Cathedrals and chapels... Protestant or Catholic?

We spend a lot of time here at CAF debating the differences between Protestant and Catholic and so on… However, there are places where you definitely notice the coexistence between different Christian denominations and one of those places is at the U.S.M.A. at West Point, N.Y.

I recently attended my son‘s graduation and wedding at West Point. He was married at West Point the day after he graduated. So, obviously his services were at the Catholic Chapel. However, I went to every chapel there and they were all awesome.

No matter your denomination, I think that we can all agree on how magnificent older chapels and cathedrals are… This is true too, when you visit New City.

Cathedrals and chapels… Protestant or Catholic?

You thoughts?

the LutheranChurch I grew up in.



The chapel at Belmont Abbey College



Well isn’t it logical Catholic churches existed first,thus cathedrals came first too? Not saying Protestants do not have some beautiful chapels/cathedrals. Either way,makes no difference to me.

Wow… That’s a beautiful chapel Jon, although it looks more like a cathedral.

It is called the Abbey Basilica of Mary help of Christians

St Joseph Adoration Chapel, for something more modern.

Belmont Abbey is a beautiful college, near Charlotte. My daughter almost went there (they didn’t have her major).


A cathedral is the parish in a diocese where the bishop sits, therefore all cathedrals are by definition Catholic.

Is there a special meaning behind “basilica”?


EDIT: Lutherans and Anglicans use the term Cathedral, as well.


Not so. Orthodox have Cathedrals as do Anglicans - and even some Lutherans.

I believe Anglicans and Lutherans claim to have bishops. The Church doesn’t recognize the validity of their ordination however. I can call my home a Cathedral, but that doesn’t mean it is. Without a bishop there is no Cathedral. Without apostolic succession, there is no bishop.

The eastern church is another matter. I am sure they do have cathedrals. But they are also Catholic and have maintained apostolic succession.

St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, Peoria Illinois

In the UK we take a different view, I am pleased to say: when Westminster Cathedral choir sing at St Paul’s Cathedral and when St Paul’s reciprocate (as they each do twice a year ) they refer to the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral, and the same when other Anglican churches visit them. They at least have the civility to recognise the designation that the denominations themselves attach to their buildings, without using it as an opportunity to make unnecessary point-scoring about apostolic succession.

Of course they do. If I visited a Anglican cathedral I would call it that, it would be silly and intentionally ‘point-scoring’ to do anything else. But if you asked me to name all the Cathedrals in the world, I would not think to include the Anglican’s or the Lutheran’s churches, but only those churches with apostolic succession.

Forgive me if I came off the wrong way. He asked if Cathedrals could be protestant. I didn’t think they could be and supported my argument. Sorry, I disagree with you, but I certainly didn’t mean to be ‘point-scoring’.

And I probably shouldn’t say anything about this but… The way you say “In the UK” makes it sound like you think that the UK is somehow superior to the US. Maybe I am just reading into it a bit much, but this kind of language really upsets me. You don’t speak for the entirety of the UK, don’t pretend to. I don’t pretend to speak for the entirety of the U.S., don’t pretend I do. Neither are the people of the UK in anyway superior to the people of the U.S. Stop talking as if they are. please.

Let me just say Congrats to the newly wedded and beauitful couple:thumbsup: Glad they invited God to the service and to be apart of their marriage.:wink: SEMPER FI

Now for me opinion on buildings…

I want a Catholic parish to LOOK Catholic (praying altar rails comeback) but there is also something very Rockwell comfortable about some of the old protestant church buildings.

There are many churches outside of THE Church (One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic) that are quite nice… but they are simply buildings. The churces of the Catholic Church hold the true presence, body, blood, soul, and divinity of Christ within them. Since I came into the Church I’ve noticed that every church building outside of THE Church is just that, a building. I cannot look at them and feel the same way even though I still respect various things about them such as their architecture, stained glass windows, as well as the people who attend services there.

As far as Cathedrals go, a Cathedral is called a Cathedral because it contains a Cathedra (a bishop’s throne). No Cathedra, no Cathedral. No Bishop = no Cathedra = no Cathedral. I’ve come across church buildings that label said building as a cathedral yet they don’t even bishops in their denomination. To some Cathedral = Super Church!!! :rolleyes:


I love the Cathedral in Springfield. Especially since the renovations.

I was there tonight, celebrating Bishop Paprocki’s 2 year anniversary as our Bishop. BTW, I’m not sure how well this is known but Bishop Paprocki came up with the idea for Fortnight for Freedom. He’s an amazing guy (and a pretty decent hockey player as well)!


Here is St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in Seattle, interior and exterior (at the top of the hill).

Wow… That’s pretty awesome… and in Seattle.

St. James, the catholic cathedral in Seattle, is also very beautiful inside but I have a soft spot for St. Mark’s.

They had intended St. Mark’s to be a Victorian neo-gothic structure but due to the Great Depression and later WWII it only got partially built. It is still technically unfinished but they like their Byzantine-ish “Holy Box” the way it is now and have no plans to add to it (though I wish they had built a bell tower).

These two photos I took myself: the first is a late Sunday night after the beautiful compline service. The second is looking straight up on the pipes of the Flentrop organ.

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