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The difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism and Catholicism

The difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism and Catholicism

From the school history course, we know that invaders from Catholic countries repeatedly attacked Russia under the banner of Christ. How could this happen, do not all believe in one Savior? This question became particularly acute after the return of the Russian people to the Orthodox faith.

My friend attends an evangelical church and actively invites me to worship. I decided to find out the main difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism and Catholicism, addressing this question to the priest and reliable sources.

In the article we will touch upon the main differences between these denominations in order to get an idea of ​​truth and fiction.

The difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism and Catholicism

Split of a single church

To understand the differences between Orthodoxy and Catholicism and Protestantism, one must make a mental journey into the depths of the ages. At the Seventh Ecumenical Council in 787 there was a split of a single church, which was finally established in 1054. Since then, the Christian world has split into two independent branches — Orthodoxy and Catholicism.

The Pope of Rome remained the head of the Catholic Church, and the Patriarch of Constantinople remained the head of Orthodoxy.

The basis of the creed remained the resurrected Jesus Christ, and the differences concerned only ceremonialism and certain beliefs. All Christians (Catholics or Orthodox) believe in the trinity of divine hypostasis, in the inheritance of the kingdom of God according to the precepts of Jesus, and in his atoning sacrifice.

Despite the mutual anathemas of the Catholic and Orthodox churches, the basis of the faith remained the same for all. And the crusades against Russia were the result of anathemas.

In 1965, both confessions reconciled and are not hostile.

And who are the Protestants, where did they come from? These were Catholics who protested against the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church.

Protestants have no relation to Orthodoxy. If we consider splitting in the bosom of the Orthodox Church, then our «Protestants» can be called the Old Believers who did not submit to the reform of Nikon (1650-1660).

Principles of Catholicism

What distinguishes the dogmas of the Catholic Church from others? The principal difference is the dogmas of:

  • Immaculate Conception of the Virgin;
  • posthumous purgatory;
  • the significance of indulgences for the soul of man;
  • the infallibility of the pope in his deeds;
  • the succession of the Pope from the Apostle Paul;
  • indissolubility of sacred marriage bonds;
  • features of the veneration of the holy martyrs.

Other differences include the doctrine of the descent of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son, the prohibition on the marriage of the priest who ordained, the baptism by pouring water on the head, and the rule of the sign of the cross.

Catholics can be immediately distinguished from the Orthodox by the way of applying the sign of the cross: he touches the left shoulder first and then the right shoulder. Catholics are also baptized not with a pinch, but with the whole palm.

The difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism and Catholicism


After the universal split, the Orthodox branch was under the authority of the Patriarch of Constantinople. Nowadays there are several autocephalous (independent) Orthodox churches that solve their problems at Councils.

The Orthodox churches rely on their head not the patriarch, but Jesus Christ himself.

Orthodox priests can marry. The ban on marriage bonds exists only among monks. Also on the other points listed in the section on Catholicism, the Orthodox canons are different from the Catholic ones.

In particular, in the Orthodox tradition there is no dogma about the infallibility of the Pope.

An Orthodox person can be immediately distinguished from a Catholic by the fall of oneself with a cross: from right to left with three fingers (pinch). And the Old Believers differ from the Orthodox two-hops.

The difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism and Catholicism


Who are the Protestants and is there any difference with Christianity? This current emerged on the European continent in the 16th century as a protest against the all-out domination of the Roman Catholic Church.

A single center of the Protestant movement does not exist, in this current there are many churches with different names. The first Protestant churches were:

  • Anglican Church;
  • Lutheran church;
  • Calvinism.

Later other currents also stood out:

Some Protestant movements are not recognized as a church and are classified as sects — Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses. Protestants categorically deny the worship of icons, saints and monasticism, but recognize the trinity of God.

Protestants firmly believe that the salvation of the soul depends on the acceptance of Jesus Christ as a personal savior; therefore, man does not need intermediaries between him and God.

The difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism and Catholicism

Protestants do not have prayers, they do not light candles in churches, and in prayer services they sing songs in honor of Jesus Christ. In some Protestant churches, it is customary to dance under praise.

This is especially the case for neo-Protestant churches, where people clap and dance in praises to Jesus. It is also not customary to read the Mother of God as equal to God, she is considered a mere mortal woman.

The Protestant movement is distinguished by its active missionary activity, special (brotherly) way of life and mutual assistance. Communities preach equality between all members and live as one family.

The modern Anglican Church adheres to conservatism in its views, and now there is talk of recognizing the supremacy of the Pope of Rome.

In Protestant churches, monasticism is absent as a phenomenon to be considered at all. Believers lead a normal life, but subject to local church ordinances. Divorces are allowed, but are disapproved.

The head of the community is the pastor, who is considered a role model.

Differences between denominations

Consider the fundamental differences between denominations in comparative examples.

Internal organization of churches

In Orthodoxy, there are many autocephalous local churches, which differ in some nuances in rites and canonical forms.

In Russia, all churches are subject to the Moscow Patriarchate.

In Catholicism, everything rests on the authority of the Pope. Some freedom confer monastic orders.

The infallibility of the Pope is recognized by almost all churches, with the exception of traditionalists and old Catholics.

There is no single organizing center in the Protestant movement. Each community exists independently of the other, recognizing the authority of Jesus Christ.

Marriage and Monasticism

In Orthodoxy the monastic movement is developed, the hallmark of which is the vow of celibacy. White clergy (priests) may marry (only once).

In the Catholic Church, all priests take a vow of celibacy, regardless of monastic tonsure.

Protestantism completely denies monasticism and recognizes the institution of marriage. Community members can marry and divorce.

Divorce is acceptable, but not always welcome. Some churches prohibit remarriage.


In the Orthodox faith, Jesus Christ and the Holy Gospel are revered as the highest authority. The vital issues of Orthodoxy are resolved at the Ecumenical Council by a majority vote.

In Catholicism, the opinion of the Pope and his position on spiritual matters is considered the highest authority. The authority of holy scripture is also recognized as the basis of religion.

The Catholics decide community issues at their Ecumenical Councils.

In Protestantism, the gospel is considered the highest authority. However, there are so many ways of interpreting the gospel that believers cannot agree on a single opinion.

Each community has its own view of the Epistles of the Apostles, which is considered the only true one.

The doctrine of St. Mary

In the Orthodox Church, the Mother of God is considered completely sinless, since she did not have original sin. Also, the Orthodox claim that after the assumption the Virgin was taken to heaven.

Catholics support the Orthodox faith in the integrity of the Virgin Mary. There was no sin on her.

In Protestant churches, the Mother of Christ is considered an ordinary woman, a model of holiness and righteous conduct.

The difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism and Catholicism

Dogma about posthumous purgatory

In the Orthodox Church there is a dogma about the ordeals, that is, the after-death trials of the soul.

In the Catholic Church they talk about purgatory, which every soul goes through to be cleansed from sins.

In Protestant churches, both the soul and the purgatory of the soul are rejected.

Church Sacraments

In the Orthodox and Catholic Church recognize 7 church sacraments:

  • Epiphany;
  • repentance;
  • Eucharist;
  • marriage;
  • chrismation;
  • unction;
  • priesthood.

In Protestant churches only two sacraments are recognized — baptism and the sacrament (eucharist).

The difference between Orthodoxy and Protestantism and Catholicism

Sacrament of baptism

In the Orthodox and Catholic Church baptized newborn children. In the Protestant church, baptism is usually taken at a conscious age. Immersion in Protestant communities is not necessary.

If you are baptized with water, then in the river.

Sacrament of communion

In Orthodox churches they take communion with yeast bread and wine. This applies to both the clergy and the flock.

In Catholic churches they partake of bezrozhzhevy bread. The clergy takes communion with bread and wine, the flock only with bread.

In Protestant churches there is no uniform custom of communion, it all depends on the constitution of the community.

The Secret of Confession

In the Orthodox Church confess sins before each communion, confession takes priest. Repentance can be made without the sacrament.

In the Catholic faith, confession can be without the presence of a priest, as well as with his presence — at will.

In the Protestant churches, no mediation between God and man is recognized, so repent of sins is possible without witnesses.

Form of worship

In Orthodox churches, ritual services are conducted according to the Eastern (Byzantine) pattern. There is no musical accompaniment during the service; women and men take part in the choir.

In Catholic churches, divine services (mass) are performed according to the Latin or Eastern model. Organ music plays at masses, only boys (men) participate in the choir.

In modern Protestant churches, divine services are held without the ritual part, mainly preaching and glorifying God. There is choral singing and accompaniment on various musical instruments, up to the modern drum set.

During worship, believers can dance and clap their hands.

Veneration of icons

The worship of icons and the veneration of the cross (crucifixion) are developed in the Orthodox Church. Believers turn directly to the icon with the prayer of faith.

In the Catholic Church revered crucifix and icons. But during prayer, the icon is not addressed, but only stands before it.

In Protestant churches, only a cross without a crucifix is ​​recognized. There are no icons and sculptures, it is considered idolatry.

Honoring the saints and the dead

In the Orthodox and Catholic Church, the veneration of holy saints is accepted. It is also customary to pray for the dead.

In Protestant churches, the cult of the dead is rejected, holy saints are not venerated.

Reconciliation of Churches

The split and the ensuing feud between the Christian denominations were eliminated at the Second Vatican Council in 1965. From this point on, the Roman Catholic Church recognized its beloved sister in Orthodoxy, and called Protestant movements Christian associations.

It was a great progress among the Christians of the world, since all confessions and movements were officially recognized as true and acceptable.

The centuries-old enmity ended, the anathemas were lifted, and the whole Christian world sighed with relief to the envy of the enemies. Despite the fact that Orthodoxy and Catholicism continue to consider their teachings the only correct ones, there is no open hostility between them. Today, no one is pursuing Protestants and Old Believers, considering them to be schismatics and sectarians.

Love and harmony reigned in the world, as Jesus Christ commanded all his followers.

Guess today with the help of the tarot spread "Day map"!

For proper divination: focus on the subconscious and do not think about anything at least 1-2 minutes.

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