Comparative Tables: Differences Between Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Protestantism

  Catholicism Orthodoxy Protestantism
Organization One Church led by the Pope A set of independent (autocephalous) churches Lack of a unified organization, abolition of the church hierarchy
Theological questions The Holy Spirit comes not only from God the Father, but also from God the Son. The Church is the custodian and steward of the Holy Spirit, and therefore above secular authorities and infallible Holy Spirit Comes Only from God the Father Mediators between people and God are not needed. Not only priests, but also parishioners have the right to interpret Holy Scripture
Soul after death Falls into fiery purgatory, the time spent in which can be shortened (indulgences) Goes to heaven or hell Faith and virtuous behavior are the main conditions for soul salvation
In the field of worship Cross from left to right. Communion with bread. Baptism by pouring. Confirmation at the age of 7-8. The main holiday is Christmas (the birth of Jesus as a person) Cross from right to left. Communion with bread and wine. Baptism by dipping. Confirmation at baptism. The main holiday is Easter (the end of Jesus’ earthly life) Recognition of only two sacraments – baptism and communion, cancellation of magnificent divine services, indulgences, icons, simplification of rituals
For priests Celibacy (celibacy) You can have a family for non-monks Abolition of monasticism
Features of the value system Emphasizing the human nature of Christ, striving to improve earthly life Emphasis on the divinity of Christ, on the pursuit of soul salvation Economic activity is pleasing to God; increasing wealth is a godly deed; stimulating economic development


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