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Catholic vs. Methodist: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Published on December 7, 2023
Catholicism is a Christian denomination centered on the Pope and Church tradition, while Methodism is a Protestant branch emphasizing personal faith and good works.

Key Differences

Catholicism, an ancient branch of Christianity, is led by the Pope and holds tradition and scripture equally, while Methodism, a Protestant denomination, emphasizes personal faith and scriptural interpretation.
In Catholicism, sacraments are central to faith, with seven sacraments including Eucharist and Baptism, whereas Methodism recognizes two sacraments and focuses more on personal salvation and piety.
The Catholic Church is hierarchical with a structured clergy, including bishops and priests, while Methodism typically has a more decentralized structure with ordained ministers.
Catholic worship involves a liturgical approach with Mass, whereas Methodist services are often less formal, focusing on sermons and hymn singing.
Catholic doctrine includes the veneration of saints and the Virgin Mary, unlike Methodism which does not emphasize such practices.

Comparison Chart

Leadership and Structure

Hierarchical, led by the Pope
More decentralized, with ordained ministers


Seven sacraments, including Eucharist
Typically recognizes two: Baptism and Communion

Worship Style

Liturgical, with Mass
Often less formal, focused on sermons and hymns


Includes veneration of saints, tradition
Emphasizes personal faith, scriptural interpretation

Historical Origin

Ancient, dating back to the early Church
18th-century origin, part of the Protestant Reformation

Catholic and Methodist Definitions


Belonging to the worldwide Christian church led by the Pope.
The Catholic Church has a rich historical tradition.


Member of a Protestant Christian denomination founded by John Wesley.
As a Methodist, he regularly attends Sunday service.


Universal; encompassing a wide variety.
His tastes in music are quite catholic.


Reflecting the social and evangelical focus of Methodism.
Their Methodist community is active in social justice issues.


Related to the practices and beliefs of the Catholic denomination.
Catholic teachings emphasize the sacraments.


Relating to the Methodist Church's organizational structure.
Methodist ministers are appointed by a conference, not a hierarchy.


Pertaining to the ancient undivided Christian church.
The Nicene Creed is a symbol of catholic faith.


Emphasizing personal faith and good works.
Her Methodist beliefs inspire her community involvement.


Inclusive, broad in interests or sympathies.
Her catholic approach to charity work is commendable.


Pertaining to the teachings or practices of Methodism.
Methodist worship often features spirited hymn singing.


Of broad or liberal scope; comprehensive
"The 100-odd pages of formulas and constants are surely the most catholic to be found" (Scientific American).


A member of an evangelical Protestant church founded on the principles of John and Charles Wesley in England in the early 1700s and characterized by active concern with social welfare and public morals.


Including or concerning all humankind; universal
"what was of catholic rather than national interest" (J.A. Froude).


Methodist One who emphasizes or insists on systematic procedure.


One who follows a method.


(history of science) One who limits the domain of science to that which can be investigated using the scientific method.


Alternative form of Methodist.


One who observes method.


One of an ancient school of physicians who rejected observation and founded their practice on reasoning and theory.


One of a sect of Christians, the outgrowth of a small association called the "Holy Club," formed at Oxford University, a. d. 1729, of which the most conspicuous members were John Wesley and his brother Charles Wesley; - originally so called from the methodical strictness of members of the club in all religious duties.


A person of strict piety; one who lives in the exact observance of religious duties; - sometimes so called in contempt or ridicule.


Of or pertaining to the sect of Methodists; as, Methodist hymns; a Methodist elder.


A follower of Wesleyanism as practiced by the Methodist Church


Of or pertaining to or characteristic of the branch of Protestantism adhering to the views of Wesley;
Methodist theology


What is a central practice in Catholic worship?

The celebration of the Mass and Eucharist is central.

How does Catholicism view the Bible?

Catholicism holds scripture and tradition as equally authoritative.

What is the foundation of Catholicism?

Catholicism is based on Church tradition and the authority of the Pope.

What role do laypeople play in Catholicism?

Laypeople are active in various ministries but cannot administer sacraments.

How does Catholicism view salvation?

Salvation in Catholicism is through faith, good works, and sacraments.

How does Methodism view salvation?

Salvation in Methodism is by faith and is reflected in one's lifestyle.

How is Methodist church governance structured?

It's more decentralized, with conferences and committees.

How does Catholicism influence global culture?

Catholicism has a significant impact on art, culture, and ethics worldwide.

What role do saints play in Catholicism?

Saints are venerated and considered intercessors in Catholicism.

What are Methodist beliefs based on?

Methodism emphasizes personal faith, scripture, and social justice.

What is the Catholic view on the Virgin Mary?

She is highly venerated and considered the mother of the Church.

How do Catholics and Methodists view ecumenism?

Both denominations support ecumenism, though with different approaches.

What's distinctive about Methodist worship?

It often includes hymn singing and focuses on sermons.

What is the Methodist view on sacraments?

Methodism recognizes two sacraments: Baptism and Communion.

How does Catholicism approach moral teachings?

Moral teachings in Catholicism are often guided by the Church's doctrine.

Can Catholics and Methodists participate in each other's sacraments?

Generally, there are restrictions on intercommunion between the two.

How does Methodism approach social issues?

Methodism has a strong focus on social justice and community service.

What is the Methodist stance on ecumenism?

Methodism generally supports ecumenical efforts and interfaith dialogue.

How does education play a role in Methodism?

Education and informed faith are important in Methodism.

What are the origins of Methodism?

It originated in the 18th century with John Wesley's teachings.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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