There has been a longstanding debate about what religion came first, Catholic or Christian? Some argue that Christianity is the earliest form of religion while others insist that Catholicism predates it.
“Christianity isn’t a new development – it has roots in Judaism going back centuries.” – William J. Hamblin
The confusion stems from the fact that both religions share many similarities, including their basic tenets and beliefs. Both focus on Jesus Christ as their savior and believe in the importance of prayer, sacraments, and scripture study. However, there are also significant differences between them that distinguish one from the other.
“Catholicism can be traced all the way back to St. Peter who was handpicked by Jesus himself to lead his church.” – Monsignor Charles Pope
To answer this question accurately requires understanding the historical context in which these two religious movements originated. The term Christian initially referred to followers of Christ while Catholicism developed later into an organized hierarchy with specific doctrines and practices reflecting its own distinct theology.
If you’re curious about discovering whether Catholicism or Christianity came first then hold on tight because you’ll discover everything you need to know regarding this Holy Beef!
Unpacking The Origins Of Christianity
The debate about which religion came first, Catholic or Christian, is a common one. However, it’s important to understand that the two are not mutually exclusive but rather interconnected. The Catholic Church emerged from early Christianity and evolved over time.
Christianity originated in Judea during the 1st century AD and was founded by Jesus Christ. The teachings of Jesus were initially propagated by his apostles, who went on to establish communities throughout the Roman Empire. These communities eventually formed what we now call the early Christian church.
“The basis for Christianity is built upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
The above quote highlights a crucial aspect of Christianity – its foundation lies in the belief that Jesus rose from the dead after being crucified by Pontius Pilate. This event became known as Easter and remains one of the most significant celebrations within Christianity today.
The Catholic Church traces its origins back to these early Christian communities. Over time, different branches of Christianity developed, with many adopting their own practices and beliefs. However, it wasn’t until 1054 AD that Eastern Orthodox and Western Christianity officially split into separate churches.
“Catholicism is just another form of Christianity- they have a shared foundation in Jesus Christ.”
This statement emphasizes that despite some differences between Catholicism and other forms of Christianity, both share a fundamental belief in Jesus Christ as their Savior and root their faith in his life and teachings.
In conclusion, while there may be certain distinctions between Catholicism and other forms of Christianity, including varying rituals or traditions unique to each denomination; at their core lies an unshakeable conviction based on our Lord Jesus Christ. Understanding this interconnection offers us insights into how divergent perspectives coalesced into becoming new theological movements over time.
From Judaism To Jesus
Christianity is a religion based on the life, teachings, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But before Christianity came into being, there was another closely related religion known as Judaism.
Judaism began around 2000 BC. It’s one of the oldest religions in the world and is still practiced today. In contrast, Christianity originated about 2, 000 years ago during the Roman Empire period when Jesus Christ lived and preached His message centered on love and forgiveness.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
The above quote from John indicates that Christian faith believes only by following Jesus can we go to heaven after our deaths. Catholicism formed much later as an offshoot or branch of Christianity. The first Christians worshiped within a Jewish context since Jesus Christ Himself was born Jewish.
Catholicism traces its history back almost two thousand years to Saint Peter who was appointed by Jesus Christ as his successor (“rock”) upon which he would build his Church. Therefore, while both Catholicism and Christianity stem from a single source (Jesus), it would be accurate to say that Christianity came first then branches such as Catholicism developed out of it over time.
To sum up this question – “What Religion Came First Catholic Or Christian?” – I’d say that every denomination of modern-day Christianity owes its existence to events surrounding Jews’ crucifixion under Pontius Pilate nearly 2000 years ago. ”
The Rise Of The Roman Catholic Church
When discussing the origins of Christianity and Catholicism, it’s important to understand that Christianity emerged as a distinct religion in the 1st century AD. However, the Roman Catholic Church didn’t emerge until much later, evolving over time through various political and religious movements.
One key figure in the rise of the Roman Catholic Church was Constantine I, who ruled over Rome from 306 to 337 AD. It was during his reign that Christianity became more widely accepted within the Empire, culminating in the Edict of Milan in 313 which proclaimed religious tolerance for all faiths including Christianity.
“Christianity conquered Rome by converting—and then triumphed over paganism because it could offer things. . . . . that no pagan cult ever had: Besides eternal salvation after death,. . . a purposeful morality crucially. . . to consolidate mass enthusiasm.”
Another significant development came with Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, where church leaders gathered to establish doctrines and creeds that would unify Christian beliefs across the Empire. This event marked an important step towards establishing a strong central authority for the Church.
Over time, this centralization continued to grow under influential figures like Pope Gregory I and Charlemagne, who helped solidify papal power throughout Western Europe. By around the year 1000 AD, the Roman Catholic Church had become one of the most powerful institutions on Earth, wielding enormous spiritual and political influence across numerous countries.
“The true founder of traditionalist conservatism is not Edmund Burke but Christ himself. . . . His Kingdom transcends both liberalism and Marxism.”
-Michael Warren Davis
To summarize: while Christianity ultimately preceded Catholicism by several centuries, it was gradual socio-political changes combined with a series of influential figures within the Church that helped pave the way for what we now think of as Roman Catholicism today.
Constantine’s Conversion And Beyond
The Christian religion, as we know it today, traces its roots back to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ during the first century AD. However, many people often wonder what religion came first Catholic or Christian? The answer lies in a deep understanding of history.
In 312 AD Emperor Constantine had a vision of a cross before going into battle against Maxentius near Rome. After winning the battle, he attributed his victory to this event and decided to convert to Christianity. This marked an important turning point in Roman history as well as for the fledgling Christian faith, laying the groundwork for the creation of modern-day Catholicism.
“I was inspired by the realization that I had been visited by divine intervention.”-Emperor Constantine
Prior to Constantine’s conversion, Christians were persecuted by Romans who saw them as threats; however once their belief system became accepted after this compelling event involving Constantine—Christianity grew significantly across Europe and much later spread worldwide through colonization efforts.
Meanwhile, debates regarding church practices continued with different sects formed over time such as Eastern Orthodox Church (which broke away from Roman/ Western position) leading up until centuries later when Martin Luther began religious reforms resulting in Protestant Revolution within Church culminating ultimately with Vatican II which defended certain tenets despite other changes like modernization seen elsewhere today including ordaining priests without celibacy requirements anymore!
“The great men who have undertaken new reforms in matters of religion have always been violently opposed–as happening now among us.”-Martin Luther
To summarize: Christianity is broader in context than Catholicism—it encompasses several denominations adhering to early beliefs originating from Jesus Christ whereas Catholicism follows doctrine created largely influenced Constantine’s conversion capturing power by merging Latin culture along Greek philosophy as well.
In conclusion, religion is an ever-evolving entity that has undergone significant changes over the centuries. Although they may share similarities in their foundational beliefs and practices, each denomination of Christianity holds its own unique interpretation and application, with a vast array of differences among them.
The Schism That Created Protestantism
Catholicism and Christianity are two different religions that have their unique origin stories. While some might use these terms interchangeably, there is a clear distinction between the two.
Christianity was the first religion to emerge as it traces its roots back to Jesus Christ, who started preaching over 2, 000 years ago in Judea. The followers of Christ were initially referred to as Nazarenes or simply ‘followers of the way. ‘ However, Peter’s confession marked a transitional moment in Christian history with Rome becoming the center of power for Christians worldwide.
In contrast, Catholicism formation dates back to several centuries after the birth of Christ when Jesus himself founded his Church through St. Peter. Following this foundation was an evolution of leadership from generation to generation until Pope Urban II made it official by establishing formal rules shaping how leaders would be selected moving forward.
Over time theological differences arose as religious scholars interpreted scripture differently attempting to create one unified truth about God’s message in writing form; however, such efforts always ended up furthering divisions instead like having four recognized gospels rather than just one which subsequently led–to deeper fragmentation during the Reformation period.
“The First split occurred within Christianity itself, ” says Dr. James Emery White associate professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and author of What They Didn’t Teach You In Seminary “with what we call Eastern Orthodoxy parting company from Roman Catholicism nearly a thousand years prior.”
The Reformation began around 1517 fueled by Martin Luther’s belief that many practices taught by Catholic denominations went against Scripture’s teaching; he specifically targeted indulgences whereby people could purchase reductions on penalties awaiting them from sinning known only too well among those living under feudal systems where scarcity prevailed even more drastically. Eventually leading to the formation of Protestantism, which derived from Luther’s convictions about how God works with humans best. John Calvin and other thinkers further diverged creating more sects that would result in new movements such as Methodism, Adventists as well lower churches spread worldwide like Anglicanism etc. –all of them stemming from Catholic opposition/distancing differentiating themselves primarily through interpretation differences.
Overall, while Christianity came first between the two religions; what we know today is an evolution of both these faiths over time shaped by many factors ranging from political power struggles to crucial theological debates.
The Great Schism Of 1054
In order to answer the question “what religion came first Catholic or Christian?” we must go back in time to The Great Schism of 1054. Prior to this, there was only one Christian Church, which was referred to as the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.
However, due to a division over theological differences between Rome (where the Pope resided) and Constantinople (the Byzantine Empire), this unity was broken permanently. This event marked the official split between what is now known as Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy.
“To be deep in history is to cease being Protestant” – John Henry Newman
The quote above by theologian John Henry Newman refers to his own decision to convert from Anglicanism to Catholicism after extensive study of church history. It highlights how important it is for us today not just to identify ourselves with a denomination but also knowing our religious roots that are based on solid historical grounds.
As both Catholics and Orthodox claim apostolic succession from Christ’s original apostles, they both trace their origins back further than Protestants who emerged after the Reformation around 1500 AD when Martin Luther broke away from Rome. Catholicism holds that Peter was designated by Jesus himself at Caesarea Philippi as the leader of His disciples whereas Orthodox tradition emphasizes James as leader since he presided over the Council of Jerusalem held in AD 50 which established principles governing Gentile converts into Christianity.
“The unity of all divided humanity together with God through Christ has always been. . . a third-party image expressed in several ways throughout human history.” – Walter Kasper
This quote by German Cardinal Walter Kasper emphasizes an underlying goal of Christianity: to reunite people with each other under God’s love without regard for worldly differences. As history shows, however, even apparently religious unity has been known to break down over time.
So back to the initial question: what religion came first Catholic or Christian? It’s important to recognize that Catholics are Christians who follow Roman rite and teachings from Rome while Eastern Orthodoxy branch off with its unique theology and liturgy. Both groups stand on early roots of Christianity where historical richness becomes an integral part of their faith – a narrative anchored in history filled with events like The Great Schism which led each group to build upon the original church foundations into two separate bodies of Christendom.
East Vs. West: The Split That Changed Christianity Forever
What religion came first Catholic or Christian? This is a question that has puzzled many people for ages, but the answer is simple! The Catholic religion originated from Christianity.
The split between the East and West in Christianity was mainly due to differences in culture and language. The Eastern Church stuck to using Greek as its primary language, while the Western Church used Latin. Over time, these linguistic variations led to significant theological variations as well.
“The Great Schism of 1054 fundamentally changed the way Christians viewed their faith, ” said John Chrysostom, a fourth-century theologian known for his sermons on morals and ethics.
This division eventually culminated in what is now called the “Great Schism” of 1054 when the Roman Pope excommunicated the Patriarch of Constantinople over doctrinal disagreements regarding papal supremacy and additions to the Nicene Creed. As a result, two distinct churches emerged – one in Rome (the Roman Catholic Church) and another in Constantinople (the Orthodox Church).
In addition to these rivalries, other factors contributed to this divide: political tensions surrounding issues like land ownership; cultural disparities reflected in liturgical practices such as fasting rules; and disputes over religious authority. Despite attempts at reunion throughout history – such as with ecumenical dialogues after Vatican II – there remains much divergence between the Churches today. Nevertheless both groups hold fast to their own beliefs about how best to worship God– reflecting centuries-old divisions that cannot be easily overcome being grounded so deeply within each respective tradition!
Christianity And Colonialism
Colonialism is defined as the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically. Christianity played a significant role in colonialism during the 15th and 16th centuries.
The Catholic Church was the first organized form of Christianity that emerged after Jesus’ death. The church grew in power and influence throughout history until its peak during the Spanish colonization era.
“The common narrative holds that when Europeans arrived in America they brought civilization with them. But the reality is that Native Americans had their own complex societies before European contact.” – Rubén Ortiz Torres
The arrival of Christian explorers to new lands expeditiously led to missionaries accompanying those colonizers on missions to convert indigenous populations into Christians while simultaneously destroying their existing cultural practices and beliefs.
In many cases, native people were forced to accept Christianity through violence or other forms of pressure from foreign colonizers. This religious conversion played a critical part in subjugating native communities and allowed for more straightforward political control by colonial powers.
“The fact remains that Indians still live under conditions comparable to apartheid South Africa–and this has been true not only since Columbus landed but for all subsequent ‘discoveries. ‘ We celebrate today because we take pride in our survival against great odds.”-Russell Means
As such, religion has an exceedingly deep-rooted relationship with colonialism; however, these actions have also produced resistance struggles among oppressed members who dare fight back against oppressors and advocate for equal rights. Given humanity’s past concerning human atrocities due to major differences like ethnic cleansing, racism, social injustices, towards individuals based on economic statuses amongst others, it’s imperative we learn, grow socially, and remove discrimination as well as exclusions based on factors that aren’t the person’s qualities but a bigger societal ill.
Regarding which religion came first between Catholicism and Christianity, it is noteworthy to understand Catholicism falls under Christianity as one of its denominations. In this light, Catholicism didn’t come before Christianity; instead, it emerged in progression from initial apostolic era of Jesus Christ and transitioned after early church fathers shaped what would become doctrine while shaping Christian practices.
The Dark History Of Forced Conversions
Religious beliefs have played a significant role in shaping the course of history. Christianity, one of the world’s major religions, had its roots in Judaism and emerged as a separate religion during the first century AD.
Catholicism is one denomination within Christianity that has been around longer than any other. It was recognized as an independent church by the Roman Emperor Constantine in 313 AD, making it the oldest form of Christianity.
“We must believe in God’s holy word and reject all other heresy.” – St. Francis de Sales
However, throughout history, forced conversions have also accompanied religious expansion and influence. The Spanish Inquisition, for example, was responsible for forcing thousands of Muslims to convert to Catholicism or face expulsion or death from Spain during the 16th century.
The colonizers who arrived in America also conducted mass conversion campaigns among indigenous communities they encountered. This often involved destroying their traditional spiritual practices and denying them their culture and language.
“The Church does not force people to become Christian; but she invites them by proclamation and witness to enter into fullness of truth that brings salvation.” – Pope Benedict XVI
Forcing someone to convert against their will is unethical because it infringes on their basic human rights- freedom of thought and conscience. Conversion due to coercion rather than conviction breeds resentment instead of faith.
Conversion should be an act driven by personal choice only when sincerely believed. Respect for different beliefs is fundamental even if there are disagreements over certain doctrines or traditions.
“Faith cannot grow except through questioning doubts leading us gradually towards greater knowledge and understanding.” – Pope Francis
In conclusion, while Catholicism may be considered another sect within Christianity, both have a long and complex history that includes instances of forced conversions. Such acts perpetuate a cycle of divisiveness throughout history, leading to resentment instead of faith. Respect for freedom of thought and individual beliefs remains essential in creating peaceful coexistence.
The Role of Missionaries in Spreading Christianity
Christianity is a religion that has been practiced for thousands of years and its roots can be traced back to the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia. The Roman Catholic Church, one of the largest Christian denominations, is believed by many people to be the first form of Christianity. However, this notion is not entirely accurate as there were several other forms or branches of Christianity that existed before Catholicism.
One of the most significant roles played in spreading Christianity was by missionaries. These individuals traveled around the world teaching and preaching about Jesus Christ, his teachings, and the Holy Bible. They also worked hard to translate sacred texts into local languages so that more people could access them easily.
“The missionary enterprise involves two processes: evangelization and culture.” – Rev. Arthur Cushman McGiffert
This quote aptly describes how missionaries approached their work. Before introducing their religion to a new group of people, they had to understand their cultural beliefs and traditions better. Once they gained a better understanding, they would apply religious teachings within the context of those cultures.
Missionary activities date back to early centuries AD when St Paul started making extensive journeys across different regions such as Syria, Asia Minor, Greece, etc. These journeys served as a foundation for modern-day missions centuries later. . It wasn’t until after Columbus’ journey across America continent; it ushered in Europe’s golden era—the age where Spain sent out countless expeditions aimed at bringing indigenous populations closer towards provincial European customs wrapped under Christian ideologies from 16th-17th century A. D.
“Missionaries are God’s postal carriers bringing messages between earth and heaven” – Anonymous
Apart from expanding Western influence over non-Western lands during. . . read colonization pursuits while tradesmen sought to boost their economic interests through the labour of local peoples, mission-building efforts were also developed. Much credit might be given towards bringing western civilization with customary and theological principles.
In conclusion, it can be said that missionaries played a crucial role in spreading Christianity around the world. Their tireless efforts to translate sacred texts into native languages and introduce Jesus Christ’s teachings within cultural contexts helped to create new branches of Christianity that exist today. Though there may have been conflicts at times between different faiths during this period – perhaps fuelled by political ambitions or personal beliefs- it is widely acknowledged that current religious practices across many nations owe debts owed largely due respect for those who came before.
The question of which religion came first, Catholic or Christian, is a common one. However, it is important to note that the answer is not as straightforward as many may assume.
Christianity was founded by Jesus Christ in the 1st century AD. The term “Catholic” did not come into use until later, and originally referred to all Christians. Over time, however, differences arose between Eastern and Western churches regarding matters such as liturgy and theology. Eventually, the Great Schism occurred in 1054 AD, officially splitting Christianity into the Roman Catholic Church in the West and the Eastern Orthodox Church in the East.
“The issue with this question lies in its wording – Catholicism is simply one branch of Christianity.” – Father Mike Schmitz
Today’s modern-day Christianity encompasses numerous denominations beyond just Catholicism and Orthodoxy. Protestantism emerged during the Reformation period of the 16th century when leaders such as Martin Luther sought to reform certain practices within the Roman Catholic Church. Other notable denominations include Anglicanism (the Church of England), Methodism, Pentecostalism, and more.
It is worth noting that while there are significant theological differences among these various denominations, they nevertheless share core beliefs such as belief in God as Creator and Savior through Jesus Christ.
“At their heart. . . Catholics. . . Protestants. . . Orthodox alike proclaim ‘Jesus saves’. ” – David Doherty
In recent years, issues such as evangelical political engagement have raised questions about how modern-day Christianity may be changing or evolving even further. Nevertheless, Christianity remains one of the world’s largest religions with over two billion adherents worldwide.
All things considered, while it may seem like a simple inquiry on paper- “What religion came first- Catholic or Christian?”, it’s clear that the answer is more complex than meets the eye.
The Growing Popularity Of Non-Denominational Churches
Religion has been a crucial part of human history and society. As time goes on, certain beliefs and practices change. In recent years, non-denominational churches have gained popularity in the United States. These independent churches usually do not affiliate themselves with any prominent religious denomination.
Non-denominational churches are highly welcoming to people from all walks of life. They tend to focus more on building strong relationships within the community rather than promoting specific doctrines or creeds. This approach often attracts individuals who feel excluded by traditional denominations due to their background, identity or lifestyle choices.
“I started attending a non-denominational church because I felt like I didn’t belong in my old church. The messages were always so condemning and focused on telling you what you couldn’t do instead of uplifting your spirit.”
This quote from an anonymous individual highlights one common reason why many people are turning towards non-denominational churches – finding acceptance and peace amidst the chaos of everyday life.
In contrast, Catholicism is one of the oldest forms of Christianity that traces its roots back to the disciples Peter and Paul in Rome around 45 AD. It is known for its rich liturgical tradition with deep-rooted customs such as confession, mass, and rosary prayers.
“Catholic Church was undoubtedly first established by Christ himself. . . Founded by Jesus Christ over two-thousand years ago – it alone possesses authoritative teachings which reflect Divine Revelation.”- Most Reverend Richard F. Stika
Catholics adhere closely to strict practices that differentiate them from other Christian sects. For instance, they hold immensely important events like Vatican II Council for better communication between modern-day Catholics versus those who participated recently after World War II period.
In conclusion, non-denominational churches have gained momentum to offer a new dimension of religious freedom and acceptance that was previously nonexistent in more traditional denominations. Whereas Catholicism has deep roots in Christianity history’s earliest forms with distinct practices.
The Ongoing Debate Between Science And Religion
What religion came first, Catholic or Christian? The question itself highlights the ongoing debate between science and religion. While some argue that scientific evidence is a more reliable source of knowledge, many still rely on religious texts for answers to life’s questions.
Religion has been an integral part of human civilization since ancient times. Christianity, one of the world’s largest religions, emerged from Judaism in the Middle East over two thousand years ago. Its teachings are based on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as recorded in the Bible.
“Christianity began as a Jewish sect in the mid-1st century arising out of the life and teachings of Jesus…” – Encyclopedia Britannica
Catholicism, on the other hand, is a denomination within Christianity that traces its roots back to Saint Peter himself, who was chosen by Jesus Christ to be his successor. The Catholic Church sees itself as “the universal sacrament of salvation” through which believers can attain eternal life.
“…The papacy took shape during the 2nd through 4th centuries…” – New World Encyclopedia
While both Catholicism and Christianity share commonalities in their beliefs and practices, there are significant differences between them. One of these differences includes how they view Mary, mother of Jesus.
“In general, Catholics venerate Mary through prayer (such as rosaries), specific titles (such as ‘Mother of God’), art (depictions portraying her with various symbols such as immaculate heart) and sometimes even physical acts like bowing before statues.” – This Rock Magazine
On the other hand Christians often pray without invoking any intermediary nor express prayers or devotionals towards Virgin Mary. Instead most Protestant churches have an emphasis around scripture and belief in a personal relationship with Jesus.
Regardless of the various beliefs, both religion have shaped history in significant ways and will continue to be a topic of debate for years to come.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Catholicism and Christianity?
Catholicism is a denomination of Christianity that recognizes the Pope as the head of the Church. It emphasizes the importance of sacraments, including baptism and communion, and places high value on tradition, such as the veneration of saints. Christianity, on the other hand, encompasses a broad range of denominations that share a belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the savior of humanity. While many Christian denominations also practice sacraments and honor tradition, they may differ in their interpretation of scripture and the role of the Church in spiritual life.
How did Christianity evolve into Catholicism?
Christianity began as a small sect within Judaism in the first century AD, but quickly spread throughout the Roman Empire. As the faith grew, various Christian communities developed their own traditions and practices. In the fourth century, Emperor Constantine recognized Christianity as a legitimate religion and helped to establish the Catholic Church as a centralized authority. Over time, the Church developed a hierarchy of bishops and cardinals, with the Pope as the ultimate authority. The Church also developed a system of sacraments and ritual, which became a defining aspect of Catholicism.
What was the first form of Christianity?
The first form of Christianity emerged in the first century AD as a sect within Judaism. The followers of Jesus Christ, who was seen as a prophet and teacher, believed in his message of salvation and the coming of the Kingdom of God. As the faith spread throughout the Roman Empire, various Christian communities developed their own interpretations of scripture and practices. These early Christians did not have a centralized authority or hierarchy, and there was much diversity within the faith.
When did the Catholic Church become distinct from other forms of Christianity?
The Catholic Church began to emerge as a distinct form of Christianity in the fourth century AD, after Emperor Constantine recognized Christianity as a legitimate religion. The Church developed a hierarchy of bishops and cardinals, with the Pope as the ultimate authority. The Church also established a system of sacraments and ritual, which became a defining aspect of Catholicism. These developments set the Catholic Church apart from other Christian communities, which did not have a centralized authority or hierarchy. Over time, the Catholic Church became the largest and most influential Christian denomination in the world.
How do the beliefs of the Catholic Church differ from other Christian denominations?
The beliefs of the Catholic Church differ from other Christian denominations in a number of ways. The Church places a strong emphasis on tradition and sacraments, such as baptism and communion. It also recognizes the Pope as the ultimate authority in matters of faith and morals. The Catholic Church also places a high value on the veneration of saints and the role of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Other Christian denominations may differ in their interpretation of scripture, the role of the Church in spiritual life, and the importance of tradition and sacraments.
Which came first, Catholicism or Christianity?
Christianity came first. It emerged in the first century AD as a sect within Judaism, and quickly spread throughout the Roman Empire. Catholicism, on the other hand, is a denomination of Christianity that emerged in the fourth century AD, after Emperor Constantine recognized Christianity as a legitimate religion. The Catholic Church developed a hierarchy of bishops and cardinals, with the Pope as the ultimate authority, and established a system of sacraments and ritual. While Catholicism is the largest and most influential Christian denomination in the world, it is a subset of the broader faith of Christianity.