Groups in Christianity: The roman Catholic church, The eastern arthodox church, and protestants churches
Roman catholic church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with more than 1.29 billion members worldwide. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. Headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the Pope, the church’s doctrines are summarised in the Nicene Creed. Its central administration, the Holy See, is in the Vatican City, enclaved within Rome, Italy. The Catholic Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church founded by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, that its bishops are the successors of Christ’s apostles, and that the Pope is the successor to Saint Peter to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus Christ. It maintains that it practices the original Christian faith, reserving infallibility, passed down by sacred tradition.The Latin Church and Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as institutes such as mendicant orders and enclosed monastic orders, reflect a variety of theological and spiritual emphases in the Church.
Of its seven sacraments the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in the Mass. The church teaches that through consecration by a priest the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. Virgin Mary is venerated in the Catholic Church as Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, honoured in dogmas and devotions. Its teaching includes sanctification through faith and evangelisation of the Gospel and Catholic social teaching, which emphasises support for the sick, the poor, and the afflicted through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy. The Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of education and health care in the world.
The Catholic Church has influenced Western philosophy, culture, science, and art. The Catholic Church shared communion with the Eastern Orthodox Church until the East–West Schism in 1054, disputing particularly the authority of the Pope, as well as with the Oriental Orthodox churches prior to the Chalcedonian schism in 451 over differences in Christology. Catholics live all over the world through missions, diaspora, and conversions. Since the 20th century the majority reside in the southern hemisphere due to secularisation of Europe, and increased persecution in the Middle East. From the late 20th century, the Catholic Church has been criticised for its doctrines on sexuality, its refusal to ordain women and its handling of sexual abuse cases.
The eastern Orthodox church
The Eastern Orthodox Church, also known as the Orthodox Church, or officially as the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian Church, with over 250 million members. As one of the oldest religious institutions in the world, it has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern Europe, and the Near East, including Slav and Greek peoples. A communion of autocephalous churches, each typically governed by Holy Synods, its bishops are equal by virtue of ordination, with doctrines summarised in the Nicene Creed. Although Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople is considered the most prominent, it lacks central governance analogous to the Papacy in the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission, and that its bishops are the successors of Christ’s apostles. It maintains that it practices the original Christian faith, passed down by sacred tradition. Of its several patriarchates four reminiscent the pentarchy, while its autocephalous and autonomous churches reflect or variety of hierarchical organisation.
Of its innumerable sacred mysteries, it recognises seven “major sacraments” of which the Eucharist is the principal one, celebrated liturgically in synaxis. The church teaches that through consecration invoked by a priest the sacrificial bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ. Virgin Mary is venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church as Mother of God, honoured in devotions. Eastern Orthodoxy developed in the Greek-speaking Eastern part of the Roman Empire, continuing later in the Byzantine Empire. During the first centuries AD, most major intellectual, cultural, and social developments in the Great Christian Church took place within the sphere of influence of the Byzantine commonwealth, where the Greek language was widely spoken and used for theological writings. In reference to this legacy, it was sometimes called “Greek Orthodox”, though this was never in official use and gradually abandoned by the non–Greek-speaking Eastern Orthodoxy from the 10th century A.D. The contemporary Eastern Orthodox Church shared communion with the contemporary Roman Catholic Church until the East–West Schism in AD 1054, triggered by disputes over doctrine, especially the authority of the Pope. Prior to the Council of Chalcedon in AD 451, also Oriental Orthodox churches shared in this communion, separating primarily over differences in Christology.
The majority of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia, eastern Europe, Greece, and the Caucasus, with smaller communities in the former Byzantine regions of the eastern Mediterranean, Africa, and to a descreasing degree also in the Middle East due to persecution. There are also many in other parts of the world, formed through diaspora, conversions, and missionary activity.
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40 percent of all Christians. It originated with the Reformation, a movement against what its followers considered to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Ever since, Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone (sola fide) rather than by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone (rather than with sacred tradition) in faith and morals (sola scriptura). The “Five solae” summarize basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church. Protestantism is popularly considered to have begun in Germany in 1517 when Martin Luther published his Ninety-five Theses as a reaction against abuses in the sale of indulgences by the Roman Catholic Church, which purported to offer remission of sin to their purchasers. However, the term derives from the letter of protestation from German Lutheran princes in 1529 against an edict of the Diet of Speyer condemning the teachings of Martin Luther as heretical. Although there were earlier breaks and attempts to reform of the Roman Catholic Church — notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe, and Jan Hus — only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider, lasting, modern movement. In the 16th century, Lutheranism spread from Germany into Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Latvia, Estonia, and Iceland.Reformed (or Calvinist) denominations spread in Germany,Hungary, the Netherlands, Scotland, Switzerland and France by reformers such as John Calvin, Huldrych Zwingli, and John Knox. The political separation of the Church of England from the pope under King Henry VIII sparked Anglicanism in England and Wales into this broad Reformation movement.
Protestants developed their own culture, with major contributions in education, the humanities and sciences, the political and social order, the economy and the arts, and many other fields. Protestantism is diverse, being more divided theologically and ecclesiastically than either the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, or Oriental Orthodoxy. Without structural unity or central human authority, Protestants spearheaded the concept of an invisible church rather than a body of clergy or focused on institutional figures. Some denominations do have a worldwide scope and distribution of membership, while others are confined to a single country.
A majority of Protestants are members of a handful of Protestant denominational families: Adventists, Anglicans, Baptists, Reformed, Lutherans, Methodists, and Pentecostals. Nondenominational, evangelical, charismatic, independent and other churches are on the rise, and constitute a significant part of Protestant Christianity. Proponents of the branch theory consider Protestantism one of the three major divisions of Christendom, together with the Roman Catholic Church and Orthodoxy (both Eastern and Oriental).