Doctrinal Comparison

The following is a comparison of doctrine between the times of the apostles and early Church Fathers (Apostolic Teaching), the teachings of the Catholic Church (Catholicism), Biblical References, and the general understanding of this same doctrine by most Protestant denominations (Protestantism). The Apostolic Teachings preceded the formation of the New Testament canon, which was not formally recognized until after the Councils of Hippo (393 a.d.) and Carthage (397 a.d.).


Eucharist
Apostolic Teaching
True Body and Blood of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.
Catholicism
True Body and Blood of Christ under the appearance of bread and wine.
Biblical References
Matthew 26:26, Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19, John 6:35,41,51-58, 1 Corinthians 11:27-29.
Protestantism
Christ present only as symbol. Some Anglicans (Episcopals) hold Catholic position (transubstantiation); Lutherans approach Catholic teaching (consubstantiation).

[Back to Top]


Penance

Apostolic Teaching
Christ gave Apostles and successors power to forgive and retain sins.
Catholicism
Christ gave Apostles and successors power to forgive and retain sins.
Biblical References
John 20:23, 2 Corinthians 5:18.
Protestantism
Rejection of Catholic claim.

[Back to Top]


Marriage

Apostolic Teaching
Valid marriage indissoluble.
Catholicism
Valid marriage indissoluble.
Biblical References
Matthew 5:32 and 19:9, Mark 10:2-12, Luke 16:18, 1 Corinthians 7:10.
Protestantism
Divorce and remarriage permitted.

[Back to Top]


Biblical Interpretation

Apostolic Teaching
Interpreted by Church.
Catholicism
Interpreted by Church.
Biblical References
2 Peter 3:16, Acts 8:30-31, 2 Peter 1:20-21.
Protestantism
Private Interpretation.

[Back to Top]


Papacy

Apostolic Teaching
Christ chose Peter and meant for him to have successors.
Catholicism
Pope successor of Peter.
Biblical References
Matthew 16:18-19. St. Irenaeus of Lyons, who lived around 140-202 a.d., wrote, "The blessed Apostles (Peter and Paul), having founded and built up the Church (of Rome), handed over the office of the episcopate to Linus. Paul makes mention of this Linus in the Epistle to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:21). To him succeeded Anacletus; and after him, in the third place from the apostles, Clement was chosen for the episcopate. He had seen the blessed Apostles and was acquainted with them. It might be said that He still heard the echoes of the preaching of the Apostles, and had their traditions before his eyes. And not only he, for there were many still remaining who had been instructed by the Apostles." St. Irenaeus then goes on to list eight more Popes in the line of succession from Peter and ends with: "In this order, and by the teaching of the Apostles handed down in the Church, the preaching of the truth has come down to us."
Protestantism
Catholic claim denied.

[Back to Top]


Infallibility

Apostolic Teaching
Christ grants to Church.
Catholicism
Pope and bishops infallible in matters of faith and morals when specific conditions have been met.
Biblical References
Matthew 16:18 and 28:20, Mark 16:15, Luke 10:16, 1 Timothy 3:15.
Protestantism
Catholic claim denied.

[Back to Top]


Abortion

Apostolic Teaching
"Do not kill a fetus by abortion or commit infanticide" (Didache).
Catholicism
Absolutely forbidden, no exceptions.
Biblical References
Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17.
Protestantism
Until August 14, 1930, all Christian churches were unanimous in their opposition to artificial means of birth prevention. However, the first crack in the dam was Resolution 15 of the Anglican Bishop's Lambeth Conference of August 15, 1930. The National Council of Churches (NCC) proclaimed on 23 February 1961 that "Most of the Protestant churches hold contraception and periodic abstinence to be morally right when the motives are right ... Protestant Christians are agreed in condemning abortion or any method which destroys human life, except when the health or life of the mother is at stake." As the 20th Century draws to a close, almost all of the mainline Protestant denominations (to include Methodist, Church of Christ, Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Lutheran) accept not only contraception, but abortion for almost all reasons. There are some exceptions.

[Back to Top]


Tradition

Apostolic Teaching
Cited as rule by Apostles.
Catholicism
Source of faith with Scripture.
Biblical References
1 Corinthians 15:3,11, 2 Timothy 2:2, 1 Corinthians 11:2. The word "tradition" comes from the Latin meaning "handing over". Catholics believe that Sacred Scripture is "the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of the Holy Spirit." We further believe that Holy Tradition "transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of the apostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound, and spread it abroad by their preaching." As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation is entrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scriptures alone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honored with equal sentiments of devotion and reverence." Catechism of the Catholic Church, para 81-82.
Protestantism
Generally denied.

[Back to Top]


Conclusion

The Catholic Church teachings today are the same as they were during the time of the apostles and early Church Fathers and are consistent with Holy Scripture.

[Back to Top]



[Back to the Previous Page]

[HOME] * [Catholicism] * [Mormonism] * [Apologetics]
[Search] * [About TIS] * [Feedback] * [Photo Gallery] * [Links]

© 2009 Transporter Info Services, All Rights Reserved.