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How Catholicism Differs From Protestantism Essay

1379 words - 6 pages

Worldwide, the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church both fall under the three largest groups of Christianity, along with the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Catholic Church and the Protestant Church have a lot in common such as that they are both mono-theistic, they both believe that Jesus is the son of God, that he was born of the Virgin Mary, that he died for our sins, that he ascended into heaven, that he rose from the dead, and that there will be a second coming of Jesus. Some other things they have in common are that both Catholics and Protestants worship in churches, chapels, or cathedrals via prayer, praise, song, and/or reading of the scriptures. The two churches both follow the word of the bible as well as the Ten Commandments, they both believe that human souls are eternal, and they both teach that those who are believers and take the time to exemplify their faith will go to Heaven whereas those who are non-believers will go to Hell. It makes sense that these two churches share many of the same beliefs and follow many of the same things considering that Protestants were originally members of the Catholic Church up until about 500 years ago when they broke off into their own church in an attempt to return to the church’s origin. However, even with all their similarities they have some differences as well.
The first difference, and what may be considered the biggest difference between the Catholic and Protestant Church, is their views on the authority of the Pope. The Catholics have a Pope, the current Pope being Pope Francis, who lives in Vatican City in Rome and is a member of high importance to the Catholic Church. He is viewed as the head of the church and is believed to be the “Vicar of Christ” which is basically a stand-in for Jesus (Hamilton). Protestants do not have a Pope or anyone with the kind of authority that the Pope has because they feel quite differently about it than the Catholics. The Protestants believe that Jesus is so mighty and powerful that no human being could ever even compare to him or begin to take his place, so no man should have the authority that the Pope does.
Another difference among the two churches is their views on worship toward saints. As defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a saint is “a person who is officially recognized, [canonized], by the Christian church as being very holy because of the way he or she lived.” The Catholic religion not only accepts the praying to and worshipping of these saints, but encourage and promote is as a big part of the religion. There are over 10,000 different saints recognized by Catholics today. Some of these Catholic saints even fall under the category of being a patron saint, which are “saints […] associated with certain life situations. [They] intercede to God for [the Catholic people]. [The Catholic people] can take [their] special needs to [the patron saints] and know they will listen to [their] prayers, and pray to God with [them]” (“Roman Catholic...

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