What is the Difference Between Catholic and Christian?

All Christians on the planet are not Catholics, but all Catholics are Christians. Editorial Credit: Alicia Quan on Unsplash
  • Christianity is the world's largest religion.
  • Christians can meet and worship anywhere whereas Catholics can only worship at the chapel.
  • Catholics and Christians have different interpretations of symbols such as the cross.

Christianity is the world’s largest religion, with various denominations including Protestants, Mormons, Gnostics, Orthodox, and Catholics, among others. Catholicism is the largest and world’s oldest continuous Christian institution which had more than 1.3 billion baptized adherents by 2017. All Christians on the planet are not Catholics, but all Catholics are Christians. Catholics consider Catholicism to be Christianity and that only they have the truth that Jesus revealed. Catholics don’t doubt that the Protestants are followers of Jesus Christ; however, they believe that Catholicism is the correct path to heaven. Catholics and Christians have numerous similarities, and the main difference between them is the interpretation of the laws, rules, and scriptures.

What Is The Difference Between Christians And Catholics?

Scripture And Traditions

Both Protestants and Catholics believe the bible is the word of God. Catholics believe that God’s revelation comes to them in two ways (sacred tradition and sacred scripture). Protestants believe the only source of God’s revelation on morals and faith in the bible. Christians don’t follow the additional teachings from their pastors; they believe that their religious leader can only offer advice or guidance. The Catholic Church has the authority to interpret the biblical scriptures and can decide when the interpretation is the truth or false. The Catholics are bound by the Roman Catholics Church traditions.

The Pope

Protestants are not open to the idea of papal supremacy and according to the evangelical views, this contradicts the teachings in the bible. The Catholics consider the pope to be Apostle Peter’s successor. Apostle Peter was appointed by Jesus, and he was the first head of the Catholic Church. As the head of the Catholic Church, the pope has authority over the interpretations of the bible. The pope’s rules are the laws of the church and must be followed even if they go against the law of the land. Christians consider the pope to be the leader of the Catholic Church, but do not recognize his authority and do not believe in his supremacy.

The Virgin Mary

Catholics consider the Virgin Mary to be the highest-ranked saint and the leader of all saints, while Christians believe that she was a sinner just like everyone else. The Catholics believe that the Virgin Mary was sinless and that her body went to heaven after being resurrected while Christians believe she was buried after she passed away.

Statues And Pictures

Catholics accept the depiction of the Virgin Mary, Christ, or any other saint in the church in the form of pictures and statues. Catholics display these pictures and statues in their homes and even wear them as jewelry. Christians have limited the depiction from being displayed in the churches while other denominations forbid it completely. Instead, they use a simple wooden cross.

Attending Mass

A considerable percentage of Christians only attend the church on Sundays while Catholics attend the mass numerous times in a day. Christians also attend the church for prayers during various religious days. Catholics can only worship at the chapel, cathedral, or church while Christians can meet anywhere and worship even at home.


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