What are the main differences between Catholic and Protestant religions ?

(83 Posts)
Mrsgrumble Sat 19-Jul-14 18:56:35

I Know transfiguration and our lady there doesn't seem many differences. Holy Communion is one, blessing yourself.

I would like to read a bit more about it.

Tommy Sat 19-Jul-14 19:01:00

they are 2 very broad churches so it would depend on which bits you meant really!!
English "protestantism" (although that word not usually used) being the CofE is very similar to Roman Catholicism and some Anglicans call themselves catholics and believe the same stuiff but don't accept papal authority.
Scottish and Irish other European protestantism have more differences with RC

Jux Sat 19-Jul-14 19:13:03

Transubstantiation.
The Virgin birth.
The infallibility of the Pope.

If you don't believe in all 3 of those, you're not RC.

Tommy Sat 19-Jul-14 19:14:05

well, you still might be, Jux - maybe just trying to understand them so as to believe them?

scarletforya Sat 19-Jul-14 19:16:14

The immaculate conception is the main one.

stargirl1701 Sat 19-Jul-14 19:18:33

Church of England and Church of Scotland are very different. I would say CoE is closer to RC.

Mrsgrumble Sat 19-Jul-14 19:59:30

Local church has communion once a month but I thought that was only in the RC church?

Mrsgrumble Sat 19-Jul-14 20:00:25

Meant to say thank you. I didn't know there were differences in Church of Irelmad, Scotland, England?

Communion is a Christian sacrament not just a RC one.

PigletJohn Sat 19-Jul-14 20:19:53

I'm told that the Protestant religions tend to base their beliefs on what they find in the bible; all else is just commentary and opinion.

Whereas Catholics have to also believe the traditions and doctrines of the Catholic church.

Igggi Sat 19-Jul-14 20:24:53

Church buildings are different - generally Protestant churches are "plainer", RC ones have more statues.

Igggi Sat 19-Jul-14 20:26:02

Church of England and Church of Ireland are both Episcopalian churches. Church of Scotland is a Presbyterian church.

pippiLS Sat 19-Jul-14 20:33:01

Saints and priests etc are not considered intercessors in the Protestant Church.

Maryz Sat 19-Jul-14 20:33:54

Technically they are all Catholics, you are asking presumably the difference between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

The differences in belief are mainly trans-substantiation and immaculate conception, which, contrary to popular belief isn't the Immaculate conception of Jesus but rather the immaculate conception of Mary.

The main differences are in practice. Holy days, compulsory mass-going, praying to saints, blessings, celibate priests, following the pope, that type of thing.

Maryz Sat 19-Jul-14 20:36:05

"Furthermore the Roman Catholic Church teaches that belief in the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and in her Corporal assumption, are necessary for salvation. These beliefs had for a long time been widespread in Catholic Christendom, but were regarded with varying degrees of certainty. However, within the last hundred and fifty years, the Roman catholic Church has pronounced them to be necessary for salvation."

from this site explains it well.

frames Sat 19-Jul-14 20:41:16

RC get up earlier on Sundays for church, and go during the week. Cof E, its perfectly acceptable to turn up at the odd service 9lessons and carols...is a good one, weddings, funerals, and christenings. Both have flower rotas

Igggi Sat 19-Jul-14 22:03:47

Frames - eh? I don't belong to either of those groups, but it still sounds a bit offensive!

PigletJohn Sat 19-Jul-14 22:05:46

If the bible does not specify the immaculate conception of Mary, then non RCs may consider it to be an invented myth, and contrary to biblical teaching, therefore wrong; whereas RCs may consider it to be an essential part of the faith.

There is not much room for compromise or agreement.

Anone Sat 19-Jul-14 22:16:57

I see what Frames is getting at though.

Cof E is a much broader church. There are Anglo-Catholics on one side (pongs and gongs, smells and bells) but Archbishop of Canterbury is Head of the Church and low Anglican at the other end.

It's seems to be a lot less doctrinal and much more acceptable to be a cultural Christian. There are Protestants who believe the bible is literal truth and others who believe it is metaphor/allegory. I like the fact that you can find a church and a tradition that fits in with your own beliefs. I find the protestant church quite accepting of those from other traditions ( my local vicar would invite all attending to receive a blessing regardless of faith or background).

Igggi Sat 19-Jul-14 22:20:28

Lots of cultural Catholics too.

frames Sat 19-Jul-14 22:27:30

I don't know many church flower arrangers who would be of ended by me pointing out that it is one thing that both Anglicans and RC have in common, and have a rota for doing so. It is acceptable as anone articulates better than me, to most people in Cof E to not worship at every service offered, and there are services aimed at people who like to worship in different ways. Its an observation that RC churchgoer's seem to start earlier. This is MN. As I have posted before, there are people on here who fail to recognise lightheadedness, and are offended by discoloured laundry. Most worshippers of all denomination I know are able to celebrate the differences in our churches with a little humour.

Igggi Sat 19-Jul-14 22:30:37

Sorry Frames, hadn't spotted the humour tbh. The impression seemed to be that Catholics attend church regularly, but CofE folk just go a few times a year. As I said, I'm not either so not personally offended by your post or laundry etc. I just don't think you're right.

Tuo Sun 20-Jul-14 00:54:58

The question is a lot more complicated than most posters here have suggested, though I don't have the time (or the knowledge, tbh) to explore it in depth right now, sorry.

This site has (under 'Subdivisions') a list of different Christian denominations which might be helpful.

Most importantly, 'Protestant' is not synonymous with 'Church of England'. The CofE is 'catholic' (but not Roman Catholic, as Mary says) but also reformed. Simplistically, then, it sits somewhere between the (Roman) Catholic church and the Protestant (Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian) churches.

Protestant churches may be more likely to believe in the authority - and literal truth - of the Bible ('sola scriptura'), whereas Anglicans (and some others) are more likely to have a more flexible approach. Anglicanism tends to allow for a wide range of beliefs: some believe in transubstantiation, some don't; some don't hold with women priests, others enthusiastically embrace the idea of women bishops; some Anglican churches have Holy Communion every week (sometimes more often than that), others only once a month or so; some are very formal, some the opposite; some Anglicans cross themselves and bow/genuflect in the same way that Catholics do, others don't (often within the same church/service).

Frames is right to say that, in some ways, there is a greater obligation on Catholics than on others to attend church, in that Catholics are supposed to attend mass every Sunday, as well as on certain 'Holy Days of Obligation'. But this is not followed to the letter by all Catholics, any more than it's fair to assume that all Protestants and/or Anglicans only show up once in a blue moon... Can't comment on times of service, except to say that in my experience many/most Anglican churches have an early service (maybe spoken, maybe Holy Communion in those places where it's not offered weekly at the 'main' service) and a later one which may involve more music (whether organ and choir or worship band) and which may well be better-attended. Slightly dodgy weak coffee appears to reach across all denominations wink.

I hope you find some good resources to find out more, OP.

gointothewoods Sun 20-Jul-14 01:06:54

According to a Protestant woman that I met last week, Roman Catholics are not allowed to use condoms and pain relief during birth is frowned upon. I think she may have been very drunk.

In the West, the Catholic Church was the majority Christian religion from the eleventh to the early sixteenth century. Its tenets varied a little from place to place, but by and large, people were expected to know/believe:

- what the Trinity was
- what the basic prayers (Lord's Prayer, Creed, Ave Maria) were
- to confess regularly in preparation for mass
- to know they should attend Mass regularly
- that, during mass, the bread and wine literally became the body and bloody of Christ
- to know the seven sins, the sacraments, the mercies and commandments

In the first half of the sixteenth century, there were basically two schools of Protestants. People like Martin Luther believed that the Catholic Church's emphasis on traditional learning and rules built up over time by holy people was too dominant. He insisted thaat people were saved by their faith andby God's mercy, not by the prayers of saints or by good works. His views are very strongly based in the New Testament.

The other Protestant school was Calvinism, which strongly denied the Catholic idea that the bread and wine of the mass became the body and blood of Christ.

There were also many people who wanted to change Catholicism from within - as there had been right from the start. Some of these wanted the Bible to be much more accessible to ordinary people, and they had this in common with the early Protestant reformers.

This is a really simplistic, basic summary, btw!

Anyway, in England, the Catholic Church ceased to be the state religion after the reign of Mary I, and Elizabeth brought in the C of E. There is some disagreement whether this is truly a 'Protestant' religion, as this denomination claims to go back to pre-Catholic roots of Christianity (so do many others, of course). This denomination is a very Protestant-heavy 'compromise' between Catholicism and Protestantism as it was then understood.

IMO all the roots of difference in England go back to this time period.

These days, Protestants differ hugely in what they believe. I would say what defines Christians is that they believe in the Trinity, but whereas Catholics believe that God is literally there in the bread and wine, C of E people all disagree with each other, and most other Protestant denominations believe the ritual is only symbolic. Catholics and the C of E put a lot of reliance on extra-Biblical material, but some denominations would say you can only rely on what is in the Bible.

Socially, big differences are marriage after divorce, sex before marriage, contraception, abortion, homosexuality and women priests. The Catholic Church is wavering on some of these, having historically considered them unforgiveable sins. The C of E is beginning to waver on some (there are women priests, you can be married after divorce, contraception is fine, others are more up to your vicar). I don't know so much about other denominations, but the Quakers are eager for women priests and gay marriage, while some Baptist Churches are very down on all of it.

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