The concepts of Catholicism and Christianity generate heated debates among theologians and religious leaders. Christianity refers to a religion founded on the miracles and teachings of Jesus. Catholicism is a denomination, a subset of Christianity. However, Christianity is not Catholicism. This should mark the beginning of the argument. A Christian is a believer and follower of Jesus Christ and may be an Orthodox, Mormon, and Gnostic, protestant or a Catholic.
While the distinction appears very clear, fundamental questions arise whether Catholicism subscribes to the doctrines of Christianity. It is clear that Catholicism is not Christianity. Christianity is a wide concept covering all the followers of Christ. A Catholic follows the doctrines of the Catholic Church transmitted via the Vatican Empire and succession of the Popes of Rome.
The many controversies arising on Catholicism and Christianity concern the doctrines of Christianity and the Catholicism. Many denominations that form Christianity believe in salvation by faith alone. On the other hand, the Catholics believe in salvation, practical work and the sanctifying grace of the sacrament. Moreover, other Christians confess their sins directly to God through prayer. On the other hand, the Catholics confess their sins through their ordained priests and seek the intervention of Mary, the mother of Jesus. This has been a serious cause of the controversy between the said Christianity and Catholicism.
Many denominations making up Christianity pray for themselves and one another. On the contrary, the Catholicism teaches about the Communion of Saints. The implication of this is that Catholics pray to the saints and ask them to help them seek God’s intervention. Critics use this practice to paint Catholics as worshiping the saints or Mary. The point is that Biblical teachings do not allow Christians to worship idols or any other being apart from God. The Catholics argue that they only seek their intervention and use them as a bridge with their creator.
Having looked at the differences and controversies surrounding Catholicism and Christianity, it is prudent to look at the shared values, the similarities between the two. They both believe in the existence of one God, who is three-in-one: God the Father, The Son and Holy Spirit. They agree that Jesus is God the son who came to earth in human flesh. They also believe strongly in the idea of life after death and the ultimate punishment of the wrongdoers.
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