About this site
About us
Our beliefs
Your first visit?
Contact us
External links
Good books
Visitor essays
Our forum
New essays
Other site features
Buy a CD
Vital notes

World religions
Who is a Christian?
Shared beliefs
Handle change
Bible topics
Bible inerrancy
Bible harmony
Interpret Bible
Beliefs, creeds
Da Vinci code
Revelation, 666
Other religions
Other spirituality
Cults and NRMs
Comparing religions

About all religions
Important topics
Basic information
Gods & Goddesses
Handle change
Confusing terms
World's end
One true religion?
Seasonal topics
Science v. Religion
More info.

Absolute truth

Attaining peace
Religious tolerance
Religious hatred
Religious conflict
Religious violence

"Hot" topics
Very hot topics
Ten commandm'ts
Assisted suicide
Death penalty
Equal rights - gays & bi's
Gay marriage
Origins of the species
Sex & gender
Spanking kids
Stem cells
Other topics

Laws and news
Religious laws
Religious news


Religious Tolerance logo


horizontal rule

Sponsored link.

horizontal rule

Differences and Agreements between Roman Catholics and conservative Protestants:

At any time over the past five centuries, many "hot" religious topics have been debated. Often, Christians have attempted to preserve the status quo, while secular, medical, political and special interest groups have sought change. Some of these battles have been long settled; others are still in progress. In recent years, we have seen many debates where conservative Christians have attempted to preserve certain traditions, while liberal religious groups, feminists, gays, lesbians, and some scientists, therapists, medical personnel etc have tried to bring about change.

Often, the Roman Catholic church and conservative Protestants (Fundamentalists and other Evangelicals) find themselves on the same side of major "hot" religious topics:
bulletThey both oppose:
bulletWomen's access to the morning-after pill,
bulletAccess to abortion services,
bulletChoice in physician assisted suicide,
bulletTherapeutic and reproductive cloning of humans,
bulletComprehensive sexual education in schools,
bulletEqual rights for gays and lesbians (including the right to marry),
bulletStudent access to condoms in the schools.
bulletBoth agree on many major theological matters, including:
bulletThat human personhood begins at the instant of conception.
bulletThe existence of Heaven and Hell,
bulletThe inerrancy of the Bible,
bulletThe Trinity,
bulletThe Virgin birth of Jesus.
bulletThe Roman Catholic church restricts access of women to most positions of authority and power in the church; Evangelicals hold diverse beliefs in this area. The Southern Baptists recently decided that women are not eligible for ordination. But some other conservative Protestant denominations ordain women and accept them in leadership positions.
bulletThey disagree in two topics: use of birth control by married couples, and capital punishment. The Roman Catholic church is opposed to both. Most Evangelicals believe that birth control usage is a personal matter for each couple to decide, and that the death penalty is the preferred way of dealing with some murderers.

But there exists a great gulf between the two groups on other matters.

Although they share many beliefs and social policies, their theological differences and bitter history of division have made it difficult for Roman Catholics and conservative Protestants to mount joint programs and cooperate on important causes.

horizontal rule

Charles Colson

Chuck Colson was an aide to Richard Nixon's presidency during the times of the Watergate scandal. After being released from prison, Colson formed Prison Fellowship, an Evangelical Christian outreach to convicts. He has been perhaps the most active Evangelical Christian in the promotion of Roman Catholic-Evangelical cooperation. He wrote the foreword to Kieth Fournier's book: "Evangelical Catholics," in which he stated:

"...those who are called of God, whether Catholic or Protestant, are part of the same Body. What they share is a belief in the basics: the virgin birth, the deity of Christ, His bodily resurrection, His imminent return, and the authority of His infallible Word. They also share the same mission: presenting Christ as Savior and Lord to a needy world. Those who hold to these truths and act on this commission are evangelical Christians. … It's high time that all of us who are Christians come together regardless of the difference of our confessions and our traditions and make common cause to bring Christian values to bear in our society. When the barbarians are scaling the walls, there is no time for petty quarreling in the camp.... We have much to forgive, much to relearn. But Evangelical Catholics can help us do both so we can band together against the rising tides of secularism which threaten to engulf us." 1

horizontal rule

Sponsored link:

horizontal rule

Billy Graham

Billy Graham is perhaps the best known and loved conservative Christian evangelist in North America. He has long been involved in a close working relationship with the Roman Catholic church. He is perhaps the most influential Protestant involved in the Catholic-Evangelical ecumenical movement: 2
bulletIn 1964, after a meeting with Richard Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, Mr. Graham said: "I feel much closer to Roman Catholic tradition than to some of the more liberal Protestants."
bulletin 1967, he received an honorary degree from a Roman Catholic institution: Belmont Abbey.
bulletIn 1979, he recognized Pope John Paul II as "the moral leader of the world."
bulletIn 1981, during an interview in Christianity Today, he said that one of the most significant changes in Christendom over the previous 25 years was "...the new understanding between Roman Catholics and Protestants. Twenty-five years ago we could hardly speak with each other openly. In our Crusades today, thousands of Catholics feel free to attend. I have preached in Roman Catholic schools, and have even received honorary doctorates from them. this could not have happened 25 years ago." 3
bulletIn 1981, he met the pope for the first time, and was the first Protestant to ever speak at the North American College, a seminary for students from North America at the Vatican.
bulletIn 1983, he advised President Reagan in the decision to establish formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican.
bulletIn 1990, Dr Graham met with the pope, to discuss Eastern Europe and relations between Evangelicals and Roman Catholics worldwide.
bulletBilly Graham's team generally seeks the cooperation of both Protestant and Roman Catholic churches in those urban areas where they have conducted recent campaigns.
bulletRoman Catholics who make a decision for Christ at his meetings are referred back to counselors at their diocese.

horizontal rule

Activities by other Evangelical Leaders:

bulletPromise Keepers, the leading Evangelical Christian men's organization in the United States calls on individuals in all Christian groups to "tear down all denominational barriers" and join together in committing their lives to Jesus.
bulletJack van Impe is arguably the leading Evangelical teleministry devoted to end-times prophecy. He frequently refers to the Roman Catholic church in a positive context on his weekly program.
bulletRobert Schuller, promoter of "Possibility Thinking" also refers to Catholicism positively in his TV program.
bulletThe Charismatic movement straddles both Protestantism and Catholicism. At "The North American Congress on the Holy Spirit and World Evangelization" in 1987, 40,000 Charismatic Christians met. Present were Roman Catholics, Evangelicals, and Mainline Christians. The Catholic contingent was the largest of any denomination. 

horizontal rule


  1. K.A. Fournier, "Evangelical Catholics," (1990). This book is out of print but might be obtained through Amazon.com.
  2. John Ashbrook, "Billy Graham's Catholic Connection," at: http://cnview.com/on_line_resources/
  3. "Candid Conversations with the Evangelist," Christianity Today, 1981-JUL-17.

horizontal rule

Site navigation:

Home page > Christianity > Christian beliefs...> Ecumenicalism > here

horizontal rule

Copyright © 1998 to 2004 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 1998-JUN-5
Latest update: 2004-OCT-03
Author: B.A. Robinson

line.gif (538 bytes)

horizontal rule

Go to the previous page, or return to the Ecumenical menu, or choose:

Web ReligiousTolerance.org

Go to home page  We would really appreciate your help

E-mail us about errors, etc.  Purchase a CD of this web site

FreeFind search, lists of new essays...  Having problems printing our essays?

Twitter link

Facebook icon

Google Page Translator:

This page translator works on Firefox,
Opera, Chrome, and Safari browsers only

After translating, click on the "show
original" button at the top of this
page to restore page to English.