The following is from an entry that was posted on a discussion list I belong to. I think it is excellent and really hits the nail on the head as to the differences between Protestantism and Catholicsim:
Gene Edward Veith wrote a good article on the Roman church here:
What I liked about it is that in just one short article he wrote three things that the media and many evangelicals simply miss:
1) The RCC's media savvy is precisely because they are this-worldly:
"Many evangelicals are probably envious, thinking no way are we ever going to get this kind of good press. Roman Catholicism—with its image-centeredness, visible worldwide institutions, and externalized rituals—is certainly more media-friendly than Protestantism, which is Word-centered, decentralized, and internalized. The media is oriented to celebrities, and in the pope they have one. "
2) The RCC is not conservative but incredibly liberal and relativist on the thing that matters most:
"In one area, the late pope was not traditional at all. By emphasizing that good works are the fruit of God's grace, he had many Lutherans and evangelicals thinking that Catholics now agree with them on justification by faith. But the pope applied this principle to other religions, as well. If Muslims and Hindus demonstrate good works, that must be a sign of God's grace. Now, Catholics are teaching that not just other Christians but believers in other religions can be saved, even apart from conscious faith in Jesus Christ. This ecumenical theology tallies well with relativism, making Catholicism palatable to our new polytheistic culture."
3) The RCC, for all its pomp and show, does not in the end have the full Gospel:
"But though the pope was eulogized for all of his good works, the prayers begged God to let him into heaven, calling on Mary and the saints to intercede for him. Sadly missing was the liberating gospel of salvation through faith in the free forgiveness won by Christ alone."
May god help the church to recognize her "other-worldliness' and may we walk by faith and not by sight.