Catholic and Christian: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Christianity is a broad religious category encompassing various denominations and beliefs, with Catholicism being one of its largest branches. Catholicism is a specific Christian denomination, but not all Christians are Catholics.
  2. Catholicism is characterized by its adherence to the authority of the Pope, the belief in the seven sacraments, and the importance of tradition and the Magisterium (teaching authority of the Church). It has a hierarchical structure with bishops, priests, and deacons.
  3. Christianity, including Catholicism, is centred on believing in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Savior of humanity. While Catholics have distinct practices and beliefs, such as the veneration of saints and the use of the Mass, they share core Christian beliefs with other Christian denominations, such as the Holy Trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and the Bible as a sacred text.

What is Catholic?

Catholicism, a known branch of Christianity, is centred in the Vatican in Rome. Under the leadership of the Pope, who holds authority, Catholicism focuses on the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Bible and sacred tradition. This religion encompasses a comprehensive belief system, rituals, and practices that include honouring Saint Mary and participating in seven sacraments, such as baptism and the Eucharist.

Catholics believe in sin. Understand that both faith and good deeds are necessary for salvation. The Catholic Church is renowned for its worship style, symbolism, and hierarchical structure, which includes ordained priests, bishops and other clergy members.

What is Christian?

Christianity is a religion that revolves around the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. It is rooted in the belief that Jesus is the Son of God and the Savior, with Christians adhering to the guidance in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The central tenet centres on Jesus’s crucifixion and resurrection, which offers salvation to those who believe.

Also Read:  Zeus vs Odin: Difference and Comparison

Although there isn’t a governing body, clergy members such as priests, pastors or ministers lead congregations. The faith emphasizes love, compassion and living a life. Christian communities can be found all over the world. They have had a profound impact on shaping cultures and societies, as well as contributing to fields like art, science and philosophy. The religion’s lasting influence stems from its teachings about faith, redemption and striving for an existence in harmony with God.

Difference Between Catholic and Christian

  1. Catholic’ is a subset or branch of Christianity led by the Pope and centred in Rome. Contrary to the other side, the term ‘Christian’ refers to a religion centred around the belief or idea of Jesus Christ as Savior.
  2. In Catholicism, the head of the Church – The Pope, is the leader. Whereas, on the contrary, in Christianity, there is no centralized authority.
  3. In catholic, there are seven sacraments: – confession, eucharist, baptism, etc. comparatively; on the other hand, if we talk about Christianity, the sacraments may vary by denomination, and the most common are – baptism and eucharist (Lord’s supper/communion). 
  4. The path of salvation in Catholicism is performing good deeds or work and emphasizing their faith. Comparatively, on the other hand, the way of salvation in Christianity varies among people; some believe in going for good work, and some emphasize their belief.
  5. In Catholicism, the Bible is interpreted by both scriptures and church traditions. While on the other hand, in Christianity, the Bible is interpreted by scriptures and personal understanding.
  6. The worship practices followed by Catholics are rich in liturgy, rituals, and symbolism. At the same time, Christian worship practices are the traditional liturgy to contemporary worship styles.
  7. There are various divisions in Catholicism, for example, Eastern Catholic Roman Catholic. While on the other hand, in Christianity, there are numerous denominations (for example – Orthodox and Protestant) with various practices and beliefs. 
  8. The catholic system follows a hierarchical structure with bishops and priests while at the same time, it does not follow the Christian.
Also Read:  Mormon vs Catholic: Difference and Comparison

Comparison Between Catholic and Christian

Parameter of ComparisonCatholicChristian
DefinitionIt can be believed to be a subset or branch of Christianity which is led by the Pope and centred in RomeIt is a religion centred around the belief or idea of Jesus Christ as Savior
LeadershipThe head of the Church is the PopeThere is no centralized authority
SacramentsSeven sacraments are there such as – confession, eucharist, baptism, etcThis may vary by denomination, and most common are – baptism and eucharist (Lord’s supper/communion)
SalvationThrough good work or deeds and emphasizing their faithIt varies with people; some believe in going for good work, and some emphasize their belief
Bible InterpretationThe interpretation is done by both scriptures and church traditionsIt includes understanding from scripture and a personal touch
Worship PracticesIt is rich in liturgical, rituals, and symbolismIt follows traditional liturgy to contemporary worship styles
DivisionsVarious rites within Catholicism (for example – Eastern Catholic, Roman Catholic)  Numerous denominations (for example – Orthodox and Protestant) with various practices and beliefs
ClergyIt follows a hierarchical structure with priests and bishopsIt does not follow any hierarchy
References
  1. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781315193588-22/religion-public-policy-catholicism-make-difference-francis-castles
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00344080601117663

Last Updated : 14 October, 2023

dot 1
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️

Leave a Comment

Want to save this article for later? Click the heart in the bottom right corner to save to your own articles box!