Similarities between Catholic and Protestant

The Pope and Heinrich-Bedford-Strohm

Both Catholicism and Protestantism are different denominations from the Christian church. Amongst the many differences that exist between both of them, one of the most important is that Catholics accept and recognize the authority of the Pope as their leader, while Protestants don’t.

Catholicism Protestantism
Followers Catholicism is the largest Christian church with over 1.3 billion believers. Protestantism is the second largest of the Christian denominations with over 800 million followers.
Authority The Pope, who lives in Vatican city, is on top of the Catholic clerical hierarchy. He is the Bishop of Rome and the direct successor of Saint Peter, the apostle. Protestantism is not subjected to papal authority. Protestants reject papal primacy since according to them it is contradictory to their interpretation of the Bible.
Founder Jesus Christ or apostle Peter. Martin Luther
About the Bible Along with the Holy Bible, the traditions of the Roman Catholic Church are the source of the guidelines that a good Catholic must follow. The Holy Bible is the only source of the rules they must follow.
Clergy The Pope at the top of the hierarchy, followed by cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests and deacons. Protestantism does not have a hierarchical structure. They actually believe that priesthood can be transferred to men and women equally.
Celibacy of the Clergy Celibacy is mandatory for all of its priests. Celibacy in the Clergy is not practiced. Most pastors are actually married.
Sacraments There are seven sacraments in the Catholic church; Baptism, Confirmation, Eucharist (Holy Communion), Penance, Anointing of the sick, Holy Matrimony and Holy Orders. Most Protestant churches believe only two sacraments are necessary. These are Baptism and Eucharist (known as Lord’s Supper).
Holy Communion The Holy Communion is a rite that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples. Bread and wine consecrated by a priest, become the body and blood of Christ. Only those who have fulfilled the sacrament of the First Communion are able to fully participate in the Catholic rite. On the flipside, according to the Protestant tradition it is only necessary to be baptized in order to participate in the Lord’s Supper. Also, the bread, or body of Jesus is not a subject of adoration for Protestants as it is for the Catholics.
Mary and the Saints Catholics revere Mary as the Mother of God. Also, veneration of the Saints is practiced. The Virgin Mary and Saints are considered to be intermediaries between God and his believers. Marian dogmas such as the Immaculate Conception and Assumption into heaven are rejected by Protestants. Veneration of the Saints is believed to be unbiblical. Everybody is able to pray directly to God, there is no need for an intermediary.