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Christianity Is Catholic

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"Why do movies about Satan only have Catholics? We never get to see Methodists or Episcopalians put down demons."

Any time you see Christianity displayed onscreen, there's a strong chance it'll feature exclusively or almost-exclusively Catholic trappings, such as rosaries, the Sign of the Cross, confessional booths, nuns, clerics referred to as "Father", and so on. It could be because Roman Catholicism is the largest branch of Christianity in the world, or it might be because the vestments of Roman Catholic clerics are so quaint and distinctive, or perhaps it's the fascination of the mystery and ritual, or maybe its our bewilderment at priests, monks, and nuns taking a vow of celibacy, or that those ornate and massive Catholic churches make the most awesome sets, or the usefulness of the sacrament of confession as a narrative device, or that the world-wide geographical and historical reaches of Catholicism as an organization help to extend the narrative settings.


Or maybe it's just that it's downright absurd to associate rural Midwestern Lutherans, for instance, with Ominous Latin Chanting and Gothic aesthetics. It also may well be that Catholicism is simply a more visible form of Christianity in the bicoastal urban milieux in which most writers work. Or that many writers hail from predominantly Catholic regions like Ireland, Poland, Bavaria, Italy, Latin America, or New York Citynote . Not to mention that a considerable number of writers are themselves Catholic (or were raised that way at least), and may just find it easier to write what they know. This trope can be a self-reinforcing feedback loop, since many writers are not Christian and are familiar with Christianity only through Pop-Cultural Osmosis.


Whatever the reason, if there's a form of Christianity that exemplifies the Rule of Cool, it's Catholicism. Protestant denominations might occasionally appear, but don’t expect the Eastern Orthodox Church to make an appearance, and don’t expect the Oriental Orthodox Church or the Assyrian Church of the East to even be mentioned.

It's not always a positive portrayal, mind you. If there's a big, Corrupt Church that has the power to subjugate kings and governments to its will, crush rebellious proletarians, and burn heretics alive, it'll probably be Catholic and use Medieval Catholic imagery and hierarchy (especially that of The Spanish Inquisition). A corrupt Protestant church, by contrast, will usually be engaged in small-time villainy, such as petty racism, ignorance, or cons after their congregation's money. This is largely because Protestant churches have far more local autonomy than exists in Catholicism, and thus no particular church would have the worldwide infrastructure to make world domination seem plausible. But to an unlikely extent, even the lowest-church Protestant ministers in media can often be found sporting clerical collars, crossing themselves, or exhibiting other Catholic signifiers unknown to such denominations in real life.


In Fantasy settings, the Crystal Dragon Jesus religion will usually have distinctively Catholic aesthetics. Japanese attempts to portray western supernatural beliefs tend to converge on this trope too; see Nuns Are Mikos and Anime Catholicism.

Worldwide, over half of Christianity is Catholic (about 1.2 billion out of 2.2 billion as of 2013). Also, most countries with a Christian majority have a Catholic majority. In the United States, where Protestant churches are in the majority, they are so fractured that the Catholic Church is the single largest denomination. Yet because of this Protestant majority, plus the many waves of immigrants from Catholic regions, Catholicism has often been seen as foreign, exotic, and strange...and not always benevolent. As a result of this, Hollywood Catholicism is often very far removed from the real religion.

In much fiction, despite the portrayal of Christians as Catholics, most Bible quotations will be from the King James Version, a Protestant translation.note  Everything just sounds way more "biblical" with thees and thous (although Catholics have the Douay-Rheims, an English translation which came out at about the same time). Still, the King James renderings are much more familiar in a highly "Protestant-by-default" culture. Psalm 23, for example, is usually rendered the "KJV way" ("The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.") even among English-speaking Catholics.note  The even more traditional Vulgate Bible will almost never be quoted, although it can happen because it's written in Latin.

This trope doesn't seem to apply to westerns, where any minister (or "preacher") will generally be portrayed as a black-coated Evangelical Lutheran or Methodist type, when he isn't a Quaker or a Mormon. However, if the film shows the padre of a Mexican village, this trope will be played straight—although frankly this was usually true. It may also appear as part of an Establishing Shot for other traditionally Catholic places such as Italy or France. African-American churches will almost always be depicted as Baptist, Methodist, or Pentecostal, as will white Southern churches (with the one major exception being New Orleans, due to the influence France had on it). Meanwhile, the upper-class White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, usually residing in the tonier precincts of Hollywood New England and belonging to one of the more venerable "mainline" denominations such as the Episcopal Church, which shares much of Catholicism's liturgy, equipment and decor,note  is a stock character of long standing.

This can also apply to beliefs — expect to see many Christians mention Purgatory, original sin, the seven deadly sins and excommunication, even though these doctrines are not held by many Protestant sects.

Expect, too, to see crucifixes displayed in Protestant churches and homes. In real life, many Protestants object to the crucifix because they consider it to be idolatrous and to suggest that Jesus did not triumph over the Cross.

Compare Nuns 'n' Rosaries. See also Religious Stereotype and Church of Saint Genericus. A character who is Ambiguously Christian is almost always either a Catholic or a Protestant of The Fundamentalist variety.

Note that this trope doesn't apply to all countries. Outside the U.S., Protestant countries tend to assume Protestantism. The English default is, naturally, the Church of England—which can variously be depicted as "Anglo-Catholic" (High Church), "Mainline Protestant" (Broad Church), or "Evangelical Protestant" (Low Church). In Scotland, there is the Presbyterian "Kirk". In Wales, there is the Anglican Church in Wales and large numbers of Methodists, while Northern Ireland is divided between Anglican Church of Ireland, Presbyterians and Catholics. The Russian default is the Orthodox Church.note  Variants exist for non-Christian religions, too: "Judaism Is Orthodox" (long hair, beards, Hebrew and Yiddish accents) or its opposite extreme, "Judaism Is Secularized" (often to the point of Informed Judaism), and "Buddhism Is Mahayana" (fat, smiling statues and koans that may or may not be be ice cream).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kaitou Saint Tail is a Catholic schoolgirl, her base of operations is a Catholic church, her informant is an "apprentice nun" (who blatantly breaks the rules of confidentiality regarding the confessional, which is something real clergy could get a lot of trouble for)note , and all the victims that she helps are also Catholic. Given that they're in a predominantly Shinto country, it's odd that no one seems to notice.
  • Averted in Hellsing. Dissensions between British Protestantism and Vatican Catholicism is an important part of the plot (although it still gets plenty of Fantastic Catholicism), and while some of the more zealous members of Iscariot Section XIII would hope to make this a fact someday, a major part of the friction between Hellsing and Iscariot is the fact that Christianity is NOT always Catholic due to Hellsing's Protestant roots.
    • Though it wouldn't be hard to miss that little fact when all you see of Hellsing is Redshirts being led by an Eldritch Abomination. However, both sides are depicted in a fairly accurate light and the various hostilities between the branches, including the continued dispute over Northern Ireland and Hellsing's jurisdiction in Catholic countries like Brazil, reflects Real Life issues that Christians are quite familiar with.
    • Not only Kouta Hirano usually does his research, but he's reportedly a Real Life friend with a Trigun author Yasuhiro Nightow, who is a practicing Christian, so all the discrepancies should probably be written off as a Rule of Cool.
  • In Sailor Moon, Hino Rei, a Shinto miko, attends an all-girls Catholic school. Named T*A, an expy of the former highschool section of a famous women's college in Tokyo, the Seishin University One of its most famous pupils was none other than Empress Michiko - formerly Michiko Shouda, daughter of a non-noble but well-off family).
  • Chrono Crusade is another Church Militant series set in the United States, which...sorta fits under this trope. It's complicated.
    • The manga is vague on which denomination the Order is supposed to belong to. In fact, the mangaka admitted in an interview that he did "whatever suited him" when creating the Order, so it doesn't quite fit...well...any of them. It definitely looks the closest to Catholicism, though, and most fanfics treat the Order as such, too (with vows, rosaries, and confessionals), so in general it still fits the trope. Adding to the complication is that the manga is clearly set in an Alternate History. Maybe the Catholic Church evolved differently?
    • In the anime, the Order is aesthetically Catholic, but it's explicitly stated that the Magdalene Order is in fact a joint effort by Catholics, Protestants, and Jews.
    • Rosette is also stated to be a nun in the manga, while in the anime she's just got a nun-ish uniform. It's complicated.
  • In Trinity Blood, Catholicism is pretty much the only religion, period. Although given that it's set 1000 years After the End and Europe (which is largely Catholic in Real Life) was the only bit of the world that wasn't nuked into oblivion, this might be somewhat justified. It is also probably worth noting that the church in Trinity Blood is a political and military organization as much as a religious one.
  • Maria Watches Over Us is set at a Catholic school.
  • So is Strawberry Panic!.
  • Thoroughly averted in A Certain Magical Index. The Roman Catholics are the most powerful Christian organization, but there are numerous other powerful ones such as the British Puritans, the Russian Orthodox and even smaller groups like the Amakusa Catholics (Japanese Christian sect) who are not recognized by the Roman Catholics. And then they take that, duct tape on some Rule of Cool, magic and crazed zealots, and run with it.
  • Subverted in Haunted Junction. The male character's parents are Protestant Christian, in fact his father is a priest.
  • Sorta maybe avoided in or at least downplayed Trigun. Wolfwood gets glossed as a 'priest' but doesn't act very ordained, and in the anime he carries a traveling confessional, but the one church that appears in the anime (where Wolfwood dies) is much less Catholic than the one in the manga (where Vash hangs out at the start of 'Colorless Emotions'), which featured a very clerical-looking officiant and some bling.
    • Wolfwood's mental monologue about becoming devils in order to have the power to protect those who don't doesn't fit too well into any Christian sect, and it's the closest thing to doctrine he ever really puts out. He is in the future, though. Things change.
      • Should be pointed out that in the manga, Wolfwood was never officially ordained in what is deemed proper in Catholicism. In fact, the religious organization forced him into the ranks of clergy and the organization itself acts so far off that no denomination irl (well, at least visibly mainstream) would fit the specific Church he's serving at all. They train initiated men to becoming powerful assassins and frequently order them on hit missions or to patrol and defend areas with criminals, etc. As the manga reveals, elements of the organization are working for knives and doing quite illegal stuff. So, in a sense, it's an aversion.
      • As for Wolfwood's beliefs, they actually did fit in with some Puritannical/Calvinist denominations and many real life Christian military orders — not just Catholic ones such as the Knights Templar — adopted a mentality similar to Wolfwood's monologue about becoming evil to protect the weak and innocent.
    • Mangaka Yasuhiro Nightow is a Christian himself, so he should've known what he writes about. As with Hellsing, everything above is a pretty obvious Artistic License plus Rule of Cool.
      • Not necessarily. Remember, Nightow is in Japan, a country out of touch with the Christian world and one whose only significant contact with Christianity was with Catholic priestly orders (who were expelled once persecution of Christians began). Before any other denomination could attempt to install a base, the Tokugawa shogunate closed Japan from Christian foreigners for good (except for the Dutch in Dejima in Nagasaki) and the remaining Christians went underground. Even to this day, Roman Catholicism is what Japanese people immediately picture when thinking Christianity. It's serious enough that even non-Catholic Christians in Japan often don't realize the differences between denominations, which is a heartache problem for Western religious leaders in the country. Also, Nightow himself is a Roman Catholic, so it would make sense he'd show Christianity as Catholesque. And as mentioned above, he mostly downplays the trope and even averts it with how Wolfwood not only has beliefs and lives a lifestyle against Catholic tenets, but is also part of a dubious organization that acts quite un-Christian.
  • Averted in Tokyo Mew Mew. Zakuro Fujiwara is a practicing Christian, but she's Protestant.
  • Averted in The Snow Queen, where, faithful to the original, its setting is in Lutheran Scandinavia. The churches have no images and even the Lutheran rose can be seen in their background.
  • Averted in Tetragrammaton Labyrinth, where the main characters are explicitly part of the Anglican Church. However, it's easy to mistake them for Anime Catholicism because the Anglican Church shares a lot of trappings with the Catholic Church, being a direct offshoot, and the series plays them up.
  • Given a token aversion in High School Dx D, where Irina is explicitly Protestant, contrasting two other Catholic characters, whereas otherwise Christianity is presented as one faction. Word of God has it that the author is aware of the differences between denominations, but since the series plays with All Myths Are True, grouping the Christian church into one organization made things much easier to keep track of. Additionally, God, heaven, and angels from the bible are actually present in the series (and major characters in some cases), making many inconsistencies self-reconciling.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman comics:
    • Bruce Wayne is a convert to Catholicism. His father was Episcopalian and his mother was Jewish. Probably for no other reason than because Catholic churches are a lot more gothic (and therefore cool looking) than Protestant churches (which in extreme cases can look like automobile showrooms with pews).
    • Selina Kyle (Catwoman) came from a Catholic family.
    • Commissioner Gordon may not be outright stated to be Catholic but Bruce has gone to meet him while Gordon is at or leaving Catholic mass on several occasions.
    • The Joker is sentenced to the electric chair in one graphic novel (before being pardoned by the governor at the last few seconds). Before his scheduled execution, he tortures a Catholic priest by "confessing" his sins to him. ("That was the last time I ever used shards of broken glass.")
    • The Order of St. Dumas (although they're actually heretics who claim to be Catholic).
    • Tim Drake's mother was Catholic. His father is more ambiguous as he was originally intended to be a non-practicing Jew but was never written this way and Tim said years after his death that he wasn't aware of his father having ties to any religion.
  • Sin City: Marv was brought up by nuns. Any religious person you meet is Catholic. The Babe who Wore Red was about to become a nun. The Big Bad of the original series is a cardinal. A cover design for this Story Arc shows Marv squaring off against a huge warrior nun representing, one assumes, Mother Church. Sin City is predominantly Catholic, and, from the names, Irish-American.
  • Marshal Law: The Catholic Church is big in San Futuro. The Mission for down-and-out superheroes is Catholic. The original super team called themselves The Jesus League of America and had members with names like Shroud, Stigmata and Monstrance. The church is corrupt here, too.
  • Averted in V for Vendetta, where the Police State Dystopia is backed by the Church of England.
  • While in the Golden and Silver Ages references to religion in Marvel Comics were studiously avoided, it became more popular to at least mention in passing many characters' religious affiliations from the Bronze Age onward, and occasionally this did involve making them Catholics.
    • The Punisher once tried out for the priesthood.
    • The Son of Satan is an ex-priest.
    • Daredevil, at least post-Miller, is also largely involved in Catholicism; his mother, whom Miller brought back from the dead, became a nun after leaving her husband and son.
    • Cloak & Dagger regularly take shelter in a Catholic church and have Dagger's uncle, a priest, as their main ally.
    • Runaways gives us Victor Mancha because his mom was one, and ironically the Minorus raised Nico in the Roman Catholic faith. Averted with Klara, who is Calvinist.
    • Ca. 1980 Nightcrawler of the X-Men started being written as a devout Catholic, an aspect of his characterization that was carried over into X2. When Chuck Austen wrote Uncanny X-Men, there was a particularly headache-inducing example where it turned out Nightcrawler's religious education was an illusion created by an extremist group to destroy the Catholic Church by installing Nightcrawler as Pope, short circuiting his image inducer and painting him as the Antichrist, and using matter-disintegrating Communion wafers to simulate the Rapture (which real-life Catholics don't believe in anyway).
    • Since Stan Lee and many other well-known writers of Spider-Man are Jewish, Spider-Man was often interpreted as Ambiguously Jewish, driven by "Jewish guilt" (with Aunt May as an example of the Jewish mom trope). In the 1980s however Aunt May was given the maiden name of Reilly, which indicated a Catholic background, and some time later Peter Parker's mother also got an Irish maiden name. Catholic Marvel editor Axel Alonso in an interview later declared Peter's chronic feelings of guilt as typically Catholic.
    • Later Steve Rogers aka Captain America also got a (presumably Catholic) Irish background via retcon.
  • Inverted, so to speak, in Jack Chick's Chick Tracts, which regard Catholicism as not only non-Christian, but downright Satanic, and actively plotting to Take Over the World and stamp out the "true" faith.
  • Averted in the X-Men spin-off New Mutants, in which Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane was raised a strict Presbyterian. Unfortunately a lot of the readers (and one or two of the later writers) seem to have missed this detail, and fall right back into this trope. Her teammate Cannonball, Kentuckyan Sam Guthrie, appears to be Southern Baptist, while her other teammate Magik (Illyana Rasputina) is apparently a lapsed Russian Orthodox, and an actual descendant of Grigori Rasputin, the "Mad Monk". Karma/Xi'an "Shan" Coy Manh is Catholic, likely due to being brought up in Vietnam where most Christians are Catholic. Sunspot/Roberto Da Costa is Brazilian and indicated to be Catholic.
  • Warrior Nun Areala by Ben Dunn is about, surprise, a Catholic Nun demon hunter from an order of demon-fighting priests and nuns. It helped kick off the trend of nun demon hunters in indie comic books.
  • Evangeline from First Comics was about a futuristic assassin who was also a nun. Whose boss was named Cardinal Sin no less. This could almost be Truth in Television, since a REAL Cardinal Sin died in 2005.
  • 2000 AD series
  • In Love and Capes, Mark and Abby's Catholicism may be a case of Write What You Know.
  • Tintin, who first appeared in a right-wing Catholic newspaper from (in the 1920s) overwhelmingly Catholic Belgium, is of course Catholic, even though it does not often come up in-story apart from Tintin in Congo, where he visits a missionary station. But Tintin's creator Hergé sent out Christmas cards to his friends which would e. g. show Tintin and members of the supporting cast going to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve etc. Interestingly Hergé found himself attracted to Taoism as he grew older.
  • Nightshade (Eve Eden) was originally from a Catholic family, though after DC integrated her into their continuity she converted to Catholicism as a teen despite her father's protests.
  • Medieval Lady Death takes place in Russia during the Dark Ages, more specifically in the Novgorod Republic which is portrayed as being under Catholic jurisdiction under the Pope by the Teutonic Knights. No mention of the Orthodox Church either, which was the Russian religion since 988.
  • In Y: The Last Man it is mentioned that because of Gendercide the monotheistic religions have lost more than 90% of their clergy. Yorick seeks refuge in a Catholic church by feeling overwhelmed by a sin he committed, a sub-plot is about the search by nuns for the miraculous birth of a man, who can be appointed Pope and thus allow women to be ordained priests. It is mentioned in passing the existence of Protestant churches that have female priests and also the popularity of a pagan cult of the "Mother Goddess"

    Fan Works 
  • Writers of Kim Possible fanfics, for some reason, generally assume that the Possibles are Roman Catholic, despite the total and utter lack of canon evidence thereof. King in Yellow deals with religion in his work more than any of the other authors. He portrays the Possibles as Methodist, while Ron's family is Jewish (as per the show). Interestingly, Shego is also Jewish in his stories, as her grandmother was one of the "Lost Children," a group of European Jews who immigrated to the United States during the Holocaust. Of course, the author is a professor of Religious History, so this is to be expected.
  • Writers of a few Winx Club Fanfictions portray Bloom as Catholic.
  • An Elseworlds fanfic about an 18th century Justice League of America refers to "the Church of England and their superiors in Rome".
  • Averted in The Simpsons comedy fanfic "Hey Moe". In a flashback, Moe explains that his family weren't Catholic but wore papal clothing because his dad "really digged the Pope's style".
  • Tapper Smurf of Empath: The Luckiest Smurf identifies himself as being a Christian, but is not of any particular denomination since he was mostly self-taught the basics of the religion with hardly any other Christians in the Smurf Village. He does become friends with a human Catholic priest, though, and get married by him.
  • Despite being about its main character converting specifically to Catholicism, Angel of the Bat goes pretty far out of its way to avert this. Cassandra Cain is drawn specifically to Catholicism after a run in with a priest, but she is regularly told that it isn't the only Christian belief set and doesn't have to be the one she chooses to convert to. Her primary teacher is even Stephanie Brown, who the fic depicts as a Methodist and freely admits a few of Catholic concepts are lost on her.
  • Zigzagged in Sonic X: Dark Chaos. The Christian sect of Marmolims in Episode 69 is pretty clearly Catholic. However, the Angel Federation itself is rather anviliciously based on right-wing evangelical Christianity.

  • Dream Boy shows a Baptist church with a crucifix, which would be expected in a Catholic chuch but unthinkable in a Baptist church.
  • Space Cowboys has an ostensibly Baptist minister saying "Hail Mary, full of grace".
  • 2012: A minor example. Sasha makes the sign of the cross in the Catholic way (forehead - chest - left shoulder - right shoulder), instead of the Orthodox way (forehead - chest - right shoulder - left shoulder). 97% of Russian Christians are Orthodox.
  • So do many of the submariners in one scene of the film adaptation of The Hunt for Red October. The usual Hand Wave is that they are Lithuanian like their commander, Marko Ramius.note  It's very unlikely that many would be Lithuanian however, given that the USSR had a large Russian majority (who also dominated things).
  • The Exorcist. Obviously, as it is the only church to offer exorcism as a practice. This is Truth in Television. The Lutheran minister of the parents of the child in the real life case the movie is based on told the parents to get a Catholic priest because Lutherans had no exorcism tradition.
  • Constantine uses an entirely Catholic ruleset, or better said Catholicism as imagined by Hollywood, to determine who goes to Hell and who goes to Heaven. This is notable since the universe the film is based on has all gods existing together.
  • Van Helsing features a pan-religious order dedicated to fighting evil, made up of monster-hunting priests, monks, mullahs, swamis... which is housed under the Vatican and apparently run by Catholic cardinals.
  • Averted in the early 90s made-for-TV vampire film, Blood Ties (not to be confused with the 2000s vampire detective TV show), where the villainous Southern Coalition Against Vampires ("S.C.A.V.") are stereotyped Baptists.
  • In the John Carpenter film Prince of Darkness, the Catholic Church was founded to protect the secret calculus formula of Jesus that proved the existence of the Anti-God, until humanity had developed the mathematics to understand it. By the way, in his Vampires, the vampire hunters are funded by the Catholic Church, and a priest ends up helping them.
  • Dark Angel: The Ascent is fairly dripping with Catholicism, with various references to "the One True Church" and an emissary from Heaven referring to God as "the First Cause." Interesting in that it subverts 2,000 years of Christian folklore and, arguably, doctrine in portraying the devils as God's damned-but-still-loyal-and-pious servants, rather than ever-rebellious enemies.
  • In Bollywood movies, Christian characters are always Roman Catholics, despite India having significant groups of Syriacs (many are Catholic or Orthodox, though not Roman/Latin Rite) in Kerala. And, while Roman Catholics make up the majority of Christians in the Northeast and Central India, there are also populations of Protestants. The focus on Roman Catholicism is likely because of the films being made and set in Bombay where the most prominent Christian population are Mangalorean Catholics. Catholics also make up the majority of Christians in India. Interestingly, in the movies cheeky and free-spirited youngsters are usually Catholics, because, as a relic of colonization, they are considered more Westernized than other Indians. On the other hand, it is fairly common that Hindu characters pray to God in Christian shrines.
    • Hindus have a different perspective on religion than do people coming from an Abrahamic (Jewish, Christian, or Islamic) background. Hinduism takes the position that there are many paths that all lead to the One Truth, and thus all religions have some merit. To a Hindu, the Christian God may seem to be just another way to experience this truth, and entering a church could be seen as not much different than visiting temples devoted to the various gods. Bollywood movies are also probably inspired from Hollywood examples in this regard.
    • The focus on Catholicism versus Protestantism is partly because of the ritual trappings of the denominations, partly because of its longer history in India, and mostly because most Indian Christians are Catholics. Syrian Christian churches are native churches with a longer history, but they are South Indian and rarely do Bollywood films portray South Indian characters or situations.
  • Attempted subversion in Raising Helen. The title character, upon gaining custody of her deceased sister's children and moving to New York City, enrolls them in a private school which she at first thinks is Catholic, but turns out to be Lutheran and she is confused by the differences between the two. Unfortunately, so were the filmmakers. The one thing the movie gets right about Lutheranism is that Lutheran pastors aren't sworn to celibacy. In fact, one suspects they made the school Lutheran rather than Catholic just so it would be okay for the main character to hook up with the priest.
  • The Boondock Saints opens with a powerful shot of a Catholic priest in a beautiful church... reciting the Protestant formula of the Lord's Prayer. The Catholic Mass has a short invocation by the priest in between "deliver us from evil" and the doxology, and the latter section is omitted entirely when the Our Father is recited outside of Mass. Also, the Lord's Prayer comes after the Eucharistic Prayer, not before the homily.
  • In Henry Poole Is Here the main character (Luke Wilson's) home has a supposed miraculous appearing of the Face of Christ on a wall. The claim is investigated by a priest played by George Lopez no less along with most of the film using Catholic imagery. Justified by the fact that the movie is set in a suburb of LA and the majority of the surrounding neighbors are Hispanic Catholics. Miracles like this are also most commonly alleged and looked into by Catholics.
  • Dogma features two fallen angels whose actions of disrupting a Catholic church's anniversary celebration would lead to a Cessation of Existence, and George Carlin's character is the Catholic cardinal more concerned with the event going off without a hitch than the warnings about the angels. Oddly enough, the movie postulates that Catholic dogma can undo all of creation but no mention is made of conflicting dogmatic principles found in hundreds of other denominations, some of which predate Catholicism.
  • The 2008 adaptation of Brideshead Revisited is a strange subversion of this trope. The director stated in several interviews that he had a problem with all organized religion, but further remarks indicated that what he meant by that was actually the more evangelical strains of Christianity. In the film, the main family portrayed is very Catholic—as Evelyn Waugh, author of the novel the movie was loosely based upon, made them—but their actions and beliefs as portrayed in the movie (not the novel) are not Catholic—they're evangelical Christian. Given the themes of the book, it's safe to say that this is a good example of missing the point.
  • Stigmata is about a priest investigating a woman who has manifested the title wounds and speaks in tongues. Made very funny, as (former altar boy) Roger Ebert points out, because the filmmakers think that the woman's having been entered by the Holy Ghost is the same thing as demonic possession. Especially since that means that every Catholic who has received the sacrament of Confirmation has been demonically possessed, since according to Catholic belief, the Holy Spirit enters the body during Confirmation.
  • Subverted in The Blues Brothers. While the orphanage where Jake and Elwood grew up is clearly Catholic (and run by Creepy Nuns, no less), the only religious service the brothers attend is at the VERY evangelical Triple Rock Baptist Church. Then again, if James Brown was a pastor...
  • For Your Eyes Only features James Bond and his associates disguised as Catholic monks (complete with brown cloaks, hoods and sandals) trying to fit in ... at Meteora, a region in Greece with six Christian Orthodox monasteries built on rock pillars. Orthodox monks wear black robes, trousers and normal shoes, have no hoods and sport glorious beards and long hair. Hardly an inconspicuous disguise. Exchange monks perhaps?...Q "does it better", although meeting with 007 in a confession booth is a very "Catholic" touch...
    "Forgive me Father for I have sinned."
    "That's putting it mildly, 007!"
  • Implied in the first Ghost Rider film. When Blackheart enters a church and talks to a priest, he is Italian, presumably because he's Catholic.
  • Averted in The Deer Hunter: The characters are Catholic, but they're Eastern Catholic (Ruthenian to be precise). Some reviews of the film have misidentified them as Eastern Orthodox.
  • Averted in Black Narcissus, which features an Anglican sisterhood. They're Anglo-Catholic instead of Roman Catholic.
  • Home Movies made an attempt to avert by having the main character be a Methodist priest, complete with a priest collar. He was married and had children which is in keeping with Protestant ministers, however.
  • In Desperado, El Mariarchi goes to confession, and in the other scene, he makes a sign of the cross. Protestants do not practice any of these. Of course, El is Mexican, so Catholic is a safe assumption.
  • Disney films love this trope.
    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame is justified, as the whole movie takes place in Notre Dame, and everyone knows that it is a Catholic church.
    • Three characters in Robin Hood are religious figures: Friar Tuck, a Church Mouse, and the mouse's wife, "Little Sister." They are shown taking care of a Catholic church; Friar Tuck rings the bells and the Church Mouse plays the organ. Appropriate for the time, as the events take place long before the Church of England split from the Catholic Church.
    • The last segment of Fantasia is called Ave Maria. This hymn is also played.
    • Sleeping Beauty's background is inspired from Medieval Catholic art.
    • In Pinocchio, the fairy who brings the puppet to life is often interpreted as a Mother Mary figure.
    • The live-action film, The Littlest Outlaw features a sympathetic priest, and several sequences take place around the Catholic Church.
    • Of course, since so many Disney films are adaptations of fairy tales that predate the Reformation, it's not as if there's much of a choice.
    • Odd example in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Catholic Spanish see the supernatural oddity throughout the films from a very Christian/Catholic viewpoint. The English (who, at least correctly here, aren't Catholic, except possibly Gibbs) don't seem to have any religion at all — as far as they're concerned it's just a law and order issue. This is probably due to the two stereotypes of Spaniards being ignorant and superstitious and Catholicism being much more high-profile aesthetically than Protestantism.
  • Averted in Frailty. While the family's religion is never discussed in the final cut of the film, a deleted scene reveals them to be Baptist. Bill Paxton stated that he cut the scene in order to make them "generically Christian."
  • The U.S. version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has an odd example. Mikael was trying to figure out what certain combinations of letters and numbers meant. His daughter visited him on the way to Bible camp during this time, saw the papers and asked him to "go easy on the Catholics." We find out that she recognized the references as biblical verses, and thought her journalist father was doing a story on the Catholic Church. Since Sweden in general views the Catholic Church as strange and foreign, and the film was released in the backwash of a Pedophile Priest scandal... it fits.
  • Averted in 42; the clearly religious manager Branch Rickey is Methodist, and cites Jackie Robinson's Methodist faith as one (more) reason to recruit him.
  • Averted in Signs; Mel Gibson, himself famously Catholic, plays a (former) Episcopalian priest (priests are allowed to marry in that denomination). Later, he resumes his calling.
  • In The Cannonball Run, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. dress as Catholic priests to try to fool their way through roadblocks. It doesn't help when they are trying to pick a couple of other racers. Adrienne Barbeau's character quips, "Sorry Father, that hasn't been allowed for almost 2000 years!" Martin yells to Davis, "Next time, METHODISTS, METHOOODIIISTS!!"
  • In The Conjuring, the Warrens are authorized by the Vatican to perform an exorcist against a witch of Salem, despite the Catholic church not being behind the Salem Witch trials.
  • In John Wick the titular character disrupts a church service by a corrupt priest who is using the church to hide money for the Russian mob. Despite being an agent of the Russian mob who even speaks Russian, he seems to appear to be a Catholic priest, he doesn't look like a Russian Orthodox priest at all (who have completely different vestments and are known for their long beards), and the church far more resembles a Catholic one.
  • In C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America, it's specifically noted that there was much debate before the CSA declared the Catholic church a Christian one, therefore allowing them to stay in the fiercely Protestant CSA.
  • Inverted in Ironclad, as noted by Lindybeige, the film takes place in pre-Reformation England, but depicted as post-Reformation, Church of England on the inside, not at all in the decorated, colorful style of a wealthy English 13th century Catholic church interior.
  • The opening scene in Murder on the Orient Express (2017) features a priest in Jerusalem being tried for the theft of a precious artifact. He isn't explicitly said to be Catholic, but he wears a biretta and cassock which are standard regalia. While there has always been a Catholic presence in the region, most of the local Christians are Orthodox so it would have been more likely if the priest wore a kamilavka and had a long beard.
  • Certain adaptations of Dracula that explicitly associate him as Vlad the Impaler such as Bram Stoker's Dracula and Dracula Untold portray 15th-Century Romania as Catholic instead of Eastern Orthodox by featuring priests dressed in Catholic robes and featuring statues on churches, which is very uncommon in Orthodoxy.
  • Alexander Nevsky is an particularly egregious example: the only Christians we see are the Teutonic Knights and the bishops representing the Pope who are automatically Catholic, yet despite the movie taking place in medieval Russia, there is virtually no reference of Orthodox Christianity whatsoever among the Russians - there are no crosses on churches and their banners feature no images of Jesus, only generic beasts. This makes sense in a meta perspective: the movie was a Soviet production with a heavy anti-religious tract, therefore the Christians are the bad guys while the heroic Russians are highly secularized.
  • Silence takes place in Feudal Japan when the first European country to make contact with them were the Roman Catholic Portuguese, so naturally Catholicism is the faith being preached there. This becomes a plot point when there are Japanese converts that keep their faith in secret but Ferreira doesn't considers it "really Christian" since it doesn't resemble Catholicism, which makes him lose his faith and commit apostasy. There is also a Dutch character in the movie and while his faith goes unmentioned, it's presumed he is probably a Calvinist considering the time period (the Protestant Reformation having already taken place) and that the Dutch also had a limited contact with Japan (though Dutch Catholics existed too, and still do).
  • Averted in The Promise (2016) where most of the cast are Armenian Apostolic Christians, who are often mistaken as Eastern Orthodox (like Russians, Greeks and Romanians), but aren't in communion with them. One scene takes place in an Armenian mass presided over by historical priest and singer Father Komitas. The movie also features an American missionary as a supporting character who is presumably Protestant of some denomination. Seems like everyone here is anything but Roman Catholic (which makes sense, since almost no Christians in Turkey were Catholic, and they still aren't).
  • Fallen: The theologian and demonoligist Hobbes consults is Catholic. When he's trying to find out what the meaning of "Apocalypse" is (he could look it up easily) he asks a nun. Hobbes mentions that he goes to church occasionally, but not what denomination. Catholicism is the only sect brought up in the movie.
  • Carrie (2013): Subverted. Though there is a Catholic-style crucifix hanging in the White home, everything else that we see about their beliefs indicate they're fundamentalist Protestants (incidentally, real fundamentalists disdain crucifixes, in part because of their association with Catholicism).
  • The New Mutants: Rahne is a Catholic (despite most Scots who are Christian being Protestants), although oddly she calls her priest "Reverend ("Father" is mostly used). The chapel on the grounds is also specifically Catholic rather than nondenominational, with a confessional. It's the only representation of Christianity, since no other characters are shown to be religious. Her priest later appears in a flashback (with the regalia of a bishop).

  • Stephen King:
    • One of the subplots in King's Needful Things involves a conflict between Catholics and Baptists in Castle Rock, Maine that escalates into a murderous riot.
    • However, other religious characters in his work (Margaret White from Carrie, Mother Abagail from The Stand, Vera Smith from The Dead Zone, David Carver from Desperation, Paul Edgecombe from The Green Mile) are Protestant.
  • Averted in the Honor Harrington series.
    • The Grayson state church is very much Protestant. They go far enough from mainstream theology over a thousand years that they are a kind of Space Mormons.
    • While the Queen of Manticore is 2nd Reformation Catholic, Honor herself is Protestant of a variety that may have been inspired from the author's own. However, many other faiths are shown to exist, including Jewish members. Interfaith issues are given quite a bit of time in At All Costs. Especially the marriage issues for faiths with polygamy and those without it.note 
  • The Mote in God's Eye, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, features a future Empire of Man that possesses an official State Church. The Church is obviously a descendant of the Catholic Church, to the point that its Headquarters is called 'New Rome'. When a first contact expedition to an extraterrestrial civilization is mounted, the government sees fit to send along a priest as the Church's representative to the locals.
  • The Da Vinci Code (and anything else by Dan Brown): In Brown's conspiracy theories, "The Church", meaning the Roman Catholic Church, is able to suppress knowledge everywhere in the world. Brown and his characters refer specifically and constantly to "The Church" as a world-wide power, which of course they are, though not to the extent of this representation. Since the story partially takes place at a time when the Church was the only allowed religion, and then in the country of Italy, often within the walls of the Vatican, it's understandable why this would be. As far as Dan Brown's accounts of the Catholic Church in history, and Her relationship with various famous figures and events, well, let's just leave it by saying that there is a reason Dan Brown had a trope named after him. Dan Brown Fails History Forever, then goes back around and fails at science, too. And that's just what he does once per chapter. Finally averted in The Lost Symbol where the only clergyman playing any significant role is an Episcopalian.
  • Partial exception: H. P. Lovecraft's novella The Haunter of the Dark involves a Cosmic Monster-worshipping Cult that was routed by an alliance between Father O'Malley and the Reverend Doctor Drowne, a Baptist. The Catholics, however, are much better represented, including a crowd of Italians who show up at the story's climax to try to contain the trapped demon. It's almost strange that this would happen—Lovecraft is famous for being terribly bigoted, and he lived in the 1920s and earlier: a period known for its resentment of immigrants (being southern and eastern Europeans, they would generally be Catholic). He was also strongly atheist, and thus may have held negative views of religion.
    • This is probably due to the church in which the monster was sealed in being based on a real church in Providence (though it doesn't exist anymore). The church was, as the story depicts, located in the area of the city that was home to a large immigrant population, most of them from southern Europe.
    • Furthermore, the Italians were present because they were depicted as uniformly superstitious lot, who in this case happened to be right in their fears.
  • His Dark Materials: Lyra's Earth had an alternate history where Catholicism and Protestantism reached an accommodation and reunited. In addition to Pope Calvin, the Vatican was moved from Rome to Geneva. This allows Pullman to demonize the worst elements of both Catholicism and Calvinism in one go. The trope applies, however, not because only Catholicism exists in Lyra's world but because "Christianity" is only represented by Catholicism with no attempt to differentiate.
  • Lampshaded in Mercedes Lackey's Jinx High, in which a character pursued by demons considers sheltering in a nearby church, because in movies demons can't set foot on holy ground. She decides against it because the movies always show Catholic churches and this one is Methodist.
  • Subverted in Catch-22, when Chaplain Tappman (or Shipman, depending on the version), constantly reminds people that they don't need to call him "Father," as he's an Anabaptist. A secondary Running Gag is that it confuses people into thinking that he's just declaring he isn't a Baptist.
  • In Tom Clancy's Op-Center: Mission of Honour, a Hollywood Voodoo sorcerer and his army of Pagan revivalists attempt to eliminate Christianity from their country by kidnapping a Catholic missionary and blackmailing the Vatican. Good luck considering their country is Botswana, a former British colony where over 60% of the population is Protestant of some kind and Catholics amount to 5% at best.
  • Walter Miller Jr's A Canticle for Leibowitz chronicles the history of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz, a group of Catholic monks who dedicate themselves to preserving human knowledge after a devastating nuclear war. (Partially, and cleverly, subverted by the fact that the namesake saint of this order was Jewish.)
  • In John Barnes's Sin of Origin, one of the three main human nations in the 22nd century is the Christian Commonwealth. It's trappings and organization is explicitly Catholic, there's even an order of Knights Templar, although they aren't particularly Knight Templarish, as it's military arm. What happened to the Protestant and Orthodox branches of Christianity is never even mentioned.
  • Averted in much of Robert A. Heinlein's work, where the threat of a fundamentalist Protestant takeover was a recurring thread. But played straight in a side comment in Stranger in a Strange Land — transubstantiation is not a universal Christian belief.
  • In Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, Prof. Van Helsing, the one guy who knows how to deal with vampires, is a devout Catholic. Jonathan Harker, however, is at least nominal Anglican. This results in a few misunderstandings, when the Englishmen have a hard time taking Catholic crucifixes seriously and Van Helsing responds to their bemused surprise at his use of crushed communion hosts by explaining he has an indulgence. Although they are quite correct to be bemused, as indulgences don't work that way at all.
  • Averted in Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. While there are several prominent Catholic characters, including the two main ones, there are others who are Anglicans, Presbyterians and Quakers. In fact the relations and tensions between the groups are a significant subtheme in the series.
  • Averted in John Ringo's Special Circumstances series. The protagonist is Episcopalian, and several other flavors of Christianity are mentioned at various points in the story including of course Catholicism. In fact the second book, Queen of Wands features a Jesuit strike force.
  • Although not treated as the only variety of Christianity, The Legacy of the Aldenata books co-written with Tom Kratman do have a focus on Catholicism (in part because of Kratman's faith), although the main Posleen character in The Tuloriad is ordained in several different faiths, including some Protestant ones.
  • Out of the Christians mentioned in The Dresden Files, only one of them is not a Catholic - Shiro became a Baptist accidentally, confusing "meet the King (God)" with "meet the King (Elvis Presley)" when he was a kid.
  • In Franz Werfel's fantasy far-future in Star Of The Unborn, the Catholic church has re-absorbed all other Christian bodies; and indeed, seems to be the only religion left in a largely Generic Humanistic world, except for a small remnant of Jews. It should be noted that Werfel, author of The Song Of Bernadette, although Jewish himself had a thorough knowledge of Catholic thought and has a passage taking on the theological implications of the double survival. The auctorial persona also worries that readers may be upset at referring to a hierarch as "Grand Bishop" and not "Archbishop". A piece of historical backstory recalls the reunion of the Roman and Eastern churches, to the acute chagrin of the Thing That Used to Be Communism.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky's fiction prominently features Russian Orthodox Christians, and portrays Catholicism as something foreign and frightening. Dostoevsky was himself Orthodox, and hated Catholicism (particularly the Jesuit order). The Idiot even includes a scene where Prince Myshkin launches into a Character Filibuster denouncing Catholicism as anti-Christian, and worse than atheism.
  • C. S. Lewis recounted that allegories of Christianity, regardless of denomination, tend to be viewed as Catholic. This was, he thought, because Catholicism gives central concepts embodied form, while the Protestants interpreted them more etherally. All, for instance, would agree that Christians were to be set apart from the world, which could allegorically be presented by a wall — but is also expressed in the enclosures of monks and nuns.
  • Averted in The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries. Sookie is an onagain/offagain Methodist. Also in Charlaine Harris' Harper Connolly series. The protagonists occasionally have to deal with clerics but so far they've all been Protestant, maybe because they mostly operate in the Deep South. The most prominent character was a Baptist minister in "Ice Cold Grave".
  • Averted in Diane Mott Davidson's "Goldy Shultz" mysteries. Goldy, and most of the characters whose religion is mentioned at all, are Episcopalian.
  • In the Sister Fidelma series, set in seventh-century Ireland, Catholicism has not yet become paramount. It clashes frequently with Celtic Christianity, and both (referred to as the New Faith) clash with declining Druidic paganism. The differences and rivalries play a large part in many novels.
  • 1066 and All That has the British provincial version: the English have been Anglicans ever since they converted to Christianity. Henry VIII did not secede from the Catholic Church; the Pope and his followers seceded from the Church of England.
  • One of the major themes running through Eric Flint's Ring of Fire series is the conflict between Catholicism and the various forms of Protestantism, as well as conflict between the Protestant sects.
  • Lampshaded in Dan Simmons Summer of Night:
    Kevin: How come only your Catholic holy water works? Wouldn't my Lutheran stuff work, or Dale's Presbyterian junk?
    Mike: Do you guys have holy water in your churches?
    Harlan: Nobody has that weird stuff but you Catholics, dipshit.
  • The heroes of Left Behind are primarily Evangelical Protestant or converted Jews and Muslims, with only the Catholic pope before Peter Mathews and the priest of a Catholic congregation in South America being Caught Up in the Rapture while the majority of Catholics become part of the Corrupt Church known as Enigma Babylon One World Faith. Leonardo Fortunato, the False Prophet, was raised on Catholicism, but he mostly liked it for the tradition of its priests wearing robes, so it's no surprise that when he became the High Reverend Father of Carpathianism, he was starting to dress in rather fanciful religious robes that try to incorporate every possible religious symbol except for Christianity and Judaism.
  • There were Catholics who were on the side of the states that opposed the enforcing of the Fifty Blessings when Steve Jordan, a Protestant, became the President of the United States in Christian Nation.
  • Averted in Vampire Academy. The dominant religion of the Moroi world is Orthodox Christianity.
  • Naturally averted in the Village Tales series, that series being after all British. There is a small RC congregation centered in Beechbourne, under dear Mgr Folan; there are Jews and Muslims, there are Nonconformists, there are plenty of the unchurched; but such Christian observance as there is in the district is Established, C of E, and so High Church as to make "Anglo-Catholic" an inadequate description. The real conflicts in the series on the ecclesiastical front, although waged with respect and affection, are between these parishes (which are also traditionalist, and under the Alternative Episcopal Oversight of Ebbsfleet) and trendier parishes, including the adjoining benefice in the market town of Beechbourne (Team Rector: Canon Judith "I need your approval like a fish needs a chasuble" Potecary).
  • Averted in The Golgotha Series. Golgotha has several churches from multiple denominations. Catholics like Augustus Schultz suffer (period realistic) discrimination for their faith.
  • Lauren Kate's Rapture has a scene in Moscow's (Orthodox) church of Christ the Saviour where the church is full of waxed wooden pews and organs are playing. There are actually very few benches in Orthodox churches, usually at the back, for elderly or ill people. The rest stand during the whole mass (and kneel, when appropriate). Furthermore, there are no organs in Orthodox churches. Or any other musical instruments. People sing and that's all. Finally, this scene is supposed to happen in the 1930s. Right after Stalin blew up the building.
  • Michael Dorris' A Yellow Raft in Blue Water seems to have nobody of the Christian faith except Catholics in all three stories. A Catholic missions church is on the reservation, run by Father Hurlburt with Father Tom Novak as a youth pastor understudy, who turns out to be a creepy priest that likes to molest young teenage girls, as Rayona found out. Ida and her aunt Clara are sent to a Catholic motherhouse in Colorado so Clara could have her baby (whom she eventually gives up to Ida) without anybody else on the reservation knowing about it. Rayona herself runs into Catholics both in the Seattle area and in Montana. Evelyn's former first husband was a Catholic, who was basically scared of his own crap, according to Evelyn.
  • Averted in These Words Are True and Faithful. Ernie, while nonobservant, identifies as a Catholic and is shocked to learn that the evangelical Protestant denomination in which Sam was raised does not consider Catholics even to be Christians.
  • In the Boojumverse, we only see a new denomination come about because of the Strange Eons passing: a Pro-Human Transhuman "cult" which practises Bio-Augmentation and take Do Unto Others very seriously. They're noted to be wierd but friendly.
  • In The Monk And The Viking all of the Christian characters are catholic despite the differences between Celtic Christianity and Catholicism.

    Live Action TV 
  • In NCIS Abby Sciutto is Catholic and her involvement with a local convent is frequently mentioned and occasionally a minor plot device. Kate is Catholic too, indeed even more explicitly than Abby.
  • In Father Ted, all the characters are Catholic, but then again rural Irish Christians are almost all Catholic in reality. However, an odd moment is when the priests watch the original The Poseidon Adventure, on the grounds that Gene Hackman plays a priest. One even laments "He didn't even say Mass!" However, he's not a priest, he's a Protestant reverend, and thus unlikely to say Mass.
  • In the Mork & Mindy episode where Mork encounters Earthling (American) religion for the first time, it's Catholic and he dresses as a priest. Also, in the pilot episode, Mindy mistakes Mork for a priest because he was wearing his suit backwards, showing the white collar.
  • The Flying Nun takes place at the Convent San Tanco set in San Juan, Puerto Rico, involving the misadventures of Sister Bertrille who frequently appeals to Carlos Ramirez, the relatively wholesome playboy benefactor and owner of the local casino who reluctantly gets involved in many of her well-intended ideas much to his chagrin. As a precaution, the producers presented the pilot episode to Catholic officials, who gave it the go-ahead, and they decided to have a consultant for Catholicism on hand just to be on the safe side.
  • The A-Team:
    • In the Deep South, Face disguises himself by wearing a clerical collar. He shortly gets into a conversation with a Daisy Duke-type bare-navel, cut-off-shorts bimbo who immediately identifies him as a priest and wants to talk about the problems of celibacy.
    • There's also the episode in Season 5 where Murdock approaches the priest with "Forgive me Father for I'm about to sin" before disguising himself as the priest to get into the prison to help the rest of the team.
    • Not forgetting the fact that Face was raised in a Catholic orphanage and there's the episode where he and Murdock disguise themselves as Nuns to help a similar Orphanage.
  • Caleb from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, despite the fact that he's apparently from the Deep South and is an Expy of Robert Mitchum as Harry Powell in Night of the Hunter.
  • Father Murphy: The main character of the show imitates a Catholic priest running an orphanage. This would go against the trope of protestant clergy in Westerns.
  • Law & Order:
    • In all series, the ratio of Catholics, lapsed or practicing, to other identified-as-religious people is rather high. This might be because they're all in New York, or the fact that most of the male protagonists are of Irish or Italian stock. Even Briscoe was raised Catholic, despite having a Jewish father. However, he said he'd sometimes attended Jewish services to satisfy his Jewish first wife, and wore a yarmulke in respect once while visiting a temple.
    • The cast for the first three years had five Catholics (Greevy, Logan, Cragen, Stone, and Robinette). Schiff, like his real world counterpart Morganthau, was Jewish.note 
    • Then in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Elliot Stabler's Catholic faith plays a big part in his life.
    • Even after Stabler's departure from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, there is a large Catholic presence on the show. Stabler is replaced by Nick Amaro, who is Cuban American and Raised Catholic, later joined by ADA Rafael Barba, who has a similar background and mentions his days at Catholic School, though how observant they are at present is up for debate. Sonny Carisi, who joins a few years after Barba and Amaro, is a fairly devout Catholic.
    • On the other hand, the various Law & Order series have a higher percentage of church-related plotlines that involve Protestant denominations than most series. Notably, virtually all the episodes that center the Catholic Church involve an accusation of pedophilia (although the Catholic Church also comes up in periphery on occasion, usually in relation to a main character's faith), whereas Protestant-focused episodes are slightly more diverse in theme.
    • Averted to some extent in the SVU episode "Hell", when a Catholic priest explains that he started off in the Episcopal church before converting to Catholicism (in order to explain why he has a wife). It's also implied that his church's brand of Catholicism is a little different than what most people are used to, as the congregation is largely made up of African immigrants and incorporates their traditions.
  • The CSI Verse as a whole is overwhelmingly Catholic. An exception is Stella of CSI: NY, who is apparently Orthodox—she makes the Sign of the Cross top, down, right, left (Catholic is top, down, left, right). However, this was depicted as happening in a Catholic church, so it's probably just a mistake. Another exception is Gil, who is stated to be agnostic.
    • Stella is Greek-American and is revealed in season 5 to have been born in Greece, so it's more likely an ingrained behavior than a mistake.
  • Battlestar Galactica goes further, as even the pagans are kinda Catholic, at least with Brother Cavil. He is a priest, he hears confessions in "The Plan", etc.
  • Likewise, Booth, the token Christian on Bones, is Catholic, and holds a deep-seated dread of nuns. Somewhat justified in that the actor, David Boreanaz, actually is Catholic, and was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools. Also justified in Nuns Are Spooky.
    • Booth is also an Irish name.
    • Dr. Daniel Goodman, Brennan's boss in season one (played by Jonathan Adams) was not only Baptist, but a deacon in his church.
    • In the same episode, Hodgins said that while he believes religion is a vast conspiracy, he still believes in an at least a nominally Judeo-Christian-ish deity.
    • And Zack said that like Brennan, he was an atheist-unless his mom asked, in which case he was Lutheran.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street accurately represents Baltimore's high Catholic population: Lt. Giardello, Det. Crosetti, Det. Pembleton, Det. Felton, Det. Gharty, and Bessie-Lou all are Catholics. However, Det. Lewis is a Baptist and Det. Bayliss later converts to Zen Buddhism. Det. Munch is Jewish, but says the only thing on which he and Judaism agree is not working on Saturdays.
  • Averted and played straight on The Wire; the African-American ministers who wield massive influence (to the point where you can just say "the ministers" and everyone knows exactly who you're talking about) aren't Catholic (though they aren't identified specifically with any particular church), but Tony Gray, the only religious character who isn't a minister, is Catholic. Also, Season 2 starts off as a pissing contest between Major Valchek and Frank Sobotka about who gets to put in a new stained-glass window at the historically Polish Catholic parish church in Southeast Baltimore.
  • On the HBO prison drama Oz Father Ray Mukada, a prison chaplain, is a Catholic priest, and Sister Peter Marie, the prison psychologist, is a nun. The series features a significant number of other Catholics, as many characters are Irish, Italian or Latino. Even so, the series does feature characters of other religions, including several prominent Muslims, a rarity in American media. This trope was also subverted somewhat in Season Four with the introduction of the character Jeremiah Cloutier, an Evangelical Protestant minister (who claims the Catholic Church is a tool of Satan, and thus clashes with Fr. Makuda, plus winning away some Catholic prisoners).
  • Nurse Laverne is the only character on Scrubs depicted as overtly religious. While she generally acts in a manner stereotypical of black Protestants, she clutches a rosary on her deathbed. More broadly, though, the hospital where the series is set is Sacred Heart, named for a distinctly Catholic devotion. Somewhat justified in that many hospitals were started by Catholic religious orders, and many still have some ties at least. Many orders of nuns had missions to specifically to act as nurses caring for the sick, as that is seen as a form of charity, one of the cardinal virtues in Catholic morality. It doesn't come into play much on the series, though.
    • Other Characters as well appear Catholic: Turk references going to Mass in the "My Own Personal Jesus" and he and Carla get married at a Catholic Church (Which makes sense, considering Carla is Dominican)
    • Dr. Cox watches a wedding video of him and Jordan, which uses footage from the actress's real wedding, which was in a Catholic Church. This arguably makes Jordan canonically Catholic. Also Jack was baptized in a Catholic Church.
  • Elaine on Seinfeld learns that boyfriend Puddy is religious, and believes that she's going to Hell. While the religious stations preset on his car radio sound born-again Protestant, the couple wind up being counseled by his priest. The same priest is also present in a couple other episodes.
  • Supernatural : While Sam has at one point "reminded" Dean that they aren't Catholic, they seem to use a lot of Latin exorcisms, and every priest they talk to seems to be Catholic. Granted, it's never been specified which branch of Christianity the heaven/hell hierarchy in the show follows, but given that Supernatural leans heavily on all myths being true, it could be that every religion's true on that show.
  • On the other hand, in the series Blood Ties the fact that the vampire is a good Catholic comes from his being greatly benefited by Catholicism. It was his dad, Henry VIII, who first split the Church, looking for a divorce and wanting to free England from Rome, and Henry Jr., our vampire, wanted to be king, obviously, thus he favored the Catholic Church. Never mind that most of England was Protestant by then, and the Catholic Queen Mary, the daughter of Henry VIII, was nicknamed Bloody Mary because of her desire to set England back to being Catholic. She tried to do this by killing off Protestants.
  • Lovingly thwarted in Carnivàle (Brother Justin).
  • All Christian characters on Lost whose denominations have been specified are Roman Catholic. This includes Mr. Eko, a priest (except not really;) Charlie, who is English and would more likely be Anglican; and Kate, who uses saints' names as aliases while on the run, and always calls her Inspector Javert "pursuer on high holy days". Also Desmond, a former novice and Celtic supporter. Claire and Aaron, by on-show baptism. The memorial for Christian Shepherd is in a church with Catholic-appearing statuary. Hugo "Hurley" Reyes seems to be rather lukewarm in his Catholicism in stark contrast to his devout mother.
  • Stephen Colbert (the character) of The Colbert Report is aware that Protestants exist, but would probably prefer it if they didn't, and certainly doesn't count them as Christian. He has stated that all religions are equal in his eyes: they come second to Roman Catholicism. The real Colbert is in fact Roman Catholic and even teaches Sunday School, but is about as far from an idiotic blowhard about it as you can get — unlike his character.
  • Reaper tries to make its theological underpinnings as ambiguous as possible, but whenever we get exposition (especially from Ben) the result is clearly Catholic.
  • Averted big time in 7th Heaven which is all about a Protestant minister and his family. Although the exact denomination is never mentioned hints were dropped a couple of times during the series long run that it was either non-denominational or Disciples of Christ. Also, inverted In-Universe when daughter Mary marries Catholic Carlos and other family members make a point to remark "They are from different religions...", so apparently to the Camdens, Christianity Is Protestant.note 
  • It's early days as yet on Stargate Universe but so far the only character with a religious bent is Catholic. While not religious himself, Riley mentioned that his mother was Anglican. Most of those who expressed their believe were vaguely Christian or found their own Crystal Dragon Jesus.
  • Averted and played straight in Defying Gravity, set in the mid 21st Century where the mission commander is a (lapsed) Buddhist and another character is Hindu. However the only character who is a professed Christian is, you guessed it, Catholic, even though in an episode only aired in Canada she professes belief in the Rapture, which is probably a case of Artistic License – Religion although admittedly doctrine might have changed in forty+ years.
  • Averted in Sons of Anarchy which has had scenes in a Catholic church but also the hospital's non-denominational chapel and at a Protestant revival meeting. Also Gemma's father is a minister.
  • Averted in The Office (US): A handful of characters at Dunder Mifflin identify as Christian, but only Stanley is Catholic; Pam and Darryl are Presbyterian, Phyllis is Lutheran and Angela is some sort of conservative evangelical. And God knows what Dwight is but it seems to be some twisted form of Mennonite Anabaptism.
  • Everyone on The Sopranos is Catholic. Justified, in that they're all members of the same big Italian family.
  • When Earl is incarcerated on My Name Is Earl, the prison holds a Mass every Wednesday. As part of a scheme, Darnell and Joy impersonate a priest and a nun and wear Catholic vestments. The "Mass" they celebrate bares more resemblance to charismatic protestant worship and nobody gathered found it unusual.
  • Comprehensively averted in Big Love, in which most major characters are offshoot Mormons.
  • Leverage's Nate Ford is Catholic (to an extent), at one point considered going into the seminary and one of his closest friends is a Catholic priest. Of course, in this case it's justified since Nate is Irish-American, which means Catholic 9 times out of 10.
  • While the resident chaplain at the 4077th M*A*S*H is Catholic priest Father Mulcahy, Colonel Potter and Margaret Houlihan are Methodists and Charles Winchester is Presbyterian.
  • There's a surprisingly high number of Catholics on The West Wing — despite the fact that they're a relative minority in government — including two consecutive Presidents. Since guilt and redemption are major themes of the series, and President Bartlet himself almost became a priest, it seems Catholicism made for more interesting stories. There's also a high number of open atheists (including the Republican nominee for President), so it may have to do with the show's commitment to greater diversity. However, while Catholics may be a relative rarity in the Presidency, but they are not relatively rare in government as a whole. Catholics make up the biggest single religious group in Congress, for example, and have significant representation in the FBI.
  • Averted big time on Friday Night Lights, which has featured several different Protestant churches, but no Catholic churches.
  • Falling Skies: Lourdes. The one truly religious person in the ensemble, and guess what religion she is. Justified in that she's Hispanic, though, with Catholicism being the biggest denomination in Latin American communities.
  • Averted on Community, where all of the main characters have clearly-identified non-Catholic beliefs: Annie is Jewish, Britta's hostile to the very IDEA of religion, Shirley is a rather in-your-face Baptist, Abed is Muslim (since movies don't count as a religion), Troy is a Jehovah's witness, Pierce is a "Reformed Neo-Buddhist", and Jeff professes agnosticism but essentially worships himself.
    • However, at one point Troy postulates that everyone is in Purgatory. Jehovah's Witnesses don't believe in Purgatory.
  • In Season Two of The Walking Dead, the survivors stumble upon a "Southern Baptist" church with a massive crucifix. Protestants in general tend to shy away from crucifixes, but Baptists in particular shun iconography of almost any kind.
  • The preacher in Hell on Wheels is a Protestant while the two Irishmen who run the "theater" are Catholic. Mormons feature in later episodes (though with some of their beliefs inaccurately portrayed).
  • In American Horror Story: Murder House the Antichrist subplot is approached from a distinctly Catholic viewpoint including a cameo by the Pope.
  • The X-Files tends to work like this around Scully's faith. In the episode "All Souls" the following exchange appears:
    Father Gregory: I was her confessor. Divulging her name would violate the code of my faith [screen cuts to Scully's simple cross necklace] ...and yours, I see.
    • Most of the religious-themed episodes seemed to follow Catholic beliefs, though exceptions existed, such as those in the Appalachian region or Deep South. They also had an episode centered upon Orthodox Jews.
  • Justified in Blue Bloods, where the Reagan family are Catholics of Irish descent. Other denominations are present, too; the black reverend who's apparently a longtime thorn in Frank Reagan's side is from an indeterminate Protestant denomination.
  • Averted in Bunheads, although Boo, the only overtly Christian character in the series (Fanny is Buddhist and Carl is Jewish), was hinted to be Catholic early on, it turns out she's Lutheran
  • In JAG an Irish Priest from the Vatican investigates a possible miracle in two season six episodes.
  • Averted in Arrested Development by Pastor Veal (played by Alan Tudyk), who belongs to an unspecified Protestant denomination and is married with a daughter.
  • In Joan of Arcadia the Girardis were all non-practicing Catholics. One episode does have a girl who's a Quaker. God Hirself says that Se doesn't play favorites and one time says Se is the same God that is worshiped by Christians, Jews and Muslims.
  • In Gilmore Girls the Kims are defined as Seventh Day Adventists, but there are crucifixes around the house.
  • Averted in Call the Midwife. The nuns and priests are Anglicans.
  • Discussed and played with in a Wonderfalls episode where a nun considers leaving the Church and a priest tries to convince her to stay. Exorcism is also involved. This seems like playing it straight, until Jaye tells her family she's involved with the nun because she needed religious help with her problems, at which point her mother gently asks her if she knows nuns are Catholic, and her father proudly reminds her of the superiority of their own Protestant faith.
  • In Westworld the church Dolores walks into appears very Protestant. Yet it has a very Catholic confessional.
  • Justified in Medici: Masters of Florence. It's at least two hundred years before the Reformation, and the Catholic Church and it's politics are very important to both Italy and Cosimo personally.
  • In Marco Polo, the most prominent Christian character among the Mongols is Nayan, who becomes a Catholic and agrees to lead a crusade against his own people. This is a huge case of Artistic License – History, since the historical Nayan was an Nestorian Christian (who would have been considered an heretic by the Pope) and did rebel against his nephew Kublai on purely cultural basis since Nayan lived like a Mongol and thought Kublai was ditching his heritage to embrace Chinese values. In the show, he was flanderized as a Christian so much that he chose crucifixion as a way of execution after being defeated when the historical Nayan received the standard execution for those of royal blood: rolled up in a carpet and smothered to prevent his blood from being spilled.
  • On The Last Kingdom, this trope happens, but it is justified because the show takes place in 9th century England, so at that time and place there were no other churches.
  • Averted in Justified, which takes place smack-dab in the Bible Belt of the USA and therefore Evangelical Christianity of the Pentecostal variety is the standard. Season 4 features a snake-handler. Ellen May needs Shelby to confirm that Catholicism is, in fact, a form of Christianity.
  • Played straight in The Nanny, where all non-Jewish characters appear to be Catholic. Partially justified, since the series is set in New York City, where Catholicism is the main branch of Christianity. However, the Sheffields are depicted as Catholic despite being immigrants from England, where the majority of Christians, particularly old money families like them, are Anglican.
  • Subverted in Malcolm in the Middle. The family aren’t religious at all (“What does the ‘T’ on the wall stand for?”), but they do join a church to get free daycare. The exact denomination is never stated but appears to be some kind of generic American Protestantism.
  • Played with in The Big Bang Theory. Among the main characters, Sheldon is a Hollywood Atheist, Leonard and Amy are agnostic, Penny subscribes to some kind of vague New Age spirituality, Howard is Jewish and Raj is Hindu; the only one who is explicitly Christian is Bernadette, who is Catholic. However, none of them appear particularly observant and the most religious character is Sheldon’s devout Southern Baptist mother.

  • E Nomine tends to focus on Catholic Christianity, generally because it's ominous and it goes well with the industrial-gothic tone of their songs. Groups after them have tried the same exact route.
  • Metal in general, because everything's more evil with Latin and Gothic aesthetics. Then there's Demon Hunter, a Catholic metalcore band.
  • Averted with country music and most forms of blues music, which of course have their roots in the historically Protestant South. This explains why the Contemporary Christian Music industry, historically based out of Nashville, tends to be dominated by Protestants. Some artists who identify as Catholic have attained popularity in CCM, though their lyrics tend to avoid doctrinal specifics. Contemporary Catholic Music does exist as its own subgenre, but bring up the name of a prominent Catholic artist to a frequent listener of Christian radio and you'll probably get a blank stare. Of course, jazz was influenced by second line marches in Catholic funerals, considering New Orleans is predominately Catholic due to its French colonial history. This goes even further back to France itself, and the lively 16th century "tombeaux", which were songs that memorialized and celebrated the life of the deceased.
  • The song "That Doesn't Make Sense" by Whitney Avalon describes a few religions, and the only kind of Christianity mentioned is Catholicism.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The two times that a church has appeared on WWE programming (when "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Booker T had a brawl in one, and when Vince and Shane McMahon used one as a backdrop to mock Shawn Michaels' faith), it was a Catholic church, complete with confession booth, font of holy water, etc. Note that the real-life Michaels, and thus presumably the character Michaels, is a born-again Evangelical, not a Catholic (although he was baptized Catholic as a baby). As well, the short-lived Reverend D'Von character, while talking like a Southern Baptist, dressed like a Catholic priest, and his entrance video had a very gothic stained-glass motif. This might be because the McMahons are of Irish descent. Amusingly, Reverend D'Von was given an assistant named Deacon Batista, whose real name is Dave Bautista. Bautista is Spanish for "baptist" and usually refers to Protestant Baptist religions.
    • Mike Shaw's Friar Ferguson, "The Mad Monk", lasted only a handful of matches before the Catholic church and the New York media raised enough pressure to have him removed.
    • Averted in the WWF/WWE's one successful religious gimmicked character, Brother Love, who was a pastiche of Baptist Televangelist cliches.
    • Oddly inverted by Rey Mysterio Jr., who, while being notably Roman Catholic and heard to recite prayers in proper form, uses a modified, two-handed sign of the cross in the ring (both hands to forehead, chest, then one hand to either shoulder) while using the regular version in backstage skits.

  • Garrison Keillor's "News from Lake Wobegon" anecdotes from A Prairie Home Companion often allude to the relationship between the town's Lutherans and Catholics, and if anything the trope is inverted; Keillor has joked that "Even the Catholics up here are Lutheran." That's probably because they're German Catholics, and thus have more in common ethnically with the German-descended Lutherans than with other breeds of Catholic.note 

    Tabletop Games 
  • White Wolf's Vampire: The Requiem inverts this trope: The Vampire Christian(ity based) Lancea Sanctum are supposedly mostly 'Catholic', but aside from using Catholic titles and rites, their teachings are completely Gnostic/Protestant.
    • Hell, that's practically its own trope, in some quarters: Every Religion Is Actually Gnosticism.
    • Hunter: The Vigil also takes a stab at it, with three different Christianity-based compacts/conspiracies: the Malleus Maleficarum, who are Catholic; the Order of St. George, who are Anglican; and the Long Night, who are fundamentalist Protestants. The Malleus Maleficarum and the Order of St. George aren't on the best of terms, and while the Long Night will work with the Malleus when the chips are down, most of them view the Malleus as agents of "the Great Whore of Babylon," the Roman Catholic Church.
  • In In Nomine, the two Archangels who promote Christianity (Dominic and Laurence) have a preference for Catholicism over other creeds.
    • And when Gabriel appears to Mohammad, creating Islam, she cops so much strife for it that she barely visits Heaven anymore.
  • The Imperium of Man from Warhammer 40,000 is what happens when you recycle Catholicism In Space and turn its Dark Age Europe aspects Up to Eleven. The Imperial official language of High Gothic is futuristic Latin, the State Religion calls itself the Ecclesiarchy (complete with elaborately-costumed Priests, dusty Bibles, and legions of battle nuns!) and the God-Emperor is widely considered to be a thinly veiled disguise of Jesus Christ. The worst offence in the Imperium, that is political dissent, is automatically named Heresy (which was overused so much that it became a meme in the /tg/ community as referring to anything disgusting), and the State Sec Secret Police dedicated to rooting out Heresy and exorcising any and all forms of Daemonic cults even names itself the Inquisition.
  • Anima: Beyond Fantasy again. The Christianism (it's even named so) of the game's setting shares a lot of elements with Catholicism such as the clergy's organization -except that the Emperor (now Empress) is at the top (now just in theory) even if just as a spiritual leader-, some dogma, and of course an Inquisition that is there to root out everything that, according to the Church, is related to the Devil (read: non-human races and people with supernatural powers).
  • Banestorm: Catholicism is the most dominant Christian faith due to the Crusaders being displaced from Medieval Era into Yrth before the Protestant Reformation took place. This is invoked in-universe by the Curia which decided, upon hearing news of the Protestant Reformation and the turmoil it brought from Banestorm victims, to stop Protestantism from ever taking root in this world, forcibly converting Protestants brought by Banestorm, mind wiping them, or killing them. It is however noted that Protestantism still survives underground (or openly in Cardiel and Muslim countries), with the Huguenots being the largest tradition.

    Video Games 
  • The MMORPG Ragnarok Online has a priest healer class with Catholic-themed skill names (in Latin, no less!) such as "Signum Crucis" (Sign of the Cross), "Impositio Manus" (Laying-on of hands), "Angelus" (a Catholic prayer) and "Magnus Exorcismus" (Great Exorcism). However the Catholicity ends with the questionably dressed female priest characters. To make things even stranger, the game itself is supposed to be based on Norse mythology, with some NPCs even making references to the Norse gods in a way that suggests they exist in-universe.
  • The Church of St. Ajora in Final Fantasy Tactics, whose central figure (Saint Ajora) is a very thinly-veiled analogy of Jesus Christ, has very notable Catholic traits. The clergy's hierarchy, the Templar Knights, the architecture, and several aspects of the doctrine and ritual are based on early Catholicism.
    • These obviously deliberate similarities make it even harder to believe that they weren't trying to take Refuge in Audacity by having St. Ajora be both demonic and the Big Bad.
  • Averted in Half-Life 2. Father Grigori, the only real Christian presence in the game, appears to be a Greek Orthodox priestnote .
  • Not that this is in any way represented in-game, but the backstory of Sword of the Stars uses this trope. Justified by having the human race decimated by a bombardment, by the first Aliens encountered, in the back-story. Catholicism is described as having eight billion adherents and is being exported to the Tarka who find the idea of a self-sacrificing peaceful god to be interesting.
  • Pretty much the entire Dragon Quest series is steeped in Catholic cosmetics to the point of it being half the set. Huge hats, abbeys, and cathedrals everywhere, nuns, Knights Templar, saving your game via confession. The plots of games 8 and 9 revolve almost entirely around Catholic-themed culture and take it in exact opposite directions respectively.
  • Love & War has the Church of Infinity, which could honestly be viewed as an Expy of the Catholic Church. They have their own country, just like the real-world Vatican; their head is the Pontiff; their current pontiff is called Pious XXI; and their bishops, archbishops, and nuns wear traditionally Catholic outfits. In the remake, Henrik Spenson, who is a member, even has a cross, or perhaps a rosary, in his room.
  • Played straight in Fallout 3, in which the only church in the wasteland is the heavily Catholic-influenced Church of St. Monica. Averted in the Honest Hearts DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, where the devoutly religious New Canaanites belong to remains of the LDS Church. The religion of the tribes living in the Zion Valley is a blend of LDS beliefs and native animistic beliefs. When the first New Caananite missionaries came to Zion, the tribes conflated God the Father with their chief spirit, The Father in the Caves.
  • The Dark Souls series has many Catholic-ish cathedrals, churches, shrines, and altars you walk through on your quest. This is especially prevalent in the third installment. Not to mention that there's a boss in Dark Souls III named Pontiff Sulyvahn.
    • The last point is true only for localizations. In the original it's just a generic word for "religious leader".
  • Averted in Crusader Kings II. While the base game focuses on the crusading Catholics, the game features all 4 major branches of Christianity of the time (Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Miaphysitism, and Nestorianism; Protestantism post-dates the gameplay period by a century) as playable religions; however, Catholicism and Orthodoxy are by far the most widely spread branches of the Christian faith. They also have a bunch of historical heresies (e.x Catharism for Catholicism, Iconoclasm for Orthodoxy), which, if powerful enough, can become the new main faith of their branch. Also, the DLC Legacy of Rome have the Byzantine/Roman Emperor can mend the Great Schism eventnote , turning Catholicism into a new Orthodox heresynote , effectively turning the trope into Christianity Is Orthodox in-universe instead.
    • The game does enter into this with the later DLCs, which expanded the start date from 1066 to the earlier 867 and 769 start dates. The Great Schism that split the churches did not officially happen until the 11th century, and at these points in time the Latin and Greek churches were still in communion with each other and shared territory, making the distinction of 'Catholic' and 'Orthodox' much fussier. This means it's possible, as the Byzantine Emperor, to mend the Great Schism 200 years before it happened, by de-legitimizing a sect of Christianity that didn't (officially) exist at the time.
  • Also averted in Europa Universalis, also from the same developers as Crusader Kings. The early game already features historical scenarios of wars between Protestant and Catholic nations with the nation you choosing affecting alliances, travel routes, and objectives. Later games not only expand on the functions such as allowing to convert to different factions, but even puts restrictions and advantages based on religious faction (such as being able to call to Rome to stop an invasion by another Catholic country).
  • In EA Sports UFC 2, Russian martial artist Khabib Nurmagomedov was originally shown doing the Sign of the Cross in his victory pose. This is a Critical Research Failure for two reasons: First, Nurmagomedov is a devout Sunni Muslim from Russia's heavily-Muslim southern region of Dagestan. Second, even if he were Christian, the vast majority of Russian Christians are Eastern Orthodox. Only 0.1% of Russians identify as Catholic. There are far more Muslims in Russia than Catholic Christians (in fact, there are more Muslims in Russia than all non-Orthodox Christians combined). EA quickly apologized and fixed the mistake in a patch.
  • In the Dragon Age games, the Chantry of Andraste is heavily based on Catholicism, with the primary differences being that the Christ-figure is The Maker's bride rather than His son, and the priesthood is composed of women while men serve in the military and bureaucracy. Endorsing a new Divine (read: Pope) is a plot point in Dragon Age: Inquisition, and the neighboring Tevinter Imperium even has its own denomination that largely mirrors the Eastern Orthodox Church in its rivalry with "that other one."
  • Harvest Goddess worship in Story of Seasons is predominantly a Catholic-themed Crystal Dragon Jesus religion. Despite this, Cain from Harvest Moon GBC 2 and Carter from Harvest Moon: Back to Nature are Protestant looking priests (though Carter was given a Catholic-esque redesign in the remake Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town).
  • In Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Felghana's monotheistic religion, which as pointed out below is centered around a benevolent deity referred to as God rather than a Crystal Dragon Jesus, seems very much like the Ys world's equivalent of Catholicism, since it has priests, nuns, bishops, etc.

    Visual Novels 
  • Lilly from Katawa Shoujo is implied to be Catholic. Due to being half-Scottish, it's more likely that she'd be Presbyterian.

  • The Fox Sister: Averted with Alex Martin being Methodist missionary for Cho Yun Hee a Korean Mudang to understand by telling her necklace differences and calling as a misconception to Christiansnote .
  • Averted in Little Tales, Uriel is an Anglican minister, but many fans express confusion that he can be a priest and married.
  • Sonichu has an unusual inversion - while Angelica is said to be Catholic, a lot of her beliefs seem more in line with certain branches of Protestantism (as the author was raised Protestant).
  • Averted in Stand Still, Stay Silent, which is set in the Nordics and hence has Christianity represented by its Lutheran branch, which was the dominant one in that part of the world pre-Rash.
  • An aversion that makes it into a FAQ, thereby showing the prevalance of the trope; the "About" page on the Dumbing of Age website needs to point out that Joyce was raised Protestant fundamentalist, since a lot of people on the discussion pages have criticised her for not acting according to a version of Christianity that simply isn't what she believes.

    Web Original 
  • It is very common in YouTube videos and photo websites purporting to show photographic evidence of Vatican involvement in the Third Reich to include photos of Protestant Reich Churches, and Protestant clergy and worshipers, (often of the Deutsche Christen, DC, variety). Probably the most infamous person whose website features this would be Tony Alamo (though his infamy is for unrelated reasons). That page is pretty humorous if you are aware that the most common subject of the photographs, Ludwig Muller was the most powerful Protestant in Nazi Germany. For a political analogy, it would be like if a German made a website denouncing the US Democratic Party, but then put a bunch of pictures of Bush on it (and compensated for this by inserting the word Democrat before President Bush every time in the caption to fool unknowledgeable viewers). Also, with Muller on the top left (and in the right photo as well), and Protestant Bishop Friedrich Coch on the top right, it means the top features on the "Nazi Catholic Vaticanites" website are, in reality, solely prominent Protestants.
  • In the Chaos Timeline, there is no big Catholic-Protestant split (except for some minor, uninfluential movements). Instead, power gradually shifted to the governments of the Catholic nations - a bit like our Anglicanism, or Gallican church, while the rituals and most of the doctrine were kept unchanged. (In this world's Nippon, the tenno frex is head of the Nipponese Catholic church!) The Pope was gradually reduced to a mere figurehead - although this changed unexpectedly again when he had to go to Australia after the revolution in Britain.
  • Regular Car Reviews delivers its entire RAV4 episode in a booming, judgmental voice like a hell-and-brimstone preacher, and makes specific references to the Catholic church. Then it devolves into full-on parody of this trope by implying that Protestants are heathens who repurpose their Bibles as coloring books.
  • This episode of Renegade Cut on the use of Christian themes in supernatural horror movies makes note of how, in so many of them, it's often specifically the teachings and priests of the Catholic Church that strike down demonic and supernatural evil. He attributes this to the fact that the Church's aesthetics and hierarchy are often naturally intimidating, and thus lend themselves well to the atmosphere of a horror film. He also contrasts this with the genre of "Christploitation" films like God's Not Dead and Left Behind, which often avert this trope by way of being rooted in evangelical Protestantism instead, chiefly because that's the group of people that's both making and watching such films.

    Western Animation 
  • It varies in VeggieTales, depending on the setting. "St. Nicholas, A Story of Joyful Giving" is set in third century Turkey, making the represented church Catholic. However, episodes like "An Easter Carol" and "The Star of Christmas" are set in Victorian England, and thus the Church of England is represented. In "Twas the Night Before Easter," set in 21st century America, the church featured is the "Crisper County Gospel Church," a Protestant church of unspecified denomination. However, due to the presence of Gospel music along with Bob the Tomato wearing a Clerical collar and references to Infant Baptism, it could be guessed that it's a Methodist church. It's worth noting that the show's creator, Phil Vischer, is a member of the United Church of Christ.
  • Zig-zagged in The Simpsons: Most of Springfield belong to a generic Christian denomination once identified as "the Western Branch of American Reform Presbylutheranism", which definitely isn't Catholic (there's even one episode about Bart and Homer converting to Catholicism), but may suddenly have suspiciously Catholic traditions depending on the scene.
    • In "Like Father, Like Clown", Lovejoy co-hosts an ecumenical radio talk show with a Catholic priest and Jewish rabbi (who's Krusty the Clown's father).
    • In an episode where it was feared Grandpa Simpson might die:
      Marge: Shouldn't we give him the Last Rites?
      Rev. Lovejoy: That's Catholic, Marge. You may as well ask me to do some kind of voodoo dance!
    • In "The Joy of Sect", Lovejoy advises his few churchgoers left to say the Lord's Prayer forty times, clearing in reference to the Catholic tradition of rosaries.
  • In Family Guy, Peter's father Francis is Catholic. Many cutaway gags involve the Pope.
    • In fact, "The Father, the Son and the Holy Fonz" suggested that the entire family is Catholic, sans Lois, who is Protestant, and Brian, who is an atheist (apparently, although this was mentioned in a later episode). In fact, Lois being Protestant was the main (and probably only) reason why Francis hated her so much. Curiously, Lois sometimes is seen trying to convince the rest of the Griffins to go to (a Catholic) church. Wouldn't he be happy she converted?
    • Though it's justified, as Rhode Island has the highest proportion of Catholics in the nation, and the Griffin family is explicitly Irish-American, who are also mostly Catholic.
    • Francis aside, the family's status as belonging to any religion at all is subject to the whims of the joke. Usually it never comes up, occasionally Peter mocks Christians, and on at least one occasion he rejects the traditional "Everybody Poops" for potty training Stewie in favor of "You're a Naughty Child and That's Concentrated Evil Coming Out the Back of You" on the basis that they're Catholic. Also, in the episode "Dog Gone", Peter says he's Catholic.
  • South Park is a good example. Every inhabitant of South Park who is not Jewish is Catholic; there are no explicitly Protestant characters (in Real Life Colorado, the State South Park is located in, 44% of the population is Protestant, only 19% is Catholic). This can be attributed to series co-creator Trey Parker being Raised Catholic.
    • Some gaffes include all the men in town dressing up in Ku Klux Klan robes (the Klan is a strongly anti-Catholic group) to scare away black families moving into the area (although one of those men was a practicing Jew anyway, so that gag could have just been for Rule of Funny) and a visiting character from New England referring to the townspeople as "hick jock redneck stereotypes," which would ordinarily denote Protestants.
    • Of course, Mormonism is very visible in the world of South Park. The creators seem to have a soft spot for Mormons, even though the foundation of the Latter-Day Saints church is mocked as much as anything else in that show.
    • This once again averted even further in episode Ginger Cow with showing a lot of Protestant, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox leaders (and without Catholic Pope appearing once) in debate room and for rest of episode using Ecumenical Patriarch (De jure Eastern Orthodox head) to presents Christianity.
  • Averted in Moral Orel, set in the decidedly Evangelical Protestant town of Moralton. Possibly inverted with all the Moralton townsfolk mocking and occasionally reviling Catholicism. As far as the people of Moralton are concerned, only Protestant Fundamentalists are true Christians, while Catholics might as well be godless pagans. And sadly, this is Truth in Television for certain fundamentalists. Notably to the point where speaking the profane tongues of the Necronomicon is still better than speaking in Latin like a Catholic.
  • Averted in King of the Hill. The Hill family belongs to a Methodist church. Justified, as Catholicism was historically rare in Texas among families who were not of Hispanic, Irish, or Polish descent.
  • Averted in American Dad!. The Smiths are Episcopalian, except for Hayley (who is an atheist).
  • Castlevania (2017) depicts the Church as being Roman Catholic despite the story taking place in Romania, which has been mostly Eastern Orthodox. To be fair, in the original games that inspired it also implied the Church was Catholic there as well, though they were very vague about it.

    Real Life 
  • There was a certain stretch of time where a substantial majority of Christians note  regarded themselves as being part of a single "Catholic" (which means "universal" in Greek) church, right up until the Great Schism of 1054 between Rome and Constantinople (although the cracks had been showing for many years before). Whether or not that early church is the Roman one, or one of the Orthodox churches, is a point of friction between these denominations.
    • Before the Orthodox-Catholic split there were various branches which one might call "denominations". However, in those early days a common way to handle schisms was to declare such splinter groups heretical in their teachings. One thing which raised plenty of different interpretations (i.e. heresies) was how exactly the Holy Trinity worked.
    • A further split occurred in the 16th Century, when Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the front door of the Wittenburg Castle Church, marking the start of the Lutheran Reformation. Meanwhile, Henry VIII led the Church of England to break with the Catholic Church, after it refused to annul his marriage to Catherine of Aragon for failing to bear him a son.
  • Often inverted in day-to-day situations, if only because of the United States' and other countries' strong Protestant traditions. Proclaiming Catholicism is also Christianity (especially with children, and/or Protestant fundamentalists of various types) is asking for the knee-jerk rebuttal of "no it's not!" The assumption that "Christianity" only refers to Protestantism has led to some...strange situations to say the least. For example, once upon a time, two of the original five officially recognized religions in Indonesia were "Kristen" and "Katolik", and the distinction still remains to this day. (Yes, you can respond to someone that is Catholic by saying "So you're Kristen, then?" and get corrected with "No, I'm not Kristen, I'm Katolik.")
    • The California Department of Corrections only recognizes five religions as valid for paid chaplains, although unpaid volunteers of other faiths are permitted to administer to their flocks. This is a policy currently being challenged in court. The religions? Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim and "Native American" (probably referring to the Native American Church). Guess the Orthodox (among many others) are screwed. Sorry, pagans. Only prayer of the Native American pantheon and Jehovah is allowed.
    • In Hong Kong, 6.7% of the population is Protestant and 5.3% is Catholic, but in Cantonese, "Christianity" is used solely to refer to Protestantism.
  • Played straight in countries with a Catholic majority.
    • In France and Spain, the terms "Christian" and "Catholic" mean the same thing for most people due to Protestantism's scarcity in those countries.
    • In countries with Protestant majorities the opposite is sometimes true, and Christianity, in daily use, becomes "any Christians but Catholics". In the Netherlands it's pretty normal to ask whether someone is a Christian or a Catholic. Secularization has rendered Protestantism smaller than Catholicism there. In addition Protestantism (barring several ultra-orthodox communities in the Bible Belt) is mostly liberal, whereas Catholicism is conservative and sometimes generates controversy in the highly liberal Netherlands. Both its relative size (vis-a-vis Protestantism) and its relative conservatism help highlight the religion in the wider landscape and consequently give rise to the use of the trope.
    • Depends on the area as well. The Netherlands once had a war that lasted 80 years which divided the country into a northern Protestant part and a southern Catholic part. In certain areas of certain countries, you can pretty much guess if people are Protestant, Catholic or other.
    • To understand why often the Dutch Roman Catholic Church has been speaking for Dutch Christianity, one has to consider the old saying "One Dutchman a theologian, two Dutchmen a church, three Dutchmen a schism.", the Protestant churches in the Netherlands have a long history of dividing themselves and mostly rejecting any form of CENTRAL leadership but the Divine, while the fertile Roman Catholic women were exploited to enlarge the size of the Roman Catholic minority. Though at the individual level Roman Catholics are fully accepted as Christians, at the institutional level "Christian" and "Catholic" are different things, "Christian" denotes an interdenominational institute, while "Catholic" is denominational, for instance: a Dutch "Christian" school in a Roman Catholic area answered, when asked whether they had Roman Catholic students, that they had indeed a few, about as much as Coptic students. So in the Netherlands "Christian" tends to indicate a more catholic multidenominational Christianity, while "Catholic" indicates the largest denomination alone.
    • In Latin America Catholicism is the norm, however in recent years in some countries Protestantism has gained ground. His followers call himself simply "cristianos", or in some cases "evangelicos," because for some of these Protestant churches Catholics are not true Christians.
  • From 2010 to 2017 United States Supreme Court had, for the first time in its history, no Protestant judges. In fact, it had six Catholics (five after Antonin Scalia died in 2016) and three Jews (for context, the Court at that time was over 33 percent Jewish, while the nation they represent is less than 3 percent Jewish!). This period of no Protestants ended with the appointment of the Episcopalian Neil Gorsuch in 2017 (although he has flirted with Catholicism), and the dominance of Catholics on the Court continued when Brett Kavanaugh was appointed to replace Anthony Kennedy in 2018. Oddly enough, the nation has had only 2 Catholic Presidents out of 43. Kennedy's religion was a matter of controversy at the time, as Americans have been traditionally wary of Catholicism's recognition of a European figure as a seat of authority (the Pope). Joe Biden was the first Catholic Vice President, out of 47 Vice Presidents.
  • This can be justified in works involving demons, as Catholics are one of very few Christian sects that still trains exorcists. Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movement are one of the other few sects which recognizes demons as being a real problem, though the casting out of demons is usually referred to as the "deliverance ministry".
  • Interestingly enough, it happens within Catholicism itself, especially considering the fact that Catholics are pretty diverse in practices, "non-essential" beliefs and alignments. Catholics in America, for example, are distinct from Italian or Peruvian ones and that's not counting the various factions, such as the Conservatives, Liberals, Traditionalists, Sedevacantists, etc.
    • The distinctions between conservatives and liberals are not necessarily the same as the diversity of practices and Rites. Long story short, one can be a Byzantine Rite Catholic or a Latin Rite Catholic and both be considered traditionalists that go to the same conventions, similarly you can be a Mexican Catholic with your own cultural baggage of approved/ok'd non-essential beliefs and practices and still go hang out with your Irish Catholic Buddy with his May Altar and St. Brigid's crosses and still both be considered Traditionalists. The Conservative/Liberal thing is largely referring to liturgical rigors, Nature of Christ and strictures or morality and how one views the Second Vatican Council and the Council of Trent respectively and thus is considered a lot more significant and controversial then the other differences between Catholics.
  • On this very wiki some examples that were stated to be this trope were actually using trappings of Orthodox Christianity or High Church Anglicanism, which share some general formal and ritual features despite being different in most other areas.
  • In Europe it's not uncommon to see things that to an outside eye look very Catholic despite the fact that the Church in question is Protestant, especially if we're talking about a state church with its roots in the Renaissance. For example, Church of Sweden, which is Lutheran, has priests, not pastors or ministers or reverends, and it doesn't shun away from crucifixes at all, it rather likes them. The reason for this is simple: Church of Sweden is what remained of the Swedish part of the Catholic Church in 1536 when King Gustav I had severed all ties with Rome and in the process robbed it blind. But he didn't want to destroy the organisation itself, or change it more than necessary, it was an effective administrative organisation and he was after all its new ultimate boss, having the archbishop answering to him instead of the Pope and all. (Pretty much the same as over in England, reading "King Henry VIII" for "King Gustav I", but without all the soap opera drama of the lack of a male heir and too many wives...)
  • Happens often with other religions:
    • Paganism is also often thought to always be witchcraft and/or Wicca.
    • As pointed out on the Informed Judaism page, there is a strange inverse of this, where people will assume anyone claiming or pegged to be Jewish must practice Judaism.
    • Regarding Islam, it's almost always of the largest denomination, Sunni, who gets significant representation in history and media, though the second-largest, Shia, is starting to get recognized more and more due to the recent political climate. Justified, as Sunnis are far more numerically dominant than any Christian sect (~80% of the total Muslim population), and since the Shia have almost nevernote  been able to set an equal political footing with the Sunnis (unlike Catholics vs Protestants), they had to essentially blend in, and history had never really set the two apart either (in the medieval era, the entire religion was never differentiated as something other than "Saracens" by the western world,note  as shown in Kingdom of Heaven). It's only after the Shia conversion in the Safavid dynasty that the Shias have finally managed to get a footing; beforehand, they were an invisible minority. Even if someone recognizes that there's two branches, few are able to distinguish which branch is which, as the differences are primarily concerned with abstract concepts, anyhow.
      • There's also the fact that while small, Shia Islam has such a bazillion (note that the three of the branches in Sunni in the picture are outlined as "schools", which means that they are different only in certain laws) subbranches,note  some of which have developed into separate religions like the Bahá'í Faith and Druzenote  (making its history quite similar to Protestantism, in fact...). Neither gets more than cursory mentions, and even those are mainly concerned with them being persecuted.
      • And this is before mentioning anything about Ahmadiyya and Ibadi. The former has been horrifically persecuted since their inception, while the latter is hard to understand even for Muslims themselves due to their preferred method of isolating themselves from others. note 
  • The Crusades - Roman Catholic medieval shenanigans, for which the Christendom as a whole (or even contemporary Western and/or European culture in general) is often held responsible. For reference these began shortly after the official split with the Orthodox church and ended centuries before the Protestant reformation, so for western Europe at the time Christianity really was still Catholic. The major exception was the Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar sect, which was deemed heretical.


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