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The 8 differences between Christian and Catholic

The 8 differences between Christian and Catholic

June 2, 2022

Faith, whether we speak religious faith or not, is one of the most powerful forces because it facilitates having and maintaining hope in a better world. One of the best known types of faith is the religious , being a type of faith that aims to give an explanation to the world and to configure a framework, values ​​and / or main rules of action for those who ascribe to it.

Throughout history and even today there have existed and there is a great variety of religious confessions, although currently the monotheistic ones tend to predominate.

Among them, the most widespread throughout the world is Christianity, especially with regard to Catholic doctrine. With regard to this last point, sometimes some people have identified Christianity and Catholicism as synonyms.


However, the truth is that although both terms are related do not overlap completely, there are some differences between Catholicism and other types of Christianity. That is why throughout this article let's see the differences between Christian and Catholic .

  • Related article: "Types of religion (and their differences of beliefs and ideas)"

Main differences between Christian and Catholic

To be a Christian and to be a Catholic is as we have said something that may or may not go hand in hand, since all Christians are not necessarily Catholic. Next we are going to show some of the main differences.

1. Specificity

One of the possible differences is the level of specificity that both terms have. And although Catholicism is part of Christianity, in addition to it there are other types of Christianity: Protestants or Anglicans, for example, are other known branches of the same Christian religion. A) Yes, While all Catholics are Christians, not all Christians are Catholics .


2. The interpretation of the Bible

One of the main differences between Catholicism and other branches of Christianity has to do with the kind of interpretation that is made of the sacred book of Christianity, the Bible.

Catholicism offers a canonical and official view of the events narrated in the Bible, indicating a concrete position and interpretation of this that the believer must believe. But nevertheless, other branches consider that the vision of Catholicism greatly limits the role of the believer , inviting a more free and open interpretation of the sacred text.

3. The Virgin Mary

All Christianity has immense respect for the figure of the Virgin, but its role in faith can vary greatly. Catholicism sees it as a sacred entity , which by itself is the object of veneration and prayer and is imbued with a halo of divinity, as well as considered an intercessor between humanity and God.


However, other branches of Christianity, in spite of respecting and venerating her, only contemplate her as the mother of Christ, not praying to her or to other intercessors but directly to God.

  • Perhaps you will be uninvited: "Can you be a psychologist and believe in God?"

4. The role of the saints

The idea of ​​holiness is something especially relevant to Catholicism, being the saints those people who, due to their ethical faculties, are considered to have reached a very high level of communion with God. Until recently it was considered that the saints interceded between humanity and divinity, being protective beings and guides.

It is not uncommon for some prayers to be addressed to them and for relics to be kept which are venerated. However, other branches of Christianity only see them as possible examples, but consider their veneration and worship towards them something usually unnecessary.

5. The Church and its leader

Another difference between Catholics and other types of Christians can be found in the role that the Church has and the consideration regarding the authority of this and its leader.

In the case of Catholicism the Pope is the highest leader of the Church , which is the institution that considers itself the heir of the word of Christ, being its maximum representative the heir of San Pedro. Other branches of Christianity such as Protestantism or the Anglican Church do not recognize this authority (in the latter case being the king or queen the highest ecclesiastical authority).

6. The sacraments

One more difference we find in the valuation given to the sacraments . While Catholicism contemplates the need to celebrate seven (baptism, communion or eucharist, confirmation, priestly order, marriage and anointing), other branches of Christianity do not consider them necessary.

7. Ecclesiastical celibacy

One difference that is fundamentally applied to those who are dedicated to the priesthood is the consideration of the need for celibacy or the impossibility of marrying or having children.

This custom is proper to the Catholic priesthood , derived from a medieval prohibition that claimed that ecclesiastical property could not be inherited from father to son. Other branches like the Protestant, however, allow their priests to marry and have children.

8. Heaven, hell and purgatory

Another difference between Catholicism and other Christian beliefs is the conception of the existence of purgatory. In general, most branches of Christianity accept the idea of ​​a beyond in the form of heaven for good people and hell for the evil ones. But nevertheless in the case of Catholicism we also find the existence of purgatory , a beyond in which the believer will suffer to purge his sins until he achieves it, at which time he will be able to ascend.

In fact, there are also branches like those of Jehovah's Witnesses who consider that there is no life beyond death, simply the resurrection.

Bibliographic references:

  • Chevalier, J., Gheerbrant, A. (2009). Dictionary of Symbols, 2nd. edition. Barcelona: Herder.
  • Chidester, D. (2000). Christianity: A Global History. HarperOne
  • Kimbrough, S. T. ed. (2005). Orthodox and Wesleyan Scriptural understanding and practice. St. Vladimir's Seminary Press.

Why Be Catholic and Not Just Christian? (June 2022).


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