Detailed Discussion of Differences Between Roman Catholic and Protestant Beliefs

Introduction

Roman Catholics believe that during baptism, a person receives forgiveness for his sins but he continues to be liable for any sins which he commits after baptism. This punishment will be carried out after death in a place called purgatory which is like a halfway house between heaven and earth. To avoid this punishment, a person can confess his sins to a priest, who has the power to pronounce forgiveness. However, it is still necessary for the person to perform some deeds, called penance, which will compensate for his sins. Catholics believe that the justice of God requires long penances for sins and hundreds or even thousands of years of penance may be required for certain sins. Since this is not possible to fullfil, the person can seek an alternative way to have the punishment for his sins cancelled permanently. That is through the Sacrament of Indulgence by which the merits of Christ and His saints are applied on the person so that he can have his punishment cancelled.

Did the Protestant church come from the Catholic church?

Well, yes and no. The church actually started during the time of Christ and refers to the believers who followed Christ’s teachings. Now recall that the Jews were under the Roman empire during that time and the Romans became very afraid of the advance of Christianity to the point of persecuting many to the point of death. When even this did not stop the Christians, the Romans had no choice but to set up their own churches, the Roman Catholic churches, who appear to be the same as Christian churches but did not have the power and did not have the right teachings. So actually the true church started even before the Roman Catholic churches. However, many Catholics still believe that Protestants branch out from their church because Martin Luther, a Catholic himself who lived in the sixteenth century, challenged the doctrines of the Catholic church especially in the area of salvation by works. Therefore, Protestanism did start from the Catholic church but the true church of God had existed all along even before the advent of the Catholic church.