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Bible Studies/Catholicism and Protestantism.


QUESTION: Dear Edward

What are the Similarities and Differences in Catholicism and Protestantism ?

Are there different churches for both ?. i.e. Catholics go for worship and praying the all mighty to a different church and Protestants go to a different church ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: I am surprised that Wikipedia relies in Catholicism on Richard McBrien, who does not speak with authority on Catholicism.
Since your question, Prashant, concerns bible studies, I address some of the main differences between Catholicism and Protestantism in regard to the bible.  The bible is a library of many books written over many hundreds of years.
Catholicism accepts two sources of God's message to mankind: Scripture [the Bible, a written source] and Tradition [official teaching, an oral source].
Tradition began with the first followers of Jesus Christ [who died and rose from the dead about 30 AD] who taught Jesus' teaching before the second main division of the bible [New Testament, which contains teachings of Jesus] was begun some 20 years after His Rising and several hundred years before Tradition accepted and determined which bible books are truly inspired by God and so belong in the official bible.
Christianity accepted both Scripture and Tradition until the 16th century AD, when the Protestant Reformation introduced the new teaching that the bible [Scripture] alone is the  source of the divinely revealed message.  Catholicism continues to recognize both Scripture and Tradition as the sources of divine revelation.
Many differing and conflicting versions of Protestantism have developed  -- the result of varying personal interpretations of a written message without an authoritative source to preserve the divine truth from mistakes and contradictions. Catholics follow an authoritative Tradition to maintain unity of belief, morality, and worship.
So, Catholics and Protestants now worship God in different buildings with different types of worship.  Catholic worship[the Holy Mass]has remained essentially unchanged since the first century AD.  The Mass is now offered in most vernacular languages.
Today, many Catholics and Protestants are trying to arrive at an agreement on the divine message -- a movement known as "ecumenism."
My response, which focused on the most fundamental differences, has prompted further questions.  I welcome your comments and inquiry in order to respond more directly to what you are seeking.  Many books have been written on your very expansive topic.  
Hopefully, my answer has some help.
Best wishes, Prashant, and thanks for writing.

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QUESTION: Dear Edward

Thank you.

Christianity Religion is broadly divided into two different Divisions  or Communities viz Catholics and Protestants.

This are my views mentioned below from my side.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God has founded the religion Christianity. Mother Mary is Mother of the Lord. Both are Great. The Holy Churches are open to all whether Catholics or Protestants and not only Catholics or Protestants but to all other religions.

I personally born Hindu religion by birth visit Different churches
St Lewis Church, Mount Mary Church, St Michael Church. The Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters of those churches allow me to enter the church, pray and worship before the All Mighty. I get mental peace. They do not stop me to enter the church just because i am from a different religion.

I personally feel Catholics should be allowed to visit the Protestants Churches and Protestants should be allowed to enter the Catholics Churches and they should do this.

I also personally feel there should be a common church for both the communities and not different churches for the Catholics and Protestants communities.

Note : Mother Mary is Mother of the Lord itself. Both are Great.
God is Great. Regarding my above opinion and views, can you please reply me with your views ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Thanks for the further question with your comments, Prashant.
Very nice that you are at ease to pray and to obtain help while visiting Catholic churches. I would think that the churches would be open for prayer to people of any belief.
Generally speaking, Catholics do not take part in Protestant worship because of participating in a divine worship with beliefs and practices other than what correspond to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
As you have experienced, others than Catholics are welcome to visit Catholic churches.  Catholics believe in a special presence of God in their churches and so usually do not pray in other churches.
Some dialogue occurs among Catholics and Protestants but, generally speaking, little has been accomplished to unite the separated.  The effects of the 16th century continue.  
We pray with the Lord Jesus Christ for "one flock and one shepherd."  See in the bible, New Testament, Gospel of John, chapter 10, especialy verses 14 through 16.
Do you know of the basilca[church]Shrine of Our Lady of Good Health in VAILANKANNI?  You might enjoy a visit if it is near.
Please continue to feel welcome to write again.
May God bless and help you in your life's quest for true happiness.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Edward

Thank you.

Statistically if we take a count of Total Number of Catholics and Total Number of Protestants in all countries, which will be more in number ?.

This can be calculated by the simple mathematical formula of summation.

Just As a example,

1. Country : USA Total Number of Catholics : 2000000. Total Number of Protestants : 1500000.
2. Country : United Kingdom Total Number of Catholics : 1500000. Total Number of Protestants : 2000000.

Total Number of Catholics in the world = Sum of Catholics in every country.
Total Number of Protestants in the world = Sum of Protestants in every country.

As we know, Every Christian baby born in a family will be either a Catholic or a Protestant.

Note : The above example does not show any real figures, the numbers shown are taken just for computation.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

I guess that more countries have Catholics than Protestants.  It is dificult to determine how one calculates percentages and if all countries report in the same manner.
You might do a count at this website:

Nice to hear from you again.

Is Our Lady of Good Health near you?  Interestingly, I just learned of it a few weeks ago and then I got your question from the same provence.

Best wishes, Prashant.

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Edward Bode


A scholar of Jewish and Christian scripture (biblical studies), I hold graduate degrees from three universities in Rome [Italy]: Pontifical Gregorian University, Pontifical Biblical Institute, and the University of St. Thomas. I also have a master's degree in English. My special interests are the gospels of the New Testament and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.


I have taught at three universities and two colleges. My published works include one book, several articles in scholarly journals, and numerous book reviews.

I hold a doctorate in sacred theology from the University of St. Thomas in Rome, Italy; a license in sacred scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome; a license in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.Additionally, I earned a master's degree in English from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo., and a bachelor of journalism from the same university.

I have been a member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America for 40 years. I am a former member of Society of Biblical Literature.I have spoken on academic topics to local, national, and international groups.

I hold graduate degrees from three universities in Rome [Italy]: Pontifical Gregorian University, Pontifical Biblical Institute, and the University of St. Thomas. I also have a master's degree in English.

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