luther began a religious reformation. Luther was opposed to the selling of indulgences, believed the key to salvation was by faith alone and that the scriptures of the bible held all authority. The ideals of Martin Luther, radically different from those of the Roman Catholic Church, created a religious reform disturbing politics throughout Europe and changing society. Numerous political effects occurred because of the Protestant Reformation, which consequently happened because of Luther’s reforms. The area that was affected most by the Reformation was Germany. Luther was favored there and he gained support by appealing to German patriotism and evoking a national pride and feeling that influenced many princes. Luther stated that the only way Reformation could come about was by the princes to abolish papal power. This happened when Charles V excommunicated Luther and the German princes did not enforce the banning of Luther’s teachings. Charles V was also to blame for the disintegration of imperial authority because during his reign, he never took an interest in the constitutional problems of Germany that were left over from the Middle Ages. Germans princes used the religious issues as a way to extend political...

Words: 589 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

The Protestant Reformation

...The Protestant Reformation The Protestant Reformation was the 16th century religious and political revolution that disintegrated the Catholic Church. This reformation would define Europe in the modern era. Martin Luther, John Calvin and Henry VIII contested the Church’s power and its faculty to divide Christian religion. On October 31, 1517 Martin Luther published his “95 Theses” which led to start the Protestant Reformation, in which it stated Luther’s terms of his protest against the Catholic Church. Martin Luther argued that Jesus died on the cross for our salvation; therefore, there was no need for lavish cathedrals and offerings that the Catholic Church was accustomed to. Also, he was opposed to the practice of the church collecting indulgences in order to shorten ones stay in purgatory. These indulgences were said to pave the way to heaven for any sinner. In Martin Luther’s 95 Theses the mentions the following: “Those who believe that, through letters of pardon, they are made sure of their own salvation will be eternally dammed along with their teacher”. After the Church’s unsuccessful rebuttal, they ended up excommunicating Luther in 1521. Luther went on to translating the bible into vernacular German, which up to this point was only in Latin and only available to priests who were they only ones who read and interpreted the bible to the masses. Luther’s translation was not word for word but rather sense for sense, which would help ordinary people, read the......

Words: 725 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Protestants and Catholics in America: Historical Tensions and Efforts Toward Religious Unity

...Samantha Kondrisack Professor Joseph Parot History 364 October 12, 1996 Protestants and Catholics in America: Historical Tensions and Efforts Toward Religious Unity When America was being discovered, many of the people brought their beliefs over from Europe and other countries. People tried to educate the natives and have them convert. People needed to have their belief flourish so it that there would be a chance for their religion to survive. Among several different groups of people and their religions trying to gain the largest following, many ideas and people collided. This collision began many years of protests, fighting and wars. There was much tension toward many religious groups but there was a strong opposition between Protestants and Catholics. Protestants and Catholics view many beliefs in the same light but there are beliefs that separated these two groups. There were beliefs that separated Protestants from each other, but most of them began their beliefs protesting against Catholicism. Protestants were not developed in America. For Protestants,"Europe was the original scene of operations. The opening event was a movement that today goes by the name of Protestant Reformation."(Nuesner, 1994, p37) Catholic groups have their own reformations but for Protestants this was the beginning of their journey. The Reformation began because there were many leaders who did felt, Catholics were operating in immoral ways. Actually, Protestantism was a branch......

Words: 1679 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Philippine Catholic

...Contrast Between Catholic and Baptist Religion - Ask most people today if they have heard of Baptist and Catholic religion and most would say yes. In many ways the two are very similar. For instance, both are based on the Christian faith, belief in the trinity, and that God is the one true God. The two religions agree that Jesus died on the cross and rose again to atone for our sins. They share a 27 book New Testament and insist that salvation comes from Christ alone. On the other hand, while the Baptist and Catholic religions do have similarities, they also have differences, such as their services, communion, and views regarding salvation. The Catholic Religion - The world has more than one billion Catholics and with the ever growing population, it will only get larger in number. To be a Catholic means to have complete faith in God and his divine grace. Having God's divine grace means to obey it and keep it holy as it was created by God and given to his people. The religion itself is based on this and the people take it very seriously. Catholics believe that all people are of good nature but when one commits a sin it not only hurts that one person but the people and the Church.... [tags: Catholicism, What Catholics Believe, informative] 1922 words (5.5 pages) $14.95 [preview] Catholic religion - CATHOLIC RELIGION To belong to the church one must accept as factually true the gospel of Jesus as handed down in tradition and as interpreted by the bishops in union with the......

Words: 9141 - Pages: 37

Premium Essay

Catholic

...CATHOLICS CAN SUPPORT THE RH BILL IN GOOD CONSCIENCE (Position paper on the Reproductive Health Bill by individual faculty* of the Ateneo de Manila University) (Note: The opinions expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of other faculty. Neither do they represent the official position of the Ateneo de Manila University nor the Society of Jesus.) We, individual faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University, call for the immediate passage of House Bill 5043 on “Reproductive Health and Population Development” (hereafter RH Bill) in Congress. After examining it in the light of Philippine social realities, and informed by our Christian faith, we have reached the conclusion that our country urgently needs a comprehensive and integrated policy on reproductive health and population development, as provided by the RH Bill. We also believe that the provisions of the bill adhere to core principles of Catholic social teaching: the sanctity of human life, the dignity of the human person, the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable, integral human development, human rights, and the primacy of conscience. Catholic social theology since Vatican II has evolved, on the one hand, from the emphasis on order, social cohesiveness, the acceptance of some inequality, and obedience to authorityto the recognition, on the other, of the centrality of the human person, and the concomitant need for human freedom, equality, and participation......

Words: 7626 - Pages: 31

Free Essay

Catholic Faith

...better understand the beliefs and teachings of The Catholic Church, I thought that it would be prudent to not only research the topic, but also to speak with a member of the Catholic faith. That being said, I began my research by educating myself on the particulars of the Catholic faith before speaking with Josefina (Josie) Ramirez. Josie, a 53 year old native of Lake Jackson, Texas, was raised Catholic, is quite devout, and takes all of the teachings of and dictates of the Catholic Church to heart. When asked what differentiates the Catholic Church from the Protestant version of Christianity, Josie indicated that one area was how Catholics regard religious authority. “[Protestants] seem to turn only to the Bible for religious instruction. It seems to me that they listen to their ministers, but stick to their own opinions if they disagree with anything. Catholics, on the other hand, believe that the traditions of 2000 years of study, prayer, and revelation are not something to be disregarded. Nothing in Catholicism contradicts the Bible, but we have the advantage of all those centuries of thought and guidance to help explain the mysteries of Christianity and how to lead a better life.” Most scholarly Catholic websites seem to justify Josie’s perception, by suggesting that while “Christ is [Catholicism’s] primary authority; this authority has been passed from Christ to His Apostles” (Basic Catholic). While the Catholic Church recognizes the authority of the Bible,......

Words: 2172 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Jews vs Catholics

...Fisher 1 Activity 3: Sacred Texts- Assignment #2 (Journal) Dear Journal, Before I began to learn about Jews, I believed that Jews and Catholics were very similar since we believe in the same God. What I have learned has influenced my concept of a Jew because it has taught me to be more aware of our religious differences, rather than clump us all in one while we do have different beliefs. Jewish people often see Jesus as only a good teacher, and not the son of God. The cardinal, speaking as a representative of the Vatican, encourages not just tolerance, but learning from Jews because Jewish people believe in making meaning out of life, performing good deeds as a requirement, as well as the “The Golden Rule” which was originally of Jewish origin. Jews have so much to teach us. This course has encouraged me to learn more about multiple different religions, including Judhaism. Often, throughout the units we are learning, I look up the religion and do my own research on it so that I could have a stronger understanding of different beliefs because I started to realize how uneducated I was in terms of other religions. I remember when I was 8 years old and I had first found out that there were other religions. I suddenly felt so lost, I put all my faith into my own God but then I came to the realization people all around the world are doing the same thing with their own beliefs. I began to question my faith because I wondered what made the God I believe in any......

Words: 325 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Catholic vs Christians

... CATHOLICISM vs. CHRISTIANITY HUM/130 SEPTEMBER 15 2011 CATHOLICISM vs. CHRISTIANITY Introduction Christianity is a practiced religion following the teachings of Jesus Christ, which started around 1 AD, and grew stronger after 3 AD when Jesus Christ was crucified on the cross by the Pharisees, Jewish religious leaders, and the Roman government for what the Jewish leaders said was blasphemy of the Jewish belief that Christ Jesus was calling himself the Son of God. The strength of this religion goes by what Jesus Christ said he would do when he was put to death. He proclaimed that after three days he would rise from his tomb, and on the third day he did just that according to scriptures in the New Testament. Before Jesus was born, the Judea or Jewish laws as described in the Torah were the only religion that offered forgiveness of ones sins from God by sacrifice of a lamb, goat, sheep, or wing animal depending on your sin, that is what you had to buy for the Pharisee to offer to God as your sacrifice. Along came Jesus to offer another way for forgiveness of sin by offering himself as the sacrifice. He was also accused of teaching Gods law to all Gentile and Jew, when the Jews thought they were the only ones worthy of God’s laws and forgiveness. Catholicism was born from Christianity. Having the same structured beliefs Catholicism separates its beliefs by adding other religious figures into its religion. Mary mother of Jesus is hailed as a holy person because she was chosen as...

Words: 2364 - Pages: 10