How Do Catholic And Protestant Christianity Differ? Essay

1203 Words5 Pages
Broadly speaking, how do Catholic and Protestant Christianity differ? There are several essential differences between Catholics and Protestants. Although over the years, numerous endeavors have been made to seek a mutual understanding between the two, differences remain and they are just as key today as they were at the commencement of the Reformation. Molloy makes some very clear distinctions (Molloy, p 373 and p 378). Protestants believe every Christian has the right to extensively question and reinterpret Christian belief and practice. This practice is oftentimes referred to the Protestant Principle. Catholics, however, believe individual Bible interpretation must be guided by the Catholic Church. Protestants frequently define the concept of salvation as being achieved through the grace of Christ alone. Catholics, on the other hand, view this justification as a process through Church participation, which is seen as the foundation of saving grace. Another difference is the view of the authority of the Pope, who is viewed as the surrogate head of Jesus. This gives the Pope the authority to make his teaching infallible and requisite upon all Christians. The Protestants, however, consider no human is infallible and that Jesus Christ, alone, is the head of the Church. In other words, while Catholics depend upon apostolic succession to establish the Pope’s authority, the Protestants believe the Church’s authority comes from the Word of God rather than apostolic
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