Updated: Feb 27
How Protestants formed from Catholic Christians?
The reformation first happened in Germany, 500 years ago, when Martin Luther King, tried to reform the Roman Catholic church. His attempt ended up with the historical Schism (Division between two sections).
Difference between Protestants and Catholics
Catholics follow the traditions of the Roman Catholic church additionally to the Bible. Whereas Protestants only follow Bible and believed it as "Sola Skriptura" which suggests "The God's only Book".
Catholics believe the Catholic church as the one and only true church under the leadership of the Pope because the word catholic means Universal or all- embracing. in contrast, the latter has Tens of thousands of churches in the world with equal rank.
Pope is believed as a supreme in Catholics and believed that Jesus appointed the primary priest and Pope's are to be their successors of Apostle Peter. The latter doesn't value the papal supremacy.
Catholics believe that the sacramental authority has only been given to specific people such as Bishops, priests, and Deacons and only to men. Protestants don't consecrate specific persons and ladies also can achieve that position.
Catholics believe Mother Mary as the Queen of Heaven. whereas the latter only considers her only as a human and mother of Jesus.
Role of Martin Luther King (Sr.) in Reformation
Luther King (1483-1546), a German Professor of Theology, Priest, author, composer, Augustinian Monk, and most significantly the one that results in reformation. He rejected several teaching of the Roman Catholic church: especially, he disputed the view of "Indulgences" (Way of reducing the quantity of punishment one has got to undergo for his sins). On October 31, 1517, he published 95 theses, which portrayed abusive practices of the church, which led to the division and ultimately the formation of "Evangelical Church". This resulted in excommunication by Pope Leo X in 1520 and therefore the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V at the "Diet of Worms" (Meeting of Assembly of the Holy Roman Empire held at Worms) in 1521, as he refused to renounce all of his writings.
Luther taught that "Salvation and, consequently, eternal life is not merely earned by good deeds but are received only as of the free gift of God's grace through the believer's faith in Almighty. His translation of the Bible into German Vernacular (instead of Latin) made it more accessible to the laity (Ordinary people). This event proved an incredible impact on both Church and German Culture. His marriage to Katharina von Bora, a former Nun, set a model for the practice of clerical marriage, opening the doors for the wedding of Protestant Clergy.
Why Protestants migrated to the newly found-land of America?:
After the course of the Reformation, Luther denied the authority of the Pope to determine the true religion, instead, he believed that one's own faith guarantees acceptance by God, and with it, Salvation. In a remarkably short duration and with aid of Print media, large parts of Northern Europe supported his reforms. Many parts of Europe became Protestants. Luther was condemned as a religious dissenter by the Pope and forced into exile for one year.
Religious freedom is one of the main reasons for the founding of the American Colonies. Some of the Protestants flew to the new found-land of America, some to New Zealand, and a few other to West indies Islands. The colonial-era spanned up to 1763. During this point, colonists came from different countries to create new lives and observed different traditions. Early American colonists came from a wide variety of backgrounds. They were pilgrims, separatists, and puritans. Some of them were even captive slaves from Africa. But, for, Native Americans, their homelands, their way of life, and their survival was at stake. pilgrims and puritans would not have approved of such religious liberty and, moreover, weren't involved in founding the United States.The pilgrims were important in shaping American identity, through reformation continued to influence America in significant ways. America began as a significant protestant majority nation. They were the majority of the population until 2012 when the protestant share dropped up to 48%.
Why there is only one Catholic president throughout History until Joe Biden?
Although about 1 in 5 US adults are Catholic and Catholicism is one of the Nation's largest religious groups (the largest minority in the US). It is estimated that over 70 million of the 321 million residents are Catholics. Joseph R Biden is the second Catholic President of the United States after John Fitzgerald Kennedy who was elected 60 years back. Aside from Biden, only one other Catholic, John Kerry, has been a Presidential nominee ( on a major party ticket) since Kennedy's assassination in 1963. There has been an abundance of Catholic vice president nominees since 1960, but, so far Biden is the sole Catholic Vice President of the country. Besides Kennedy is the first Catholic, he is the youngest ever elected president of the US. His Catholicism almost doomed him and was widely viewed as a liability. He even stated that,
"I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute, where no catholic prelate would tell the president how to act".
when Kennedy won, it seemed likely that more catholic presidents would follow but that has not been the case. in contrast, Biden on the other hand, publicly expressed a religious soul, not just as a Christian, but distinctly as a catholic. He attends mass. He has made his Catholicism central to his 2020 election campaign. In his speeches throughout the campaign, He didn't hesitate to refer the religion.He even called his campaign a "Battle for the soul of America".In his victory speech on November 7, cited both the Bible and one of the liturgical hymns.
Why it is so difficult for a catholic to raise to such a big position?
In 1835, French Philosopher, Alex de Tocqueville described the character of U.S. as "elsewhere have often been at war but in America, have somehow been incorporated into one another and marvelously combined".
However, the Nation which was built on diversity and religious freedom, its racial, ethnic and religious minorities has facing discrimination and marginalization.
Despite of the Country's mandate for the free exercise of religion and the freedom of religion enshrined in the First amendment of Constitution. It is merely limited to varieties of Protestants rather than to other religions.
A narrative of American exceptionalism, supports the notion that the "True American citizen" is essentially white and protestant.
In 19th Century, when Catholic immigrants form Ireland, Germany and Italy came to the U.S. , these Non-Protestant, Non-Anglo immigrants were treated as "less-White" than more established the then existing Anglo communities were subjected to significant discrimination.
The other immigrants such as Latin, Jewish, Asian, and Middle eastern were also racialised, discriminated and treated as perpetual foreigners. Even liberal Protestant Churches supported white supremacy. Just as people used Biblical texts to support slavery.
Today rising of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia remind America that religious minorities continues to face a social and political bias and discrimination that marginalizes them as foreign.
Sikhs are attacked and told "go back to your Country". Buddhist temples are vandalized and Mosques are denied building permits.
Wolf was among several Catholic priests who discussed how Catholics and Non-Catholics-throughout history have related to Catholic individuals who seek the highest office of the land. Smith was the first Catholic presidential candidate (nominated by a major party). He was the most probable to become a president. However, his Catholicism was among the barriers that kept him from the White House. Wolf said that, Non-Catholics in the U.S. feared that Smith would allow Pope to rule America from Rome.