Catholic vs Protestant - Christianity


What are the differences between Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox Christians?

Below are major differences in the central doctrine of Christianity in the traditions of Catholics, Protestant and Orthodox Christianity.
W List_of_Christian_denominations

Catholic Protestant Orthodox
1st largest
Greek adjective καθολικός (katholikos) means 'universal'
To 'protest'
Orthodox means 'correct belief' or 'right thinking'
Palestine & Rome; Roman Empire
Palestine & Rome
Roman Empire, Byzantine
Vatican City, Rome, Italy
Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek and Latin language
German origins
Hebrew, Greek and German language
Constantinople (Istanbul)
Greek language - Orthodox church kept to the language of the local community
Martin Luther
Italy, Philippines, Latin America, France, Spain, Mexico, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Armenia, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and USA
North America, Europe

Today, Protestant Christianity has spread across the globe and can be found in every country in the world
Eastern Mediterranean, much of Asia Minor, Russian and Balkans
Catholics believe that the Catholic Church is the original and first Christian Church.

It claims direct historical descent from the church founded by the apostle Peter.

Western Church insists on obedience to the Pope.
Protestants follow the teachings of Jesus as transmitted through the Old and New Testament.

Protestants believe the Catholic Church stemmed from the original Christian Church, but became corrupted over time.
The Eastern Church rejected obedience to the Pope in Rome as the Supreme Head of the Christian Church
1st - 5th century AD
The exact date of the beginning of the Roman Catholic Church is unknown

1517 AD
Protestantism formed from the split with Roman Catholicism during the Reformation in the 16th century. Led by Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others, the reformers broke from the Roman Catholic Church due to abusive ecclesiological structures and theological differences.

This marks the beginning of the Protestant movement based on the date of Martin Luther's first act of dissent: the public posting of his 95 Theses, criticizing Roman Catholic practices and teachings.
1054 AD
In 1054 AD, the first major split from the Christian Church happened when the Eastern half of the Church split from the Western half.
  • Anglican/Episcopal (85M)
  • Pentecostals (50M)
  • Lutheran (50M)
  • Baptist (33M)
  • Jehovah's Witness (15M)
  • Methodist (14M)
  • Seventh Day Adventist (12M)
  • Mormons (12M)
  • Presbyterians (3M)
  • Church of Christ (1M)
  • Evangelical
  • Modernist/Liberal etc.
  • Denominations
  • Church of Greece (Greek)
  • Church of Cyprus (Coptic)
  • Russian Orthodox Church (Russian)
  • Timeline
    325 AD - Council of Nicea
    The first council of the Christian community in which Church leaders formed a creedal statement of belief

    381 AD - First Council of Constantinople
    This council amended and ratified the Nicene Creed

    440-461 AD - Pope Leo I
    Pope Leo claims universal jurisdiction over the worldwide Church, thus initiating the rise of the papacy, a uniquely Roman Catholic structure

    451 AD - The Council of Chalcedon
    Those who did not adhere to the conclusions of the Council separate

    1054 AD - The Great Schism
    The Church had long been divided over theological, cultural, linguistic, and ecclesiological disputes. The separation was formalized in 1054, thus creating the first large-scale division within Christendom

    16th century
    The term "Roman Catholic" is not generally used until the Protestant Reformation, and some historians see the Council of Trent (1545-1563) as a centralizing movement within Catholicism that enhanced the authority of Rome
    1517 AD - Protestantism
    Luther had no intention of starting a new Christian tradition called "Protestantism," but hoped to reform the Catholic Church.

    Protestantism as a movement evolved in the decades following this act as Luther's ideas and theological arguments took root and the Catholic Church resisted and rejected them.
    325 AD - Council of Nicea
    The first council of the Christian community in which Church leaders formed a creedal statement of belief

    380 AD - Edict of Thessalonica
    The Emperor Theodosius I mandates "Catholic" Christianity to be the legal religion of the Empire

    381 AD - First Council of Constantinople
    This council amended and ratified the Nicene Creed

    451 AD - The Council of Chalcedon
    Those who did not adhere to the conclusions of the Council separate

    787 AD - The Second Council of Nicea
    Iconoclasm (the rejection and destruction of icons), this council ratified the veneration and use of icons in worship and in private devotion - a uniquely Orthodox practice

    1054 AD - The Great Schism
    The Church had long been divided over theological, cultural, linguistic, and ecclesiological disputes. The separation was formalized in 1054, thus creating the first large-scale division within Christendom
    God, the Trinity

    Only one God and He has revealed himself as the Trinity.

    Believe in the Trinity of God. Three persons in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is the central mystery of the Christian faith and of Christian life.

    One God and that He has revealed himself as the Trinity.

    Believe in the Trinity of God. Three persons in one God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

    We teach that the one true God. is the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost, three distinct persons, but of one and the same divine essence, equal in power, equal in eternity, equal in majesty, because each person possesses the one divine essence.

    The fundamental truth of the Orthodox Church is the faith revealed in the True God: the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
    God, the Truth
    Mainly found in scripture, as interpreted by the church. It is also found in church tradition, and the valid findings of scientific research.
    God, the Truth
    Most believe it is found only in scripture, as interpreted through the presence of the Holy Spirit within the saved individual, their congregation and denomination. 
    Jesus, Virgin Birth
    Required belief
    Jesus, Virgin Birth
    Nearly universal belief
    Jesus, Virgin Birth
    Nearly universal belief
    Jesus, Savior Jesus, Savior Jesus, Savior
    Jesus, Divinity
    The Son is consubstantial with the Father, which means that, in the Father and with the Father the Son is one and the same God.
    Jesus, Divinity
    Jesus is the complete revelation of God to us, and as such, Jesus, although fully human with us, is also fully God, fully divine.
    Jesus, Divinity
    Jesus was born with two perfect natures, the divine and human, as God-man.
    Jesus, death by Crucifixion Jesus, death by Crucifixion Jesus, death by Crucifixion
    Jesus, Resurrection Jesus, Resurrection Jesus, Resurrection
    Jesus, return of Jesus, return of Jesus, return of
    Adam, the Original Sin
    Sin came into the world, through Adam. Humanity is "guilty" of the sin of Adam and Eve.
    Adam, the Original Sin
    Sin came into the world, through Adam. Modern Protestants do not regard humanity as "evil" in essence.
    Adam, the Original Sin
    Sin came into the world, through Adam. Humanity bears the "consequence" of sin, the chief of which is death.
    Believe in all prophets of the Books from the Holy Bible.
    Believe in all prophets of the Books from the Holy Bible.
    Believe in all prophets of the Books from the Holy Bible.
    Angels are unseen creations of God, created from light. Satan is a fallen angel who rejected God.
    Angels are unseen creations of God, created from light. Satan is a fallen angel who rejected God.
    Angels are unseen creations of God, created from light. Satan is a fallen angel who rejected God.
    Apostolic succession 

    Believe that present-day priest ordinations can all be traced back to the original apostles and thus to Jesus.
    Apostolic succession 

    Concept rejected as historically invalid; it simply didn't happen.
    Emphasis on the continuity of teachings of the apostles, rather than the apostolic line of succession.
    Apostolic succession 

    Ensures continuity of the church.
    Believe that present-day priest ordinations can all be traced back to the original apostles and thus to Jesus.
  • Mary is considered favored among women, and was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus through a virgin birth.

  • Mary is considered holy and may be prayed to as an intercessor to God.

  • Mary had no original sin, remained free of sin throughout her life, is "Mother of God" and the new Eve.

  • The Catholic church in undecided on whether Mary actually experienced physical death.

  • The dogma of the Immaculate Conception states that Mary, was at conception 'preserved immaculate from all stain of original sin'
  • Mary is considered favored among women, and was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus through a virgin birth, but is otherwise simply a human with no other special attributes.

  • The claim that Mary was sinless is rejected. Only Jesus was sinless.

  • Mary's perpetual virginity and intercession are denied.

  • Mary should not be regarded as a mediator between man and God, but she should be honored as "God-bearer" and a model for Christians.
  • Mary is venerated as Theotokos (Greek: 'God-bearer'). Therefore, the son she bore was God in human form.

  • Mary experienced physical death, but immaculate conception is rejected.

  • Orthodox belief is that the guilt of original sin is not transmitted from one generation to the next, thus obviating the need for Mary to be sinless.

  • Mary is first amongst the saints and 'ever-virgin'.
  • Mary, status of
    Mary's status is below Jesus', but above that of the saints. Some regard Mary as co-redemptrix with Jesus; this is not currently taught by the church.
    Mary, status of
    The Virgin Mary plays a relatively minor role. Only trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior saves a person.
    Mary, status of
    Mary is the Mother of God (Theotokos). Orthodox do not "worship" the Virgin Mary. They "venerate" her and show her great honor
    Mary, immaculate conception of

    The Church requires belief that at the time of Mary's conception circa 20 BCE, she was conceived without sin.
    Mary, immaculate conception of

    Mary, immaculate conception of

    Orthodox do not believe in Original Sin, and so do not believe in the immaculate conception.
    Holy Spirit
    The Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son. When the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son, He is not separated from the Father, He is not separated from the Son.
    Holy Spirit
    The Holy Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son.
    Holy Spirit
    The Holy Spirit is seen as present in and as the guide to the Church working through the whole body of the Church, as well as through priests and bishops.
    As evidence for sainthood, it is required at least two verifiable miracles have occured as a result of the intercession of that person. All Christians who believe in Jesus are saints, called to imitate him. Only Jesus may mediate between God and Man. A special group of holy people, who are venerated. They may act as intercessors between God and Man and may be invoked in prayers.
    Saints, importance of
    Saints form a major part of the religion. People can pray to saints and ask them to intercede with God.
    Saints, importance of
    Saints do not form a major part of the religion. One prays to God the Father and/or Jesus, not to saints.
    Saints, importance of
    The saints and angels are an important part of the Orthodox church
    To receive intercession or help, at end of each prayer you must say "but only God's will be done". The only intercessor between God and mankind is Jesus, not Mary, saints or angels. The veneration of the Virgin Mary is accepted.
    Intercession, how
    To God alone. Although you may ask Jesus, Mary, or a saint to intercede on your behalf.
    Intercession, how
    Prayer is addressed to God, not to saints.
    Intercession, how
    Prayer is addressed to God, not to saints.
    The books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures Inspired by God, written by humans. It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any corruption or error of any essential doctrine. God's inspiration is confined to the original languages and utterances, not the many translations

    While the Bible is treasured as a valuable written record of God's revelation, it does not contain wholly that revelation.
    Catholics follow the teachings of Jesus as transmitted in the Old and New Testament, but only as far as the church's interpretations of these
    Protestants share an adherence to the centrality of scripture (both the Hebrew scriptures and the New Testament) as well as a doctrine of salvation through faith in Jesus.
    Orthodox religion holds both Biblical Scripture and church traditions as the source of Christian truth.
    Douay-Rheims or Knox Version
    King James Version
    Septuagint (LXX) or Greek Old Testament
    Bible, content
    The Roman Catholic Church includes in the Old Testament several deuterocanoncial books.

    The church includes the original 73 books in the Bible as specified by the  Councils of Hippo and Carthage late in the 4th century.

    New Testament is identical to those of all Christians.
    Bible, content
    Martin Luther considered certain books contained in the Catholic version of the Bible (based on the Septuagint) to be of lesser value as he used the Hebrew Masoretic Text, which also excluded these books from the canon.

    Therefore the Protestant Old Testament contains 39 books

    Some Anglicans  include all 73 books. Other protestants delete the 7 books of the Apocrypha.

    New Testament is identical to those of all Christians.
    Bible, content
    Septuagint version of the 39 Old Testament books, but also a collection of 7 books not found in the original Hebrew Bible. These are known as Deuterocanonicals ie. a second canon of scripture.

    The Orthodox bible was 52 books in the Bible.

    27 New Testament books is identical to those of all Christians.
    Bible, status of
    Historically teaches that the original writings by Bible authors are inerrant. Although, this is debated.
    Bible, status of
    The original writings of the biblical authors' writings are inerrant. They are the Word of God.
    Bible, status of
    The original writings of the biblical authors' writings are inerrant.
    Sacred Tradition (teachings handed down from Jesus and apostles) are to be considered sources of divine revelation.

    Tradition and scripture are interpreted by the 'magisterium' or teaching authority of the church.
    Scripture alone is the only infallible guide and the final authority on matters of Christian faith and practice.

    This is one of the foundational principles of Protestantism.
    Scripture forms the oral part,
    the writings of saints,
    decisions of ecumenical councils etc.
    Prerogative of the Church, which follows the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.
    The Bible alone. Each person must verify all teachings through the Bible.
    The Catholic and Orthodox are governed by Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium (church).
    Holy days
    Christmas, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Saints' Feast Days.
    Holy days
    Christmas and Easter
    Holy days
    Christmas and Easter
    Statues, venerating
    As means of inspiration only

    Statues and images of Jesus, Mary and of individual saints are commonly found in Catholic sacred spaces. However, believers are expected to venerate the persons represented by the statues, not the statues themselves.
    Statues, venerating
    Not used

    Many consider the mere presence of statues in sacred spaces to be a form of idolatry - a violation of the "graven images" prohibition in the second of the Ten Commandments.
    Statues, venerating
    Orthodox reject the use of images (idols)

    The use of icons is permitted in Orthodox Christianity.
    Church, chapel, cathedral Church, chapel, cathedral Self-governing, independent Churches
    Church, structure
    Church, structure
    Usually democratic, except among some new religious movements.
    Church, structure
    Church, visibility of
    The hierarchy of the Church, including the laity, plus the Church's Spirit, referred to as the "Spotless Bride of Christ." 
    Church, visibility of
    Invisible fellowship of all saved individuals. Only God knows who is saved and thus the exact makeup of the Church.
    Church, visibility of
    The hierarchy of the Church, including the laity.
    Church, worship
    All Catholics are expected to participate in the liturgical life of the Church, but personal prayer and devotions are entirely a matter of personal preference.
    Church, worship
    Regularly study the Bible, pray, and commune with other believers on Sunday (or other day of worship)
    Church, worship
    Regularly study the Bible, pray, and commune with other believers on Sunday (or other day of worship)
    Worship, days
    Sunday. Personal Sacrifice during Lent.
    Worship, days
    Traditionally Sunday, but other days accepted if treated with same level of focus on worship.
    Worship, days
    Worship, type of
    Prayer, Praise, Singing, Scripture Reading, and Adoring Eucharist
    Worship, type of
    Prayer, Praise, Singing, Scripture Reading, and Teaching of the Reading
    Worship, type of
    Prayer, Praise, Singing, Scripture Reading, and Adoring Eucharist
    Worship, and Liturgy
    Worship is centred around the Mass. Following the Vatican II council (1962-5), greater emphasis was placed on worship in the vernacular, though the traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass is also used.
    Worship, and Liturgy
    Different Protestant denominations have to varying degrees maintained or rejected Roman Catholic forms of worship.

    Anglican and Lutheran churches have maintained liturgies and rituals similar to those of the Roman Catholic Church, whereas other denominations, such as Baptists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals, and United Church of Christ, have developed less liturgical forms of worship.
    Worship, and Liturgy
    The 'Divine Liturgy' is the centre of Orthodox spirituality. Worship is usually in the vernacular, though Greek is also used.
    Christian Baptism is the mystery of starting anew, of dying to an old way of life and being born again into a new way of life in Jesus..
    Baptism, significance of
    Sacrament which regenerates and justifies.
    Baptism, significance of
    Most Protestants practice baptism and communion as key rites of Christian initiation and ongoing devotion.

    Testimony of a prior regeneration after trusting Jesus as Lord and savior.
    Baptism, significance of
    "Remission of sins"; the person being baptized is cleansed of all sins; through the waters the baptized is mysteriously crucified and buried with Jesus, and raised with him to newness of life.
    Baptism, timing
    Usually done in infancy; may be done later in life when the person joins the church.
    Baptism, timing
    Usually done later in life after person is "born again"
    Baptism, timing
    Orthodox allow for adult and infant baptisms
    Western Church Western Church Eastern Church
    Many, but special focus on Apostles' Creed and Nicene Creed
    Nicene Creed, Athanasius's Creed, Apostles' Creed, the baptismal symbol
    Nicene Creed is the authoritative expression of the fundamental beliefs of the Orthodox Church.

    Elements of Greek, Middle-Eastern, Russian and Slav culture.
    Predestination to heaven only, and related to God's foreknowledge
    Affirmed, and understood by most denominations as God's decree
    Seeks as middle ground between Pelagianism and Augustinian predestination
    There are fixed seven Sacraments:
    1. Baptism (cleansing a soul of the legacy of Adam and Eve's Original Sin)
    2. Confirmation (reaffirmation of one's Catholic faith)
    3. Eucharist, or Communion, celebrated at Mass, which is the regular worship service
    4. Holy Orders (ordination into the priesthood)
    5. Holy Unction (anointing of the dying)
    6. Marriage (church-sanctioned marriage)
    7. Penance (confession of sins and prayer)
    There are two Sacraments (or Ordinances):
    1. Baptism
    2. Eucharist (often called 'Holy Communion' or the 'Lord's Supper')
    There are seven Sacraments ('Mysteries' in Orthodoxy):
    1. Baptism
    2. Chrismation
    3. Eucharist
    4. Holy Orders
    5. Holy Unction
    6. Marriage (Holy Matrimony)
    7. Penance (Confession)
    It rejects the doctrines of the Western (Roman Catholic) church and instead teaches grace through various sacraments.
    Vested in the hierarchy of the church. Vested in the believer, congregation and denomination according to their interpretation of the meaning of the Bible. Vested in the hierarchy of the church: Bishop, Priest, Deacon and Laity.
    Authority, hierarchy
    Bible, church fathers, popes, bishops; Seven Ecumenial Councils; Trent, Vatican, and other Catholic councils.
    Authority, hierarchy
    We hold the Scriptures, the Old and New Testaments as our final authority 'Sola Scriptura'.

    We accept no humanly devised confession or creed as binding. The Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation.
    Authority, hierarchy
    The Scriptures, both the Old and New Testaments, along with Sacred Apostolic Tradition. Seven Ecumenical Councils.
    Discipline of members
    Pressure from the clergy and laity. In serious cases, errant members can be denied the sacraments or excommunicated.
    Discipline of members
    Pressure from the clergy and laity. Various denomination have formal policies of shunning and excommunication.
    The Pope, followed by Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, and Priests, Monks and Deacons.

    All clergy are required to be male.

    Each church independent, headed by Pastors, Elders, and Deacons.

    Priests and Bishops must be male, but deaconesses are permitted, though the order is dormant.
    Clergy, selection of
    Appointed; all male; almost all unmarried.
    Clergy, selection of
    Elected; mostly male; single or married.
    Clergy, celibacy
    Priests and Bishops must also be celibate.

    Eastern Rite Catholics and Anglican married clergy who subsequently convert to Catholicism are allowed to have married priests.
    Clergy, celibacy
    The majority of Protestants do not require celibacy as a condition of election to the clergy.
    Clergy, celibacy
    Priests and deacons may marry before ordination but not after. Bishops, on the other hand must be celibate.
    Clergy, female
    Women are not allowed to be priests. However, they can become nuns.
    Clergy, female
    Women are not allowed to be part of the clergy, but are permitted to teach or work in other areas.

    Many churches practice female ordination, including those within the Anglican communion, where the issue of female episcopacy is currently being discussed.
    Clergy, female
    Priests and Bishops cannot be female.
    Pope, Authority of

    The Pope in Rome is the spiritual leader of all Roman Catholics. He administers church affairs through bishops and priests.
    Pope, Authority of

    The Pope is the leader of the Catholic church, having no authority to speak for protestants or the church as a whole
    Pope, Authority of
    Pope Infallibility

    The Pope is infallible when, through the Holy Spirit, he defines a doctrine on faith and morals that is to be held by the whole church.

    This is a dogma and is therefore a required belief within Catholicism.
    Pope Infallibility

    Protestants reject Papal infallibility. The only source of infallible teaching is that found in the Bible.
    Pope Infallibility

    Orthodox reject Papal infallibility.
    Original Sin
    Humans are free to devote themselves to knowledge and communion in the image of God.

    Original Sin inherited from Adam is the inherent tendency towards evil. Infants must be baptized.
    Original Sin
    Original Sin inherited from Adam, tendency towards evil, but the sins of the father do not pass through the son, therefore Children are holy until they reach the age where they can know good from evil, their sins are not held against them.
    Original Sin
    Orthodox Church does not believe in original sin .
    Sin, confession of
    To God through priests.

    You cannot go to God or Jesus directly. Confess sins in the Catholic Church or in the Mass.
    Sin, confession of
    To God through Jesus.
    Sin, confession of
    To God though priests and Jesus.
    Sin, forgiveness of
    Achieved through personal repentance to a priest, and in a public communal ritual.
    Sin, forgiveness of
    Normally achieved through prayer to God the Father or Jesus directly without any human intercessor.

    However, some Protestants confess to their pastor or priesthood leader
    Sin, forgiveness of
    In some Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches, confession is done to one's spiritual advisor. However, only an ordained priest may pronounce the absolution.
    Catholics believe that salvation to eternal life is God's will for all people.

    Jesus can save people and can help in salvation. You must believe Jesus was the son of God, receive Baptism, confess your sins and have a relationship with Jesus.
    You must believe Jesus was the son of God and that he has already paid the penalty for your sins to receive this.

    Protestants believe that salvation to eternal life is God's will for all people.

    Various views are held on grace and freewill. God predestines who will be saved and there is no freewill. Also, it is entirely the freewill of man. Most protestants are somewhere in between.
    Salvation is "faith working through love" and should be seen as a life long process.

    Orthodox Christian aim to obtain union with God ('Theosis') This is done through living a holy life and seeking to draw closer to God.
    Salvation, achieving of
    Salvation is obtained through good works along with faith in Jesus. This is necessary to ensure a place in heaven after life on earth.

    Dispensed by God; dependant on faith and church sacraments.
    Salvation, achieving of
    Dispensed by God; dependent only on an individual's repentance and trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior.
    Salvation, achieving of
    The Orthodox Church teaches that the salvation of the human race is achieved by believing in the Son of God, Lord Jesus.
    Salvation, loss of
    It is lost whenever a responsible person knowingly commits a mortal sin. It can be regained through repentance and church sacrament.
    Salvation, loss of
    Usually, once a person is saved, they cannot lose their salvation. Some denominations teach that one can lose salvation.
    Salvation among non-Christians
    It is possible that those outside the Roman Catholic Church can be saved in spite of the errors in their religious beliefs.

    Some religion's beliefs and practices make this unlikely.
    Salvation among non-Christians
    Opinions differ. Most feel that all those who have not been saved are lost and will spend eternity being tortured in Hell.
    Prevenient grace helps one believe; efficacious grace cooperates with the human will to do good
    By his death and Resurrection, Jesus has "opened" heaven to us.

    The offering of sacraments helps to create merit with sinners.
    Through Jesus' atoning sacrifice, we are rendered acceptable to God and judged righteous (justified) in his sight.

    Jesus truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile his Father to us and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men. This provides the perfect redemption and atonement for the sins of the whole world.

    Through Jesus' death and resurrection God triumphed over sin.
    Jesus enlightens the minds of the people, purifies their hearts and frees their wills from the bondage of the devil.

    Jesus became flesh to make reconciliation for the sins of the people
    The Eucharist /ˈjuːkərɪst/ (Holy Communion, Lord's Supper) is a Christian rite that is considered a sacrament in most churches. According to the New Testament, It was instituted by Jesus during his Last Supper. Giving His disciples bread and wine during the Passover meal, Jesus commanded his followers to "do this in memory of Me" while referring to the bread as "My Body" and the wine as "My Blood". Through the Eucharistic celebration, Christians remember Jesus' sacrifice of himself on the cross.
    Eucharist, the Lord's Supper
    A sacrifice. Jesus' body, blood, soul, and divinity are physically present and are consumed by believers.
    Eucharist, the Lord's Supper
    Memorial meal. Jesus' body and blood are present symbolically only.
    Eucharist, the Lord's Supper
    Yes. Eucharist is offered in two parts.
    'Holy sacrifice of the Mass'   'Mystic Supper' or 'Divine Liturgy'
    Eucharist, method of
    The Priest invokes the Holy Spirit during the Mass.

    The gifts change completely into Jesus' body and blood and this change is termed Transubstantiation' ie. the outward appearance remains the same, but the substance changes.

    The bread and wine may be distributed. In some Catholic Churches, the bread alone is given to the congregation, the Priest receives the wine
    Eucharist, method of
    Important as a symbolic remembrance of Jesus' death. The sacrificial nature of the Eucharist is rejected

    The bread and wine, being symbols, do not change substance. They are usually offered to all Christians who feel able to partake of them.

    There are many views held within Protestantism. Some Anglicans accept the Catholic view, whereas Baptists deny it.
    Eucharist, method of
    During the Eucharist, the Priest calls down the Holy Spirit (in Greek: epiklesis) upon the gifts (the bread and wine). These then change into the actual body and blood of Christ.

    The precise way in which this happens is a divine mystery.

    The bread and wine can only be received by members present in the ritual.
    Heaven & Hell
    Purgatory (Soul After Death)
    - Affirmed

    An intermediate state of cleansing (purification) and preparation for heaven.

    Also a state where the punishment due to unremitted venial sins may be expiated.
    Purgatory - Denied
    Purgatory is rejected. It does not exist.

    Jesus' death on the cross is sufficient to remove the penalty for all our sins.

    Purgatory is vainly invented and grounded upon no warrant of Scripture, but repugnant to the Word of God.
    Purgatory - Affirmed
    It is an intermediate state between earth and heaven where cleansing and purification occur in this life, not the next.
    Blessed communion with God and all who are in Jesus and the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness
    Heaven with its eternal glory and the blessedness of Jesus' presence is the final abode of those who choose the salvation which God provides through Jesus.
    For the Orthodox, Heaven is not a place in the sky, it is being with God.
    The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God; the pain, frustration, and emptiness of life without God.
    Hell with its everlasting misery and separation from God is the final abode of those who neglect [God's] great salvation and trust in their own works for salvation.

    A real physical place of unbearable torture which lasts for all eternity with no hope of mercy, relief or cessation.
    The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God; the pain, frustration, and emptiness of life without God.
    Views On
    Abrahamic Religions
    Catholic Christianity is the only true religion. All others are false.
    Abrahamic Religions
    Believing that Jesus died for your sins, and that by believing in him you are saved by faith, not works, is the core principal.

    Any religion confirming this is a true religion; any religion denying it is a false religion.
    Abrahamic Religions
    Christianity is the only true religion. All others are false.
    Attitude towards each other
    The church considers Protestants to be Christians, but possessing only part of the truth.
    Attitude towards each other
    Some Protestants consider Catholics to be non-Christian
    Ecumenical action
    The Church views the fragmentation of Christianity into thousands of faith groups to be a sin.

    They want non-Catholic Christians join the Catholic Church.
    Ecumenical action
    Some view Catholics as non-Christian.

    Thus they are to be treated as other lost souls, on a par with Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Wiccans etc. Others view Catholics as brothers in Christ and engage in  joint projects on social matters.
    Changing of beliefs, practices
    Debate and dialogue is sometimes forbidden particularly on topics of human sexuality.
    Changing of beliefs, practices
    Relatively free discussion allowed, except, in some denominations on matters related to homosexuality.
    Changing of beliefs, practices
    The Orthodox encourage religious dialogue.
    Debate, open to Debate, open to Debate, open to
    Non-Christian religions
    Have some value for the truth that they contain. However, some rituals can inhibit salvation.
    Non-Christian religions
    Some consider them worthless, dangerous, and demon-led.
    Animistic religions
    Animistic religions
    Animistic religions
    Oriental religions
    Oriental religions
    Oriental religions
    Dharmic religions
    Dharmic religions
    Dharmic religions
    Limbo (a place for infants who die before being baptized)
    Concept is not officially taught. Most Catholic theologians have abandoned belief in limbo.
    Limbo (a place for infants who die before being baptized)
    Existence denied.
    Marriage is seen as an unbreakable contract. A holy union of a man and woman.

    Remarriage after divorce is not permitted unless there is some canonical impediment to the marriage. In this situation, an annulment may be granted.
    Marriage is a contract, but is not unbreakable. A holy union of a man and woman.

    Divorce is discouraged, but permitted as evidence of human weakness. Some denominations permit remarriage in church.
    Marriage is a mystical union between a man and a woman.

    Divorce is generally only allowed in cases of adultery, though there are exceptions.
    A homosexual orientation is generally unchosen and thus is not, in itself, sinful. It is a disordered state.

    However, all homosexual behavior is sinful.

    God and the church expect lesbians and gays to remain celibate for life.
    Protestants generally downplay the concept of sexual orientation, and concentrate on homosexual behavior which they consider to be a major sin.

    They differ from gays, lesbians, religious liberals, researchers and therapists by viewing homosexuality as a personal choice, unnatural, abnormal and changeable behavior.
    Orthodox Christians believe the act of homosexuality to be sinful.

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