Religion and Spiritual Studies
Catholicism vs. Christianity: What You Probably Don’t Know between Catholics and Christians Differentiating Catholicism Beliefs and Christian Religion
Both terms have been subject of confusion, even to faithful Christians and Catholics alike. But the differences of these two subjects are quite simple and understandable. It goes without doubt that all Catholics are Christians, but not all Christians are Catholics.
In other words, Catholicism is a fraction of Christianity, wherein Christianity has different subsets, like Anglicanism, Protestantism, Orthodoxy, etc. To put it simply: Catholicism is one of the branches, while Christianity is the tree.
An Overview of Catholicism
Almost 50 percent of Christians are considered to be Catholics. Half of the Christians worldwide believe on the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ as the son of God and Mary as the Mediatrix of all graces.
Catholics uphold the Holy Trinity, the nature of One God, wherein he revealed Himself as three Persons, namely the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC]), paragraph no. 253). The Catholic believers are encouraged to read the Holy Scripture, the word of God that teaches spiritual wisdom and knowledge.
They also believe that the Pope and their bishops, including priests, represent the Roman Catholic’s church. Just as Jesus authorized Peter as the Rock of the church, Jesus said to him, “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18-19).
Unlike other Christian groups, Catholics recognize and observe the seven sacraments, the importance of rosary, concept of transubstantiation, veneration of saints, and Nicene Creed as the permanent doctrine.
An Overview of Christianity
Christianity began in the sect of Judaism, and now branching into different denominations. The Christians grounded its belief historically on the early fathers and church during the first century in Israel. Throughout the century, there were sects who deviated from the teachings and reformed doctrines and beliefs.
Many of these sects revolted to the Church and built a movement that focuses more on faith alone, or others, with work alone as the key for salvation. Some Christians strongly believe in One God but don’t venerate and adore saints and apostles, except for Catholics who believe in the veneration of the Virgin Mary.
However, Christian worship and practices greatly vary by denomination, but the most common of these are Bible reading, Sunday worship, special ritual, holy rites, etc. The majority of Christians accept One God as omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good.
What are their key differences?
Here’s a clear table to show the difference between Christian and Catholic.
Catholicism and other Christian denominations differ from their views and practices. And it is highly noted that the Roman Catholic Church is only one of the many Christian groups worldwide.