I know this sounds like a silly question to a lot of people, but unfortunately a lot of people in this world don’t know the answer. Personally, I’ve encountered many protestants (and even some Catholics) that thought that Catholics were not Christian.
I’m not sure why though. I think some Catholics have just been really, really poorly catechized and some others have been influenced by some very anti-Catholic groups who spread misinformation.
So let’s set the record straight. Christianity started about 2000 years ago with a man (who was also God) – Jesus Christ. This man, Jesus, started a single Church with his apostles.
Where is this Church today?
The line of authority of those same apostles (in particular, the head of the apostles, Peter) can literally be traced to the leaders of the present day Catholic Church. In other words, the apostles of Jesus were the first leaders of the Catholic Church. In studying these early Christians, we also see that they are undeniably “Catholic” in their beliefs.
For over 1000 years there was only this one Church – the Catholic Church.
In the year 1054, a schism occurred in the Church. The “eastern” part of the Church split off and is known today as the Eastern Orthodox church.
And it wasn’t until almost 1500 years after Jesus founded his Church that any “denomination” appeared on the scene. This was what is known as the protestant reformation, where some Catholics decided to break off from the Catholic Church and start their own churches.
Protestants are “protesting.” That’s where they get their name. So what are they protesting? They are protesting the Catholic Church – the original Church that Jesus founded.
So the answer to the question is a resounding yes. And not only are Catholics Christians, they were the first Christians.