Non-Catholic denominations

Can you give an accurate number of the Protestant denominations in the US?

I’ve no idea how many there are but welcome to Catholic Answers Forums.:slight_smile:


Whats the number of Catholic denominations? I see that there are already representitives of two who have posted in this thread. :smiley:

There are no “Catholic Denominations”; at least, not in the sense of Protestant ones. There are 23 different “rites” in the Church. By far the largest is the latin-rite, so that’s the one most people are familiar with. The latin-rite and the eastern-rites all believe the same docrines, and are united under the Primacy of the Holy Father, but they follow different disiplines. For example, they allow for married clergy. Truely, they are a sign of unity, not division.

Your statement about Catholic denominations is interesting and the key is how it is defined.
We know that there are groups who use Catholic in there name, are break off groups of the Catholic Church, and hold Apostolic Succession (valid but illicit in some cases). But they are not Catholics…according to the Catholics I have read on here.
I wonder if the first Protestants could not make the same kind of claim…thus negating all the other groups as well who are not true Protestants…

We could. You see, we Presbyterians came from John Knox in Scotland who was taught by Calvin himself in Geneva befoer you Methodists came on the scene out of Anglicanism by John Wesely. :wink: All of whom of course came from Christ down the line of tradition. But, our tradition was first!!! :smiley:

Just kidding…

But, it is true that there are all kinds of different 'catholic" churches all claiming to be the true catholic church. They all excommunicate one another. It’s really no different than on our side of sola scriptura except we actually find occasion to worship together and even assist one another in missions…

Who is more unifed?

The World Almanac lists 12 major Christian denominations. For Religious organizations within the U.S., they list around 70 (including non-Christian religions). But within those they have sub-groups, under major categories like Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox, Baptist, etc. You then have well over 100, perhaps 120. That does not take into account the many non-denominational churches and other loosely affiliated churches. Out of that total the great majority are considered Protestant organizations, perhaps 75-80 of them.

Worldwide, the religion with the greatest numbers is Islam, followed by Roman Catholic and then Hindu. The Roman Catholic Church has adherents in the greatest number of countries, with the various Protestant faiths right behind.

I would expect that the number of Protestant denominations in the U.S. is an always changing number.

There are several very small churches that have Catholic in their name such as Apostolic Catholic Orthodox, American Catholic Church, Polish National Catholic Church. I don’t think any of these churches are in communion with the RC church. Then there are several Eastern Rite Catholic Churches, such as Armenian, Romanian Greek, etc., which I believe are all in communion with Rome and the Pope.

Anyone who has more specific info on this or who can correct anything I posted should please jump in.

The Specific List of 5000+ Protestant Denominations by Denomination Name is available at

Can you give several specific examples of Catholic “denominations”?

Say it with me now… everyone knows: “33,000+”.

It depends on how you define “denominations”. For example, are the United Methodist Church and the Free Methodists a single denomination (i.e., “Methodist”) or multiple denominations because of differences in governing authority amongst other things? Are the many different Anglican groups (i.e., the Episcopal Church, the ACNA, the ACA, the REC, etc.) a single denomination (i.e., “Anglican”) or multiple denominations? Or, as a final example, are the ELCA, LCMS and WELS a single denomination (i.e., “Lutheran”) or three separate denominations? As far as I approach the subject, a denomination is a grouping of individual congregations which share a common, ultimate governing authority here on earth. That being the case, in the foregoing example, there would be three denominations in the Lutheran tradition, not a single denomination.

If ultimate governing authority is the measuring stick of “denominations”, then there are certainly thousands of Protestant (defined for these purposes as non-Catholic, non-Orthodox Christian groups) within the United States. If, on the other hand, you define “denomination” in terms of a loose grouping of bodies which share basic theology and history (what I often refer to as a “faith tradition”), then I believe that the vast majority of American Protestants probably fall within twenty or thirty faith traditions. Other folks would probably come to different conclusions.

Every ecclessial body that has the word “Catholic” in its name is not a “Catholic denominaton”. :rolleyes:

The important thing is that, to be Catholic, a particular church must be under the authority and Primacy of the Pope. If they are not, they are not a part of the visible Catholic Church. The eastern-rites Churches are. The “Futurechurch” community is not.

My Catholic parish joins several Protestant churches in a soup kitchen each week. I guess no one likes those other schismatics…:shrug:

But…they are. It is in their name, they for the most part have apostolic succession etc. Do not get me wrong, I understand your point. They are not TRUE Catholics because they do not believe as you do you would understandably state.
However, that goes back to the question I raised, why can’t the Lutherans or whomever is historically first as far as Protestants say the same thing about the rest of us? We are not TRUE Protestants…
Just trying to clarify.

It’s an interesting thought. The schizmatic groups, though, are no more Catholic than the Eastern Orthodox are. Apostolic succession does not necessarily mean Catholic; the Arians, Nestorians, Albegenians, and others had Apostolic succession too, but their rejection of the Holy Father put them outside of communion.

As far as the semantics behind Protestant demoninations, I don’t know. It’s hard to give a blanket statement that covers all of Protestantism, but I know many Protestant communities do not acknoledge Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses as Protestant, so maybe that claim is already being made in some cases.

I would not assume that most of these “Catholic” groups have valid apostolic succession. Some may, I don’t know. In any event, if they are not in communion with the Bishop of Rome we wouldn’t consider them to be Catholic. As for your point regarding Protestants and various derivations thereof, it depends on how you define “Protestant”, doesn’t it?

You honestly believe that if someone calls a church Catholic it is Catholic.

I could round up some renegade priests and call my church the Kalt Catholic Church. It wouldn’t be Catholic.

You misunderstand Catholicism.

If Protestant is a catch-all term for churches that were created in protest against the CC, and those churches that were created in protest of the church that was created in protest against the CC, and so on, then any church that can trace it’s separation from the first “Protestant” church is properly called Protestant. It’s all about separation and differences in belief, not cohesion.

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