Catholic vs protestant

Hello! I wanted to know the difference between the catholic and protestant church. Which one should I join? Please tell me about differences in the lord’s supper or communion, rules maybe, and I’ve also heard that catholics pray to mary, is this true? And why?

Some Christian ecclesial communities do not believe in the Trinity nor that grace makes a real change in the soul nor that the Church is protected from error in matters or morals and dogma, nor that the Pope is the head of the Universal Church, nor in the seven sacraments.

The Catholic Church has twenty-four churches with their own law: the Latin and the twenty-three eastern. Prayers for each are made for each because there is a communion of saints, The Virgin Mary is the foremost.

Catechism of the Catholic Church

96 What Christ entrusted to the apostles, they in turn handed on by their preaching and writing, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to all generations, until Christ returns in glory.

100 The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.

138 The Church accepts and venerates as inspired the 46 books of the Old Testament and the 27 books of the New.

169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through the Church, she is our mother: “We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not in the Church as if she were the author of our salvation.”[55] Because she is our mother, she is also our teacher in the faith.

178 We must believe in no one but God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

182 We believe all “that which is contained in the word of God, written or handed down, and which the Church proposes for belief as divinely revealed” (Paul VI, CPG # 20).

323 Divine providence works also through the actions of creatures. To human beings God grants the ability to co-operate freely with his plans.

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; 620 for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. …

1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an “adopted son” he can henceforth call God “Father,” in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church.

2002 God’s free initiative demands man’s free response , for God has created man in his image by conferring on him, along with freedom, the power to know him and love him. The soul only enters freely into the communion of love. God immediately touches and directly moves the heart of man. He has placed in man a longing for truth and goodness that only he can satisfy. …

2003 Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. There are sacramental graces , gifts proper to the different sacraments.

Well, some Christians are neither, but you’re on a Catholic Forum asking people here, most of whom are Catholic. I’d prefer that everyone be Catholic, and my ultimate goal is to make that a reality, but I can’t make your decisions for you. As for me, I love the feeling of knowing my sins are forgiven in confession, knowing that I have received the physical body and blood of Jesus Christ, knowing that the Gates of Hell will not Prevail against the Church, even with Coronavirus.


You’re in a Catholic forum.

Odds are, you’re only going to get one answer.


@Marymary32, specifically on the question of the Eucharist or Lord’s Supper, you might find this book helpful: Understanding Four Views on the Lord’s Supper, by a team of four authors, one Catholic, one Lutheran, one Reformed, and one Baptist.


You can’t paint Protestantism with a broad brush.


A few thoughts

  1. You have come to a Catholic forum. I would suspect you will hear the Catholic view, and that you are predisposed to it. That’s fine.
  2. there isn’t a “Protestant” church. There are a number of western Christian traditions that are loosely categorized as “Protestant “. If you hear from someone that Protestants believe this or that, it probably is only partially true.
  3. on the sacrament of The Lord’s Supper, there are differing views, even among those who confess the doctrine of the real presence.
    Catholics, Orthodox, Lutherans and Anglicans do.
  4. there is a difference between invocation of the Blessed Virgin and prayers to God. I will let Catholics elaborate, but as a matter of fact, Catholics in no way worship Mary.

Then they aren’t Christian.


Forgive me, but this seems like a bit of an odd question. I’m Catholic. I"m convinced of the truth of the Catholic faith. But the way the question is asked seems more intended to create debate on a Catholic board. The question of faith is one of the most important things you can do. Why leave it up to a board?

If you’re serious, we’d need to know more.

What, if any faith are you now? IF you ware wondering between Protestant and Catholic it suggests you aren’t Christian now. What made you consider Christianity? And how good of an understanding of it do you have?

There are lots of books I could suggest. "why we’re Catholic’ is a great book that lays out the basics of ‘Why Catholicism’. I might start there, then come back to a Catholic forum like this with more specific questions.

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I’d say that is true in terms of belief; but not necessarily in their opposition to the Catholic Church. I have lots of Protestant relatives of different denominations (Methodist, Lutheran, Congregationalist) and while they don’t agree with some things with each other, they are all uniform that the Catholic Church is wrong while giving each other the benefit of the doubt as ‘Bible Christians’.

Hi Mary, I converted from a Protestant faith to the Catholic Church. Most Protestant faiths are Christian as is the Catholic faith. For about 1500 years the Catholic Church was The Christian Church. So all Protestant faiths came out of the Catholic Church.

Yes, Catholic ask Mary for her intercessions. We do not, however, worship Mary or any other saint. We recognize Mary as the mother of our Lord, and give her the dignity she deserves for her role in our faith.

The Eucharist (communion) is the source & summit of our faith. We are able to receive the Eucharist at every Mass if we are in a state of grace. (Right now with the coronavirus everything is turned around, so when things are normal.)

It’s not so much that we have rules, we have doctrine and dogma. We have seven sacraments, Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, Reconciliation, Matrimony, Anointing of the Sick, & Holy Orders. For all of them certain conditions must be met, one of them one only needs to be Catholic.

As I said I converted from a Protestant faith tradition to the Catholic Church. What I found was there is truth in the Protestant churches but the full truth is only in the Catholic Church. All the stuff that felt disjointed when I was a kid, the stuff like how do they get from A to C, where is B? In the Catholic Church, you find the B.

Yes there have been scandals in the Catholic Church, yes there have been bad Popes, yes there have been times when the leaders of the Church have not been very Christian acting. However the Church is the perfect Church founded by Jesus Christ in 33AD but it is ran by imperfect men. Jesus promised the gates of hell would not prevail against his church and in 2000 years, these imperfect men were not able to cause the downfall of the Catholic Church.


If you are serious about examining the difference between Protestants and Catholics, I suggest you will need to do some self-study, beginning with the early Christian Church, through the Protestant Reformation, and up to the situation today across the world and in specific cultures. There are many many books to read, and much information online. Don’t rely on a handful of comments on a Catholic forum to give you a complete picture–we simply can’t do that. Commit yourself to study.


From the Zondervan site:

These and other questions are explored in this thought-provoking book.This new volume in the Counterpoints: Church Life series allows four contributors to make a case for the following views:• Baptist view (memorialism)• Reformed view (spiritual presence)• Lutheran view (consubstantiation)• Roman Catholic view (transubstantiation)

Before one opens the book, the error appears in the description of the book.
The Lutheran view of the real presence is not now and never has been consubstantiation.

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First thing you need to understand is that there is no single Protestant church. There are many different Protestant churches. There are Lutheran churches, Reformed/Presbyterian churches, Anglican churches, Methodist churches, Pentecostal churches and many more. It might be more useful to compare individual Protestant churches to Catholicism. For example, start with comparing Catholics to Lutherans.


As one Christian asking another Christian to pray for them, Catholics prayerfully ask Christians in heaven (the Saints), especially the Virgin Mary, to pray for them. I can think of four reasons why Christians might ask other Christians to pray for them, especially Christians in heaven. Besides (1) following the example of St Paul (and the author of Hebrews) who wrote letters to Christians in distant cities asking them to pray for him (Rom 15:30; 2 Cor 1:11; Phil 1:19; Col 4:3; 1 Thes 5:25; 2 Thes 3:1; Philemon 1:22; Heb 13:18), asking other Christians to pray for you, especially Christians in heaven, is done to (2) build up the mutual love of Christians for one another, build up the whole mystical body of Christ, which includes Christians in heaven, and because (3), generally speaking, the more Christians praying for a particular intention the better (See Matt 18:19) and (4) “the prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects” (James 5:16) and Christians in heaven are now perfectly righteous. (See Heb 12:23)

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Which still leaves the possibilities of considering these Anglicans here, as against those Anglicans over there.

But it’s a start.

This thread is going to turn into another Universal Church thread, where a couple of Protestant and Catholic defend why their church as the church to be… and since this is a Catholic forum, most of the answers you are be going to get will be towards the Catholic church.

You really should read what @Jimbo and @Limoncello4021 said and do some self study, then come back with specific questions for things you are concerned about… like with the praying to Mary.

Catholic don’t worship Mary or any other saints, they do pray to them to help for help with their prayers to God. Its is biblical we should and need to pray for each other. It is also biblical saints gather our prayers and bring them to God. Also everything that Mary and saints do brings us to God.

There are different Protestant churches, I go to a Lutheran church, and yes many people will say I’m crazy because priest Luther took books out of the bible, that’s for another thread. I learn alot biblically from going to a Lutheran church, and many of the things I learn can also be found in the Catholic bible. I also learned many of the traditions in the Lutheran church I attend are very similar to the Catholic church I attend. Including praying so the Eucharist becomes for us the Body and Blood of Christ.

I will probably get lots of posts from Catholic stating Lutheran’s don’t have the authority to do that… so their Eucharist isn’t real. Then I’ll also get Lutheran’s who will saying there is nothing in the bible that says we can give our prayers to anyone but God, so prayers to Mary or any other saint is a sin.

Then you have the Great Works debate between the two churches. Do you get the Holy Spirit through faith in God which guides you to do good works… or does good work bring you to faith in God then you are filled with the Holy Spirit to know you are doing God’s will.

See why it will be almost impossible for you to get a direct answer to your question on a message board.

You really should learn about both the Catholic’s and Protestants on your own, and bring specific questions to the message board. We can guide you on the different methods of worship. You will get some good answers here, both from Catholics and Protestans.

I pray that makes sense, and I pray God’s will, will bring you to your church.

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. . . Basically

-Catholicism is Scripture + Sacred Tradition
-Protestantism is not a church and has splintered off too much to accurately describe it without going into a 300-page academic paper
-You can receive Doctrine and Dogma in the Church, or you can look towards the ripple effects of Luther, Hus and Zwingli and find little to no doctrine; as in, you can drive 5 minutes down the road in Alabama and find another church of the same denomination with entirely different structure and teachings

Look at Lutheranism, Anglicanism and Methodism for the closest Protestant denominations to Catholicism. Or, compare Catholicism with Orthodoxy, then come back

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Zondervan describes itself as an Evangelical Christian publishing company. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the term “consubstantiation” has been in use for a long time, among non-Lutheran Evangelicals, as the standard designation of the specifically Lutheran doctrine of the Real Presence. It’s a word that Lutherans themselves dislike and reject, and in this case it was certainly discourteous, to say the least, for Zondervan to allow the term to appear in the blurb for a book co-authored by a Lutheran theologian. Nevertheless, I think that, in the book itself, David Scaer gives a correct account of Lutheran doctrine without using the offending word.

Thank you! This helped!

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