Choosing Protestant vs. Catholic
To the Protestants...
This site is devoted for those exploring the Catholic faith, likely for the first time. Making the switch from Protestantism to Catholicism can be a long, tough emotional and spiritual journey. Do not take it lightly. You may be searching for a deeper understanding of your faith, or you may simply want to know the difference between our faiths. This site helps to highlight some of the primary differences between us and attempts to show the beauty of the Catholic faith.
My goal is not to slander the Protestant faith, by any means. As a former Protestant myself, I understand your beliefs well. What I do hope to accomplish is to help give you a better picture of what the Catholic faith is all about. I encourage you to explore this site, topic by topic, to learn more about Catholic beliefs.
To the Catholics...
Even as a new Catholic, I know how difficult it can be when someone slanders our faith or questions our beliefs. I urge you to keep an open mind and heart to our Protestant brothers and sisters. We may have differences in how we practice our faith, but we share one common love for Jesus Christ. It may not be everything we want, but it's a start.
There is no way that all of the differences could be covered in detail on one page; nonetheless, I believe that there are two central points that separate the different denominations: Sacred Tradition and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Most other differences stem from these two.
Both the Protestant and Catholic Churches hold dearly to the Bible (or Sacred Scripture), but in the Catholic Church, the Sacred Tradition is just as important. While Sacred Scripture is in written form, Sacred Tradition encompasses God's Word passed down orally, just as it was for many years prior to the Bible being finalized.
Many of our differences stem from Sacred Tradition. Protestants believe in sola scriptura, or, in other words, that everything believe must come directly from the Bible. Catholics, on the other hand, also believe that certain portions of our faith were not written down but passed verbally. We use this to help define our faith, but it has caused separation on topics like the Blessed Virgin Mary, the saints, and other beliefs.
I encourage you to research this topic to begin to understand where our differences lie.
If interpreting the Bible was left up to each of us as individuals, we would each have a different interpretation. Ask 1,000 people to interpret the Bible, and you will get 1,000 different interpretations. This is one of the primary differences between denominations. The Catholic Church, the guardian of Sacred Tradition, helps us to interpret the Scripture correctly.
Many Protestants in the Protestant vs. Catholic debate will be quick to point out issues within the Catholic Church. This is fair. We are all sinners. Our leaders make mistakes - sometimes, big mistakes. However unfortunate this may be, this does not free us from looking to one, central location for leadership. The system is not perfect, but it is better than no system at all.
I encourage you to learn more about how the leadership of the Catholic Church makes an impact in our lives.