What makes Catholics distinctive?


What makes Catholics distinctive ? What defines Catholics and makes them unique from other Christians ?

A Catholic remarked to me once that the Catholic Church’s three most essential and distinctive qualities are the papacy, the Eucharist and devotion to Mary.

How say you ?


Only the first. Protestants tend to downplay the Eucharist and Marian devotion, but Eastern Christians don’t do so. In fact there is probably greater reverence for the Eucharist and Our Lady in the Orthodox church than the Catholic, I am sad to say.

The Church is the organisation founded by Jesus. If a split occurs you can take three attitudes; there are two Churches, thre is one divided Church, or there is one Church and one offshoot or sect. Catholics take the last attitude, which does take some defending, but the fact that the Pope goes with the genuine faction is one of the main signs.


One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic



It comes down to a question, who is your authority?

Many say the Bible is the ultimate authority. When asked how do they settle disagreements about Biblical interpretation, they usually respond that the Holy Spirit guides their decision as an individual. When two people interpret the Bible and come to a different conclusion with guidance from the Holy Spirit - they seem to conclude that both must be true. This is apparent relativism since empirically they conclude truth is different for different people.

Catholics start from the position that there is one truth. If two people interpret the Bible and with purported guidance from the Holy Spirit and come to different conclusions about the truth - Catholic believe one must be wrong. Catholics believe that authority, including the authority to interpret the Bible, was given to the papacy using the symbol of keys. We can be assured of continuous unchanged apostolic teaching because we were promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against Christ’s Church.


I suppose that if there were an “official” answer it might be the fact that the signs of the true Church are 4: One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

From a personal point of view I would have to say it’s the Eucharist - the Real Presence of Christ. His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

In no other denomination will you find this glorious attribute, except the Eastern Catholic Church. In the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass you find the fullfilment of the perpetual Jewish Passover - a completion of God’s revelation of Himself to His people in the ultimate. His final covenant with His creation.

I’ve been part of many protestant services and I just don’t see this. What takes place at a protestant service is very nice but it’s not how God taught us to worship Him. In worship and covenants, there has always been scarifice. Jesus is the final, once for all sacrifice in the Eucharist and I don’t see that at a protestant service. We only see that at a Catholic Mass.

That’s what makes Catholics Catholic - to me, anyway.


The Truth.



The One True Church begun by Jesus Christ Himself.
The Church with the fullness of the Holy Spirit.


Also, it is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.


I agree.

  1. Jesus chose the leaders of His Church. They did not form their own Church. He said, “I have chosen you, you have not chosen Me.” It is a work of God.
    Protestants start their own Churches. None were started by Jesus. It is a work of man.

  2. God taught His Church directly.
    Jesus taught everything, the entire Gospel, to His apostles, the first leaders of His Church…
    Mr 4:34 “He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.”
    John 15:15 “for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”
    [FONT=Bitstream Vera Sans Mono, sans-serif]Mt 13:11 “to you it has been given to know the secrets of the Kingdom of heaven”[/FONT]
    John 14:26 “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”

Thus, the Catholic Church was taught by God.
It is a work of God.

Protestantism, men teach themelves. They study the bible, salvation history the best they can.
It is a work of man.
Since it is a work of man, it will have error.

  1. The Catholic Church was taught EVERYTHING. See number 2 above.
    Protestants can only learn salvation history

Then Jesus commanded the leaders of His Church to teach and preach this Gospel. Since this Gospel contained everything God revealed to man regarding salvation, the Church says this Gospel is the "source of all saving truth and moral discipline.

Protestants are not taught the Gospel. And since the bible does not claim to present the Gospel (the source of all saving truth) that the apostles taught and preached, it does not even claim to present a summary of the Gospel the apostles taught and preached, then no matter how hard they try, Protestants cannot learn the Gospel by studying the bible.
The four Gospels are simply narratives of the life of Jesus. They do not claim to present the Gospel the apostles taught and preached, but only that part that deals with salvation history.

Since the Church learned everything from God, it contains the **fullness **of salvation. , without error in teaching.

Protestants can only learn a few things they gleen from salvation history. They have a part of salvation, including lots of errors.
Jesus came to save us, that is, free us from the slavery of sin, by His death and resurrection. In His Church, we can receive the fullness of this grace through the mass and the sacraments. Thus, we have all the grace necessary to overcome our sins, if we ask.

Protestants don’t have a valid mass, nor a valid Eucharist, mostly. Thus, they cannot have all the grace available to them to over come their sins.

Catholics have the Eucharist. Jesus Himself, PHYSICALLY PRESENT, that means “bodily present” in the Eucharist.
Most Protestants don’t.

Jesus is head of the Church He founded. He guides His Church through the Popes, His representatives on earth, to preserve it in the truth.

Protestant denominations don’t have Jesus as the head of their Churches. Thus, their churches are not guided by Jesus.




The Sacraments
Intimate bridal relationship with God (vs. personal relationship)
Gods family: God - Abba (Dad), Jesus - Brother, Mary - Mom, Saints - Brothers and Sisters
The Apocalypse of the Mass

Just a few off the top of my head.

Peace and God Bless


We get more Graces from God through the 7 Sacraments.


Spot on and absolutely.
We believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, body lood soul and dvinity. We believe that Mary was his mother, the Theotokos, who was conceived immaculately, who was freed from Original Sin from the instant of her conception, who was assumed into heaven. We believe that the papacy is a divine initiative begun and appointed by Jesus Christ, with Peter as its first head. “Peter” is the visible head whilst Jesus is the whole invisible head. The Catholic Church was founded by the Lord no matter what others thinks. Aurecular confession makes me a catholic.
I love my Catholic faith.
Grac eAngel.


The Catholic Church alone is the ark of salvation.


The One, Holy, Catholic, Eucharistic, and Apostolic church.

THe church is still the see of Peter, whose successor still bears the duty to shepherd the flock

The Holy church, guided by the successor of Peter, still has the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Catholic = Universal: the CC has made provisions for divergent expressions of the same basic faith, in the variety of rites and ritual churches in union.

Eucharistic: Like our Orthodox brethren, and some Lutherans and Episcopals, we truly believe that the Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ.

Apostolic: Like our orthodox brethren, we trace our lineage back to the apostles, through unbroken lines of transmission of the holy spirit, in some cases, through Orthodoxy.

Episcopal: We are a church of Bishops, as are our Orthodox and Anglican brethren. Each bishop has priests and deacons to aid him in tending his flock. Unlike our brethren, we have Petrine authority to curtail bad bishops.

We also have the grand synod to guide the popes, sometimes in ways they do not understand, sometimes in ways they would not at first support. The assembled synod of the church is a powerful voice… one I personally pray becomes more active.


Personally, I think there are five things which distinguish the Catholic Church from others:

  1. the papacy,

  2. Eucharistic devotions (outside of the Liturgy),

  3. the rosary,

  4. religious orders (i.e., neither diocesan clergy nor monks/nuns),

  5. scholastic-based theology.


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