Christians = Catholics


My 15 year old daughter talks about her Christian friends as opposed to her Catholic friends. She would say, “I have a lot of Christian friends, but hardly any Catholic friends.” She knows we are Christians too, but she doesn’t want to use the term Protestant. This is a small issue, but I would like to hear your comment on this. How do I get my daughter to either use the word Protestant or non-Catholic? Any other suggestions?

Thanks for the help,


My warning bells are ringing here. I am not worried that she won’t use the terms you prefer. It sounds to me like they are in her ears and recruiting her. Make sure she knows her faith! Truth is the best defense. 1Tim. 3:15


Why don’t you like her calling Christians, “Christians”?

That is very odd to me that you would try to get your child to label other believers. This would not be helpful in her walk with the Lord further on in life, IMO.


Why not just call her catholic friends christians as well. I dont believe there is a need to teach our children to be divisive because that is only perpetuating the problem.:shrug:

My daughters call themselves catholic and us christians and I tell the girls they are christians as well–we just go to different churches with different names.:thumbsup:


The proper term these days is Non-Catholic Christians. Some Protestants here take into offense with the word “Protestant” and declared that they weren’t at the time of the Reformation. So in due with respect, the proper term would be to address Protestants as Non-Catholic Christians.

However, there is a gray area. Do we also refer to Eastern Orthodox as Non-Catholic Christians? They can, though most people would say Eastern Christians are always been called Eastern Orthodox. To properly describe someone who is neither Catholic nor Orthodox, Protestant Christian would be proper.



I have known many Catholics that prefer to be called “Catholic” above all else.

There seems to be great pride in the title of “Catholic” over that of “Christian.”



The proper term is simply “Christian,” as is found in your Catechism.

However, there is a gray area. Do we also refer to Eastern Orthodox as Non-Catholic Christians?

They say you are the Non-Catholic Christians as they are the Catholics.


Because Catholics are the first Christians. I don’t think you understand. In general, her age group define themselves is either being Christian or Catholic. As if Catholics aren’t Christians. Why don’t I like that? Because I am and always have been a Christian. I became Catholic in 1995, but I never stopped being a Christian. I am more of a Christian now that I am Catholic than I ever was before.

I just don’t want people to forget Catholics are Christians. The difference of what we believe in does not separate us from being Christian. I don’t want her or anyone else to make the error in saying, “No I am not Christian, I am Catholic”.


In order to separate the two groups, Catholic or Protestant. The term can be used. I not saying that Protestants are not Christians. They are. Catholics also are Christians.

Originally Posted by Atemi
They say you are the Non-Catholic Christians as they are the Catholics.

In most cases, which Christian tradition do you hail from? Most Non-Catholic Christians, that I encounter will say, “I’m a Methodist… or Baptist.”


I am afraid I disagree.


The implication in calling one group “Christian” and another “Catholic” is that Catholic are not Christian. Sounds link some of her Protestant friends are giving her some anti-Catholic ideas.

Have you daughter call use the phrase “non-Catholic Christian”, “Protestant”, or the person’s religious denomination. It is incorrect for her to imply, even if she doe not mean to, that Catholics are not Christian.


Here we go again…



Obviously, you know your daughter better than I do, but based on the quote, it doesn’t sound to me as if she is excluding Catholics from being Christians. Perhaps if she phrased it, “I have a lot of Christian friends, but few of them are Catholic,” it might more accurately convey what I personally feel she was trying to say. At the same time, however, realize that she is at an age where social standing means everything to stereotypical girls (and some never outgrow that desire.) So, it is important that you make sure she knows how to defend her faith from heretical attacks, and that she is firmly grounded in Catholic Truth. Anyway, as long as your daughter isn’t hanging out with the worldly types, I would count my blessings.


What you stated in your OP was a totally different concern. You said you wanted her to refer to other Christians as “Protestants” or “Non-Catholics,” but she does not want to label others as “Protestants.”

You said of your daughter:

“She knows we are Christians too, but she doesn’t want to use the term ProtestantHow do I get my daughter to either use the word Protestant or non-Catholic?”

The question is, why would you want your daughter to purposely label other Christians other than what she has called them (Christians)?

This would only serve a divisive purpose in her relationship with other believers (the communion of saints).


I understand what you are saying.

Look at it like this: my children might ask for something to eat, and I might say, have some fruit, knowing all we have is apples. In that case, I am calling the apples fruit.

Or we might have melon, which I am saving for something, and apples, in which case I would *not *use the generic term fruit, right? I’d specify apples.

In the same way, your daughter could say, Most of my friends are Christian (meaning Catholic and Protestant). If she wants to differentiate, she does need to say something like “Most of my friends are {some word other than Christian, because that includes Catholics}.” She could say, “Most of my friends are Christians, and some are not Catholic,” but the reality is that she in confusing the terms in a way which could confuse others about what she, a Catholic, is saying about the relationship being between being Christian and being Catholic.

because there are some groups out there which specifically exclude Catholics from their definition of Christian, I agree with you that this is an important point. It may be politically correct, but it seems pretty silly for us Catholics to go along with what anti-Catholics say.


Let me tell you since the tremendous growth of evangelical Christianity * have been told on many occasions that I cannot call myself a Christian since I’m Catholic.And catholics are not considered Christians by many of the separated brethren. ! We are just following your lead:D and identifying ourselves they way you all want to identify us:thumbsup: * For some ungodly reason the first Christians (catholics&orthodox) are not considered Christians at all-how bizarre!:frowning:


Here is a defination:

Christian - the name given by the Greeks or Romans, probably in reproach,** to the followers of Jesus *(“little Christ’s!”). It was first used at Antioch. The names by which the disciples were known among themselves were “brethren,” “the faithful,” “elect,” “saints,” “believers.” *But as distinguishing them from the multitude without, the name “Christian” came into use, and was universally accepted. This name occurs but three times in the New Testament (Acts 11:26; 26:28; 1 Peter 4:16)

I notice that even “back in the day” there were various names. But as a whole they were called Christians. Why cant we say Christian first then Catholic, Baptist etc

People would know we follow Christ, then the next part would say how. That would clear up issues for alot of us. :slight_smile:


Because there are real differences between Catholic and non-Catholics, and trying to gloss over them isn’t helpful.

When speaking of 15-year-olds, it IS important to help them understand these distinctions.

Christians are not all the same; denominational and doctrinal disputes are real. A 15-year-old Catholic girl needs to understand that she is a member of the Church founded by Christ while her friends are members of “ecclesial communities” that are separated from that Church in varying degrees.

We teach our children that not every brightly colored liquid contained in bottles is safe to drink. Some is poison.

Unfortunately, church buildings don’t have “Mr. Yuk” stickers on them.

Hope this helps. :tiphat:


The problem she sees is that her daughter says something along these lines: “I know many **trees **but not many pines.”

This could be a concern because as we all know there are many trees who would like **pines **to believe that they are in fact not trees. This is of course wrong, especially since **pines **are perfect representation of what **tress **should be.


I agree that the problem is that the daughter seems to think of Christians and Catholics as being two different things.

Maybe you could say to her that since Catholics are 100% Christian, she shouldn’t make a separation between the term “Catholic” and “Christian.” If she wants to identify Christians that are not Catholic as opposed to Catholics, she should say “Protestant” or “Eastern Orthodox” or “Oriental Orthodox” or whatever (e.g. “Catholics and Protestants”). If the term “Protestant” is found offensive, tell her to use “Evangelical” or the name of the denomination.

If she’s just speaking about Catholics and non-Catholics as a collective group or just one Christian group then she can use the term “Christian(s)” safely, I think. So if she’s talking about both her Protestant and Catholic friends together she can just say “My Christian friends…”

But never “Catholics and Christians” or “Catholics or Christians.”

I think she’ll get it. :slight_smile:


As a Christian parent, I would be thankful that my child has chosen Christian friends (no matter what the denomination is) over everything else out there. Given all the garbage that occurs in high school, the last thing that Christian teenagers need is to become embroiled in the petty denominational disputes of their parents.

These kids need each other. Your are right, compared to all of the other issues kids face in high school this is a small one. Tweak the wording if you want to, but otherwise leave them alone.

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